American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Collections Manager, Annual Report 2010

by Dr. Elena Stolyarik During fiscal year 2010, the American Numismatic Society coin cabinet continued to receive many fine new donations. 1,275 new objects were registered through generous gifts and purchases. We would like to express our deep appreciation to all our donors, who continue to fill gaps in the collections.

Long-time member Jonathan P. Rosen recently presented over 465 coins. Among these acquisitions is an interesting group of over 200 fractional silver denominations of the late 6th-5th century BC from the Ionian city of Clazomenae.

AV Stater, Pergamum, Mysia 336-334 BC, ANS2009.46.1, Gift of Dr. Arnold-Peter C. Weiss, MD

ANS trustee Dr. Arnold-Peter Weiss donated a marvelous example of a gold stater from the mint of Pergamon, in Mysia. It is the second example of this type that he has added to our collection, so we are thus now afforded the opportunity to display both sides of this handsome issue simultaneously.

Among new acquisitions to the Greek collection are other extremely important materials for research studies. There is a group of three silver tetradrachms and six drachms from Mylasa in Caria, dating from the 2nd century BC, donated by Shanna L. Schmidt. Another accession of scholarly interest consists of ten bronze Ionian coins from Leukai, of 380-360 BC, which were given by Philip Kinns, a long-term ANS member and well-known numismatist from UK. Through purchase, our collection of bronze coins of ancient Smyrna grew by 106 new examples that were not yet represented in the cabinet. This group was put together by ANS Fellow Frank Kovacs; we are most grateful to him, and to John Jencek for making this material available for purchase

We are grateful to have been given an interesting example of an Arab-Byzantine fals from the 7th century Palestinian mint of Baisan for our Islamic department. It was sent to the ANS by Dr. Nayef G. Goussous, founder and curator of the Ahli Bank Numismatic Museum in Amman, Jordan. Another fine addition to our extensive Islamic numismatic holdings came from Emmett McDonald: an example of a gold ¼ dinar (ruba) minted in the name of the Seljuq Sultan Alp Arslan.

For the South Asian Department, Executive Director Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan donated a very interesting example of a gold tilla of Shah Murad issued in the significant Central Asian feudal state of Bukhara.

Gift of Mr. Anthony Terranova

Our collection of the weight balance scales and coin counterfeit detection devices was expanded by a fine gift from our long-time friend and generous benefactor Anthony Terranova. First of these is a Fairbanks counterfeit coin detector scale in a wooden presentation box with its original pricing information. Other examples include a “Scale for Gold Dust” manufactured particularly for the Californian Gold-rush era and an English or American balance scale of ca. 1750-1760 containing a coin conversion weight chart engraved by Thomas Johnson, of Boston. Two other items in this gift consisted of an English counter-weight balance scale of 1772, with coin weights, by Edwin Philips, of London, and a US gold coin scale of 1854 by J. Allenders of New London, Connecticut, in its original elliptical cardboard box with printed advertising information. A further detecting device in this donation is a coin tester of 1878 manufactured in Akron, Ohio, for gold and silver US coins.

ANS Life Fellow and Benefactor Jonathan Kagan donated an impressive series of 146 Papal Restitution medals, attributed to Giovanni Battisti Pozzi (1670-1751). Although the ANS has extensive holdings of Vatican commemorative medals, this series, issued for the Holy Year Jubilee of 1725, was lacking from the collection and has now become a significant addition of important historical and artistic artifacts Another interesting donation to the Medals Cabinet also came from Jonathan H. Kagan. This is a cast bronze medallion bearing the image of the world-famous Russian writer, novelist and philosopher Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy. The gift is a realistic medallic work by Leo Lvovich Tolstoy (1869-1945), the author’s third son.

Obverse of Cast Bronze Medallion Depicting Tolstoy, ANS2010.42.1 Gift of Mr. Jonathan Kagan

After the Russian Revolution, Leo Lvovich lived in exile in Sweden and turned into a harsh critic of his father’s teachings. He received attention as an artist and sculptor, and the American Numismatic Society is delighted to obtain an example of his work, important for representation of Russian culture in our medals collection.

Kimber Genetics Award Medal, ANS2010.13.1

One of the most attractive purchases of this year is a group of five handsome gold award medals, among them the Kimber Genetics Award of the National Academy of Sciences. This solid gold work is a creation of Malvina Hoffman, a pupil of the great Auguste Rodin. She reproduced on this medal the images of four of the greatest scientists in the field of heredity: Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, William Bateson, and Thomas Hunt Morgan. We are very happy to have obtained the specimen that was awarded to Dr. William Ernest Castle, one of the greatest leaders in the science of genetics. Another of the significant items in our gold medal purchase is the Charles P. Daly award, established by the American Geographical Society in 1902 “for valuable or distinguished geographical services or labors.” Our specimen was awarded in 1930 to Nelson Horatio Darton (1865-1948). Another of our new gold medals is the J. H. Whiting Medal of the American Foundrymen’s Society, founded in Philadelphia in 1896. The Medal was designed by Frederick C. Hibbard, a noted Chicago sculptor. Last but not least of these recent purchases is the American Society of Mechanical Engineers award medal, established in 1929. This beautiful work was designed by the distinguished American sculptor James Earle Fraser (1876-1953) well known among numismatists for the creation of his celebrated work—the “Buffalo” nickel.

1853 1/4 sovereign pattern, ANS2009.44.3, Gift of Dr. Alfred R. Globus

ANS acquired an exciting donation of six valuable and rare gold coins as a bequest from Dr. Alfred R. Globus. Among these rarities are a pattern 4 rix-dollars private issue of 1812 from Ceylon, a German 10-taler piece of 1822 from Hannover, and four gold patterns from Great Britain: a 1/4 sovereign pattern of 1853, a 5 shillings pattern of 1853; a 1 ducat or 100 pence pattern of 1867, and a 5 francs or double florin piece of 1868.

Another devoted aspect of our curatorial department’s activity is responding to inquiries. This year, we received $52,367 in income through photo and reproduction rights requests and loan processing fees.

Numerous artifacts from the Society’s collections routinely serve the exhibition and publication needs of other institutions. Presently, 1,160 objects are out on loan to 19 permanent, temporary, and traveling exhibits. As usual, the curatorial staff has provided backup and consultation services, and served as couriers the borrowing institutions to accompany ANS loans.

In the beginning of October 2010, 89 items from ANS, along with thousands of other objects, traveled to the Field Museum in Chicago, where they became a part of the successful exhibit entitled Gold!, organized by the American Museum of the Natural History in cooperation with The Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Another twelve ANS objects, together with artifacts from the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Australian Maritime Museum, became an important part of the traveling exhibition, Mythic Creatures, also organized by the American Museum of Natural History. Our coins will be on display at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto through January 2011.

The ANS became an important lender for yet another traveling exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, Silk Road: World. This explores commerce, communication and cultural exchange between China and the cities and empires of Central and Western Asia, from the 7th to the 13th century AD. The show, with its ANS objects, will be on view at the Singapore Art-Science Museum.

Objects from the Society are featured in the exhibit Heroes! Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece, traveling from the San Diego Museum of Art to open last week at the Onassis Cultural Center. It will be on display in New York through January 2011.

United States. Silver certificate, Series 1896, $1. ANS1980.67.17; gift of the Chase Manhattan Bank, NA

In April 2010, the new exhibit Funny Money: The Fight of the U.S. Secret Service against Counterfeit Money opened at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This joint presentation by the US Secret Service and the ANS is devoted to the Secret Service's work to catch counterfeiters of US currency. Along with counterfeits from the ANS collection are displayed forged notes and never-before-seen photographs of counterfeiting operations from the Secret Service archives.

Eighteen US coins were selected for inclusion in an exhibit entitled Ancient Rome and America, which was on display during 2010 at the National Constitution Center, in Philadelphia. US coins from the ANS collection were compared to ancient Roman ones, exemplifying the notion of putting images of “leaders” on coins and comparing their iconography.

An early 16th century Spanish New World silver "tumbaga" bar, from a shipwreck off Grand Bahama Island, was selected from the Society’s collection for the exhibition Nueva York, organized by the New-York Historical Society and El Museo del Barrio. This bar reveals official markings including tax stamps of the emperor Charles V, two punch marks indicating the silver fineness, and two assayer's punch marks. Nueva York is the first exhibition to explore how New York's long and deep involvement with Spain and Latin America has affected virtually every aspect of the city’s development.

Victor David Brenner archival material, Gift of Mr. Jonathan Kagan

In Spring 2010, the curatorial staff mounted a new display in one of the showcases of the Society’s exhibition hall. This features a significant new acquisition kindly donated by Jonathan H. Kagan It consists of fascinating archival materials relating to Victor David Brenner, the prominent numismatist, artist, sculptor, and engraver who is most widely known for his design of the US Lincoln cent, in 1909. The ANS is honored to present this group of very important archival items, which are a splendid addition to the Society’s collection of historical and cultural artifacts related to US coins and medals.

Volunteer Ted Withington
Volunteer William Sudbrink Volunteer Jonah Estess

In recognition of in-kind gifts of service, we would like to express our sincere thanks to ANS long-term volunteers Ted Withington and William Sudbrink, and a new member of our volunteer team, Jonah Estess, for all their devoted work and regular help with our collections. We thank also our other fine assistants: Dr.Peter Donovan, Sylvia Karges, Anoushka Hamlin, Joshua Illingworth and our remarkable photographer Alan Roche, for their dedicated service. Without their generous support, many of the curatorial functions that members take for granted would not exist.

With thanks to all of the following generous donors : American Israel Numismatic Association Inc.
Philip Kinns
Professor Jere L. Bacharach
Dana & Barbara Linett
Steven Berenhaus
Emmett McDonald
James H. Blind
David Menchell
Canadian Portrait Academy
Garfield Miller
Davis & Elkins College
New York Numismatic Club
Julijan Dobrinic
Ocular Heritage Society
Peter Donovan
Barbara Phillips
Jonah Estess
Jonathan P. Rosen
Jay Galst
Shanna L. Schmidt
David D. Gladfelter
John A. Schroeder
Alfred R. Globus
Roger S. Siboni
Nayef G. Goussous
Arnold Spaer
Giuseppe Grava
William H. Sudbrink
Sebastian Heath
Anthony Terranova
Elizabeth Jones
SF Ancient Numismatic Society
Jonathan Kagan
Ute Wartenberg Kagan
Mel Wacks
Sylvia T. Karges
Arnold Peter C. Weiss