John Reilly, Jr. papers, 1883 - 1935

Descriptive Summary

Repository
American Numismatic Society
Extent
3 cubic feet (5 boxes)
Language
English
Abstract
Correspondence relating to the collecting of Far Eastern coins and various personal matters, student notebooks, research notebooks, coin photographs, and several Chinese documents.

John Reilly, Jr.

Creator

Name
Reilly, John, 1876-1931 (xeac:entity)
Abstract
John Reilly, Jr. (1876-1931) began his career as an engineer, but his love of coin collecting became his primary interest, and he would eventually amass the largest collection of Far Eastern coins in the world.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection open to all researchers.

Preferred Citation

John Reilly, Jr. papers, 1883-1935, Archives, American Numismatic Society.

Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Permission to publish or reproduce must be secured from the American Numismatic Society.

Biographical Note

John Reilly, Jr. (1876-1931) began his career as an engineer, but his love of coin collecting became his primary interest, and he would eventually amass the largest collection of Far Eastern coins in the world. After becoming a member in 1910, he played an active role in the American Numismatic Society, serving as council member (1914-1931), treasurer (1915-1924), and governor (1916-1924). The son of a U.S. representative from Pennsylvania, Reilly was born in Philadelphia and was a graduate of Princeton (1898), where he went on to receive master of science (1899) and electrical engineering (1901) degrees. His interest in Far Eastern coin collecting was greatly influenced by the numismatist collector and scholar Henry A. Ramsden, whom he first met on a trip to Japan in 1909, the same year he acquired a collection of Japanese coins from Neil Gordon Munro. Ramsden was a business partner with Japanese coin dealer Jun Kobayagawa of Yokohama. He was also Kobayagawa’s brother in law. After Ramsden’s death in 1915, Reilly purchased his collection. Reilly resigned as treasurer and left for China in 1925, eventually returning to New York City, where he died. His collections had been housed in the Society’s headquarters for about fifteen years before his death. In 1938, his daughter Frances formally presented the collection to the Society as a gift. The Society maintained a Reilly Room for decades where his collections were shown.

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence (1911-1929) relating to the collecting of Far Eastern coins, particularly from China and Japan. Other topics include his investments and property holdings, the carrying out of American Numismatic Society business, and personal matters such as vacation planning and maintaining New York City club memberships. There are letters and other materials relating to the Japanese coin dealer Jun Kobayagawa and Henry A. Ramsden and efforts to buy Ramsden’s collection after his death; letters to and from American Numismatic Society curator Howland Wood, who worked closely with Reilly; two copying books containing copies of letters sent by Reilly (1911-1916); personal correspondence from his mother and his sister Marion Reilly, dean of Bryn Mawr College; a notebook with detailed notes about Ramsden, which mentions the Munro collection and coins of the Far East (1910s); inventories of Ramsden’s coins (circa 1910s); 0.5 cubic feet of numbered rubbings from Ramsden’s collection; a notebook containing notes on the Chinese holdings of the American Numismatic Society; a notebook with the name Friedrich C. Jensen of Hamburg, Germany, that is labeled “duplicates” and contains a list with Chinese characters; an album of photographs of the Bombay branch of the British Royal Mint; two handwritten catalogs of Chinese coins by Howland Wood with the titles Manuscript of Sen and Index to Sen; glass and film negatives and photographs of coins, knife coins, plaques, and other materials; notebooks containing lecture notes from Reilly’s time as a student at Princeton, including one from a photography course containing notes and film negatives of unidentified buildings (1895-1897); a manuscript coin catalog from A.H. Campbell listing coins deposited first in Mechanic’s National Bank and then in Bryn Mawr Trust (1893); various notes, drawings, and lists of coins. Also present is a small set of Chinese documents, including two pieces of Qing paper money, a broadside (bulletin number 6) issued by the provincial military governor Feng Guozhang (Feng Kuo-chang) and the governor Qi Yaolin of Jiangsu province regarding the issuance of three new coins (May 25, 1917); a coin case index belonging to R.A. de Villard of Shanghai (1896); and a copy of the first issue of the newspaper The Chinese American (1883), which was published in New York City by the journalist and activist Wong Chin Foo (alternately spelled Wong Ching Foo and Wang Qinfu).

Controlled Access Headings

Materials consulted for:David Hill, “Pictures at an Exposition: Recently Discovered Photographs of the 1893 World’s Fair from the Collection of John Reilly Jr.,” ANS Magazine 10:4 (2011), 17-23.

Components List

  • Notebook: Astronomy and Camera Club, 1995-1996

    Scope and Content:

    Notebook used by John Reilly, Jr., to take notes for an astronomy class and camera club as a student at Princeton University (1895-1896). Lecturers noted are George J. Magee, Henry B. Cornwall, and William Libbey. The notebook includes a list of photographic film negatives (also found in the collection) taken at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago that are rated good, fair, and poor.

    Images

  • Photographic Negatives: World's Columbian Exposition, 1893

    Scope and Content:

    A group of 59 photographic film negatives taken of the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. The negatives measure approximately 3.75 x 4.75 in. and were likely taken using a Kodak #4 camera. Eight of the images are displayed.

    Images

  • Box 1 of 5

    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 1 – A-J, 1909-1922
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 1 – K-Z , 1909-1922
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – A, 1915-1917, 1927
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – B, 1914-1917
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – C, 1912-1917
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – D, 1914-1917
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – E, 1913, 1916
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – F, 1913-1917
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – G, 1912-1916
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – H, 1913-1916
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – I, 1915-1916
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – J, 1912-1916
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – K, 1911-1914
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – L, 1913-1917
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – M, 1912-1917
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – N-O, 1912-1918
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – P, 1913-1918
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – Q-R, 1912-1917
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – S, 1913-1918
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – T, 1912-1917
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – U-V, 1912-1917
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 2 – W-X-Y-Z, 1912-1917
    • Correspondence – Miscellaneous – Set 3, 1914-1926
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – A, 1916-1929
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – B, 1916-1917, 1927
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – C, 1911, 1917-1918
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – D, 1918-1919
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – E-F, 1918
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – G, 1915-1919
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – H-I-J, 1918, 1927
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – K-L, 1917-1918
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – M, 1917-1919
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – N-O, 1916-1919
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – N-O, 1916-1919
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – P-Q, 1916-1919, 1926
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – R, 1917-1919
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – S, 1914-1919, 1930
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – T-U-V, 1915-1919
    • Correspondence – Alphabetical – Set 3 – Y-Z, 1916, 1926
    • C. de Longueville Collection – Catalog and correspondence, 1893-1914
    • Yokohama Numismatic Society, Japan, 1909-1913
    • Income tax form, 1915
    • Correspondence, notes, and receipts – Miscellaneous, 1909-1926
    • American Numismatic Society affairs, 1914-1924
    • Yokohama Numismatic Society, Japan – Correspondence, 1915-1916
    • Correspondence – Miscellaneous, 1915-1920
    • Coronado, California, vacation correspondence, including homemade birthday card by daughter, 1917
    • American Numismatic Society – Correspondence – Miscellaneous, 1918-1921
    • Correspondence – Miscellaneous, 1919-1920
    • Correspondence, notes, and invoices, 1919-1920
    • American Numismatic Society – Financial outreach, 1920
    • Bement collection correspondence – Philadelphia, Pa.,1920
    • G.E. Raum collection correspondence, 1920
    • Potential acquisitions correspondence, 1917-1929
    • A.F. Schepens correspondence, 1919-1920
    • Correspondence – Miscellaneous, 1920-1922
    • Madame Albert Schroder correspondence, 1920-1923
    • St. Louis Stamp & Coin Company correspondence, 1921
    • T. Slingo correspondence, 1921-1922
    • Tong-Ji-Yao – Coin rubbings and correspondence, 1922
    • Bamboo money correspondence, 1922-1923
    • Chinese copper coins correspondence, 1924
    • Tay, G.N. – Correspondence regarding Chinese coinage article, 1970-1971
  • Box 2 of 5

    • Note and book covers
    • Constitution and by-laws of the Asiatic Society of Japan, 1915
    • Hunt’s Map of the Border and Southern States, 1864
    • Invoices and Elder auction catalog (1920), 1910-1921
    • China – Chi Hsiang (1862)
    • Chinese to English translations
    • Coin rubbings
    • Japan: Modern struck coins
    • Kansas City Museum: Images of Chinese Coins (1795)
    • Knives
    • Metrology
    • Ming City knives research
    • Mito Civil War notes on ANS talk by Ernest Clement in 1891
    • Gordon Munro – Notes and blank memo pages, circa 1903
    • Northern Ci’I Dynasty
    • Uchigata – Jun Kobayagowa invoices, 1911-1913
    • Yokohama Numismatic Society – Invoices, 1916-1919
    • Numismatist articles on Far East currency, April 1918
    • Rubbings of Silver Chinese coins, 1919
    • Numismatic Bibliography, circa 1919-1920
    • Taft collection of Asian coins, 1919
    • Souveniers, 1920
    • Knife coins, 1920
    • Tokugawa Shoguns, Japan, 1921
    • Bank of China, Peking, collection – Notes on rubbings, circa 1923
    • Sunglin collection catalog – Herbert Devine Galleries, 1930
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#1 – Early barter and uninscribed money, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#2 – Spade coins, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#3 – Square footed ku-pu coins, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#4 – Pointed footed ku-pu coins, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#5 – Miscellaneous ku-pu coins, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#6 – Large knife coins, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#7 – Pointed and kan-tan knife coins, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#8 – Ming knife coins, 1916
    • [no R#9 or R#10]
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#11 – Chinese coin charms and amulets, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#12 – Modern Chinese Copper Coins and Chinese openwork amulets, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#13 – Corean (Korean) coins and coin charms, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#14 – Japanese coins and coin charms (continued), 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#15 – Siamese porcelain and other tokens, 1916
    • Ramsden collection rubbings, R#16 – Anamese coins, Japanese medals, etc., 1916
  • Box 3 of 5

    • Correspondence – Henry A. Ramsden, 1909-1910
    • Correspondence – Henry A. Ramsden, 1911-1912
    • Correspondence – Henry A. Ramsden, 1913-1914
    • Letter from Reilly’s cousin in Japan verifying Ramsden’s death, 1916?
    • Correspondence and other materials regarding Ramsden estate and the shipment of collection to ANS, 1916-1917
    • T. Slingo correspondence on collection of Chinese coins, 1921
    • Miscellaneous notes, 1916-1921
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#1 and notes – Early Barter and Uninscribed Money, nos. 1-512, 1916
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#2 – Spade coins, nos. 1-90, 1916
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#3 – Square footed ku-pu coins, nos. 1-928, 1916
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#4 – Pointed footed ku-pu coins, nos. 1-535, 1916
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#5 – Miscellaneous ku-pu coins, nos. 1-272, 1916
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#6 – Large knife coins, nos. 1-226, 1916
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#7 – Pointed and Kanton knife coin, nos. 1-153 and nos. 1-100, 1916
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#8 – Ming knife coins, nos. 1-668, 1916
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#9 – Wang Mang Pu and knife coins, nos. 1-213 and Chinese bamboo money, nos. 1-173, 1916
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#10 – Ancient Chinese round coins, nos. 1-1915, 1916
    • Ramsden collection inventory, R#11 – Chinese coin-charms and amulets, nos. 1-1119, 1916
    • Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#12 – Modern Chinese copper coins, nos. 1-428, Chinese openwork amulet coins, nos. 1-323, 1916
    • Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#13 – Corean (Korean) coins and coin charms, nos. 1-1659, 1916
    • Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#14 – Japanese coins and coin charms, nos. 1-1246, 1916
    • Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#15 – Siamese porcelain and other tokens, nos. 1-1217, 1916
    • Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#16 – Anamese coins, Japanese medals, and miscellaneous, nos. 1-316, 1916
    • Ramsden Collection Inventory, R#17 – Chinese round coins after Kai Yang, nos. 1-2698
  • Box 4 of 5

    • Photographs – Junj Kobayawa Co. interior and exterior
    • Photographs – Coins and statues
    • Photograph Album – Views, Bombay Mint
    • Box of glass and film negatives – Statue and coins
    • Two copying books – Jun Kobayagawa Co., etc.
    • Notebook – College - Astronomy and camera club, and Chicago World’s Fair photograph list, 1895
    • Notebook – College – Engineering – Strength of Materials, etc., 1897
    • Notebook – Chinese material in the Museum of the American Numismatic Society
    • Notebook – Presentation on Henry Ramsden and Munro collection for International Archaeological Congress, Rome 1912
    • Notebook – Duplicates
    • Notebook with coin lists – Reilly’s collection?
    • Manuscript of Sen, by Howland Wood
    • World’s Columbian Exposition Fair negatives, 1893
  • Box 5 of 5 - Flat file - Chinese documents

    • Qing paper money
    • Broadside announcing new coinage, 1917
    • The Chinese American newspaper, 1883
    • Coin case index (bound), R.A. de Villard, Shanghai, 1896