American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Curator of North American Coins and Currency: Annual Report, 2010

By Robert Wilson Hoge

Our collections continue to be heavily utilized for research and in publications as well as for exhibitions. I have mentioned a number of these instances in my column in the ANS Magazine. At the same time, I am supervising and coordinating projects in several areas. Of primary importance is our collection of United States and Colonial American coinage and paper currency, presently being photographed and imaged on our data base catalog. Thanks to the generosity of Board member Daniel Holmes, our large cent collection is being fully imaged for the first time, and thanks to Kenneth Edlow, images of our Indian Peace Medal collection are being likewise captured for our database.

Working with authors is a pleasantly rewarding part of my responsibilities. Our 17th century Boston mint coins figure prominently in the forthcoming publication The Silver Coins of Massachusetts, by Dr. Christopher Salmon.

Our Indian Peace medals will be featured in a forthcoming book by our editor and adjunct curator Oliver Hoover.
The extensive collection of Early American coins from our cabinet is being presented serially in color plates in The Colonial Newsletter. Jack Howes studied the pieces in our cabinet for his valuable work on the “New England” silver coinage in that publication, too. Sydney Martin studied our “Rosa Americana” issues of William Wood in the ANS collection, and Randy Clark, the Connecticut copper series, for their forthcoming books on these topics.

Another important area in which I have been regularly working is the identification of superfluous die duplicates in the cabinet, pieces that can be deaccessioned and disposed of for the betterment of the collection. Among these issues are some of the famous Gobrecht pattern dollars. I reported last year on our marvelous acquisition of the Dr. Julius Korein collection of 100 pieces, which will enable us to upgrade existing specimens in the cabinet and eventually sell identical die duplicates. The foremost researchers in this field have been consulting with me on this project.

My time has been occupied with a number of exhibits involving specimens from the cabinet, including loan materials and interpretations for the New-York Historical Society, the Museo del Barrio, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, the National Geographic Society and the National Constitution Center, as mentioned by Dr. Stolyarik. I also prepared the numismatic sections for the upcoming exhibition by the National Jewelry Institute, War and Peace: Masterpieces of Patriotic Jewelry and Decorations, scheduled to be presented at the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid and to become the first public exhibit at the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C. (recently postponed). There will be a handsome catalog of this exhibit published in conjunction with its presentation.

The catalog of the exhibit Dutch New York between East and West: the World of Margrieta van Varick, by the Bard Graduate Center and the New-York Historical Society, for which I prepared the numismatic portions, won the First Runner-up prize in the annual Association of Art Museum Curators' (AAMC) Awards for Excellence in the Outstanding Exhibition Catalog category. The Director of the AAMC stated that this publication's standing, within a crowd of blockbuster exhibitions and catalogs presented by much larger institutions (the MOMA’s Bauhaus won the best exhibit and catalog awards), was particularly noteworthy.

Several articles dealing with parts of my work will be appearing shortly: 1) an unique silversmith-countermarked early large cent in the ANS cabinet, 2) two sets of counterfeit half dollar coining tools, 3) the works of Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the American Numismatic Society collection, and 4) the 17th century American silver coins in the collection of the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow. These will appear in due course in the American Journal of Numismatics. For the International Numismatic Commission’s most recent Survey of Numismatic Research, I prepared the North American section--the lengthiest, most extensive such compilation to date for this publication.

Annual Acquisitions

I am very pleased to announce the addition of a large number of important new acquisitions to the collection in the American section during the past fiscal year. Only a selection of these can be presented here:

George Washington J. Manly medal, [1790], Baker 61 (silver), very rare, Gift of Roger Siboni

Province of New Jersey, Andrew Bradford [1733] Currency printer’s invoice; For payment to John Peter Zenger, et al., for plate engraving work; Gift of David Gladfelter

Dime, 1854, with arrows, Greer 101; Breen 3282, proof; Gift of Dorette Sarachik

Quarter dollar, 1806, Browning 6, Probably the finest specimen, Gift of Barbara Phillips

''Latin America: Guatemala 10 pesos pattern, 1894, Steel obverse die for gold coin ANS 2009.54.4, Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Dana Linett''

With thanks to all of the following generous donors:

Karen Alster, James H. Blind, Jonah Estess, David D. Gladfelter, Paul Kagin, Sylvia T. Karges, Mr. & Mrs. Dana Linett, Dr. David Menchell, Garfield Miller, Barbara Phillips, Dr. Ira L. Rezak, Dorette Sarachik, John A. Schroeder (Racine Numismatic Society), Roger S. Siboni, Arnold Spaer, William Sudbrink, Anthony Terranova, Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan, and “anonymous”