Current Cabinet Activities (Summer 2003)

by Robert Wilson Hoge

The ANS Coin Rooms are the scene of constant activity as we prepare for the momentous move to our new location later this year. In addition to inventorying and starting to pack the collections, we have been maintaining our mission to serve the membership and the public by providing numismatic consultations, access to the cabinet and photography of specimens. We have been told that you enjoy learning about this side of museum curation, so to keep readers apprised of these aspects of our work, and to point out something of the range of the Society’s magnificent cabinet, I am continuing to mention some of our guests and correspondents, and some of their various fields of inquiry.

Among our many colleagues who are already well aware of the cabinet’s value for research, and stop by more or less regularly, George Cuhaj, Gordon Frost, Jerome Haggerty, Emmett MacDonald, Kenneth MacKenzie, Normand Pepin, Robert Schaaf and Katalina Uzdi have all visited the coin rooms again since the last issue of the ANS Magazine. Some other coin room guests have included Emilio Ortiz, researching Latin American coins and tokens; Dr. Ursula Kampmann, working on counterfeit detection; Dr. Edmund Carpenter, completing his research on the background of the 11th-century Norse penny supposedly found in Maine and Joel Mitchell, a Harvard University student, making his appointment to have a look at coins of the Maghrib (the Arabian West, basically North Africa). Francis B. Bessenyey, while studying our Hungarian Medieval coinage, called attention to a rare issue from the Dalmatian mint of Cattaro, struck upon the occasion of the king’s descent on Italy following the assassination of his brother, the titular king of Naples, in 1345.

Hungarian Kingdom, Louis I d’Anjou (1342-1382), AR Grosso, Cattaro Mint (ex Christiansen): 1958.160.1)

The Society continues to work closely with New York’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art, where many specimens from our cabinet are currently displayed. On behalf of a forthcoming exhibition with a Late Byzantine focus (1261-1557), Dr. Robert Hallman and Dr. Sarah Brooks came by for help to find examples of appropriate European, Armenian, Georgian, Mongol and late Seljuk coins which would compliment Paleologan material. The selections they made are intended to be featured in an exhibit which will run from March to July, 2004. Frances Bretter and Peter Kenny, also from the Metropolitan but representing the American wing, visited to research neo-classical decorative motifs as found on furniture with a possible correlation to Early American paper money. This approach is in preparation for a future exhibition of the work of acclaimed New York empire-style craftsman Duncan Fyffe and his contemporary furniture makers.

Medievalia, Researches and Publications

Evelina Guzauskyte, a graduate student at Columbia University, visited the coin rooms to investigate background on a coin to which Christopher Columbus referred in his letters in 1493, the cinquin. This term cinquin (or cinquino, or cinquen) must be colloquial and unofficial, since it does not appear as a regular Spanish denomination at this time. Might it have referred to the common contemporary coin generally known as the blanca? The work of former ANS Curator Dr. Alan M. Stahl has shown that the billon blancas of Enrique IV (1454-1474) are the only coins found in some abundance at Columbus’ colonial settlement in the Dominican Republic (‘Coins from the excavations at La Isabela, D.R., the first European colony in the New World,’ in American Journal of Numismatics, 2nd Series, Vol 5-6, 1993-1994, p. 189-207, pls. 22-25), and are, indeed, the predominant Spanish small change of that era.

Dr. Stahl’s researches instigated a couple of our other inquires. On his behalf, we were in contact with Dr. Katherine L. Jansen, Associate Professor of History at Catholic University of America, to grant permission for publication of photographs of two Medieval Italian coins of Venice in the cabinet. These pieces are a billon tornesello of Andrea Dandolo (1343-1354) and a silver soldino of the same doge.

Venetian Republic, Andrea Dandolo, Silver soldino, ca. 1350 (ex Bosco): 1984.175.1

They are appearing in an article by Dr. Stahl written for Medieval Italy: A Documentary History, ed. by Katherine Jansen, Frances Andrews and Joanna Drell, for the University of Pennsylvania Press. He also wrote another piece for which we were asked by Deanna Raso, of DR Editorial Services, to provide illustrations. This is “Coinage (Early Middle Ages)” for Ancient Europe 8000 BC – AD 1000, Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World, to be published by the Gale Group.)

The Franks, Carolingian Kingdom, Charlemagne (AD 768-814), AR Denarius of the Treviso mint (ANS Purchase, Grunthal): 1986.155.1)

The Visigoths, Pseudo-imperial imitation of Anastasius I (AD 491-518), AV Tremissis, unknown mint (ANS Purchase, Blaickner): 1956.25.1)

The Franks/Frisians, AV Tremissis of the moneyer Madelinus, from the Dorestad mint, ca. AD 675 (ANS Purchase, Schulman): 1957.93.1)

A provocative query came in from Beth Holman, Associate Professor at the Bard College Graduate Center, regarding the relative worth of the Roman ducato di camera of ca. 1450 vis à vis ca. 1530. Dr. Holman is trying to compare manufacture prices of a goldsmith who is recorded in the Papal accounts as having been paid 126 ducati di camera for a chalice in 1453 and of Benvenuto Cellini, who wanted 300 scudi for work on another chalice eighty years later. She reports that the payment to Cellini, mentioned in his autobiography, “takes place under Clement VII, probably ca. 1532, but perhaps as early as 1531, or as late as 1533. In the Vita, Cellini calls them ‘scudi’ but in some documents (also of the 1550s) they are listed as gold ducats. So he seems to be using the term interchangeably.” The niceties of papal gold certainly warrant further investigation.

Americana, Surveys and Confirmations

Roy Bonjour, a collector, student and author in the field of the Vermont coinage, contacted us in connection with a survey he is conducting on the Ryder/Richardson varieties 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, and 38. Unfortunately, the information which I was able to provide was limited: the ANS collection only holds an example of the RR-35 (a product of Captain Thomas Machin’s Newburgh Mint, Bressett 20-X, struck over a 1781 counterfeit Irish halfpenny). William Anton and Roger Siboni, other Early American enthusiasts with a specialized interest in this area, both had occasion to examine the Society’s collection of the Confederation-era Vermont coinage. This section of the cabinet is excellent although it is clearly still lacking major die varieties.

Vermont copper, 1788, Newburgh Mint, RR-35 (ex Wormser): 1951.168.1)

Eugene C. Plakosh contacted us for help indentifying a “strange coin” that a number of dealers had been unable to place. It was, simply, what is known as a “patriotic” U.S. Civil War token, struck during the coin-shortage emergency of 1862-1864 (its reference no. was 119/398 in Patriotic Civil War Tokens, by George and Melvin Fuld). The piece was also, in fact, an example of what is called an “incomplete planchet mint error.”

Several inquiries came in regarding the presence in the cabinet (or absence therefrom) of 19th century American issues. Among them, Robert Loewinger sought information on some varieties of 19th century gold. Brad Karoleff, Editor of the John Reich Journal, sought information on a particular American disme in our cabinet. The coin in question, an 1831 Davis 2 (JR2) variety, believed to be a proof and weighing 2.665g, was donated to the ANS by Alan Lovejoy, from the collection sold by Stack’s in 1990 as part of their 55th anniversary sale, lot 115.

U.S., AR Disme, 1831 (ex Lovejoy): 1991.80.2)

George Corell contacted us regarding his research on the Confederate Cent, seeking the weight, diameter, die alignments and photographs of the two specimens in the cabinet. These two interesting pieces, from the same 1908 accession, provide what seems to be a unique insight into the history surrounding this forlorn but famous issue by Robert Lovett, Jr. They are of opposite die alignments and both appear to be struck in copper-nickel.

Above: Confederate States of America, CN Cent, 1861, alignment 12:00 (ex Gookin): 1908.181.1). Below: ”Confederate States of America, CN Cent, 1861, alignment 6:00 (ex Gookin): 1908.181.2)

Having found an item which matched an example on the ANS data base, accessible through our website at, Marlane Zimmer contacted us for more information. Her specimen and its ANS cabinet counterpart fall into the series of American political tokens struck by partisans of particular presidential candidates. This curious issue relates to the campaign of 1872, when Henry Wilson (February 16, 1812 – November 22, 1875) became the running mate of the controversial incumbent, President Ulysses S. Grant (replacing Schuyler Colfax, who in turn replaced Wilson when he died in office). On one of Grant’s campaign tokens, his bust and name appear on the obverse while Wilson’s name is inscribed on the reverse along with an eagle very much resembling that which figured on the contemporary gold $2 1/2 to $10 coins. But in the case of the two pieces mentioned above, the die for the Wilson reverse has been muled with a die commemorating the late Senator Charles Sumner. It is a mortuary piece, referring to Sumner’s death in 1874. (J. Doyle DeWitt, A Century of Campaign Buttons, 1789-1889, no. 1872-USG-13A).

U.S., political Token/ memorial medalet mule, of Henry Wilson and Charles Sumner, 1874, AE 24mm (ex Reed): 0000.999.41193)

Two of the leading national politicians of their age, Wilson and Summer were utterly different in background but both were adamant abolitionists from Massachusetts. Wilson helped gain the election of Sumner to the U.S. Senate, and later followed him to serve in that body himself. Both were among the “Radical Republicans” who fought for emancipation and who worked to protect the rights of the freed slaves following the War. Their deaths in 1874 and ’75 surely helped pave the way for the abridgement of civil rights which ensued.

Born Jeremiah Jones Colbath to a large and poor family in New Hampshire, Henry Wilson adopted his new name at the age of 21 and through tremendous personal effort made himself a successful shoe manufacturer. In later years when he served in Congress, he was familiarly known as the “cobbler of Natick.” As a young man, when he witnessed slaves being sold in the nation’s capital while on a trip taken for his health, Wilson committed himself to politics with the goal of ending slavery. His only son, following in his father’s footsteps, commanded a black regiment in the Civil War. Wilson was famous for traveling indefatigably all around Massachusetts and talking to anyone and everyone among his constituents.

Charles Sumner, on the other hand, was by no means a “man of the people.” Multi-lingual and Harvard-educated, his political expertise lay primarily in foreign affairs, but he was no less devoted to the cause of freedom. His empassioned pleading against the fugitive slave laws, denunciation of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and delivery of his notable antislavery speech called “The Crime against Kansas” in 1856 led to his being viciously attacked by a Congressman in the Senate Chamber. The assailant was Preston Brooks, a nephew of South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler, whom Sumner had maligned in his address. Brooks repeatedly beat the defenseless Sumner over the head with a cane, leaving him in bloody unconsciousness from which it took him three years to recover. Castigated and denounced for this atrocity by Wilson, Brooks challenged him to a duel, which Wilson declined.

Through the Civil War, Sumner and Wilson strongly supported the military, and pushed President Abraham Lincoln to emancipate and enfranchise the slaves. The two senators felt the rebellious South deserved harsh treatment, and they fostered the movement to impeach President Andrew Johnson on account of his leniency. By the election of 1872, Sumner had become disenfatuated by then President Grant, as had many of the reform-minded Republicans. Thus broke the Sumner-Wilson team. The former Union Army commander’s sweeping popularity in 1868 had been undermined by scandals in his administration (Wilson was touched by the Credit Mobilier debacle, but came through sufficiently unscathed) but the Grant-Wilson ticket won, nevertheless. The victory was due to the weakness of his opponent, Horace Greeley, and the disagreements among his “strange-bedfellows”—the Democrats and Sumner with his “Liberal Republicans.”

Many people are learning to turn to our phenomenal data base for answers to numismatic queries, but there are always some questions which can probably never be adequately answered. Our mule is an example of such an enigma. We will presumably never know the exact role of most surviving items. Why was it made? Or how unusual is it? How many pieces are still in existence? Is it a good investment? Who owned it? Zimmer was referred to us by the Grant Museum Association in Illinois.

World Coinages, Broad and Narrow Perspectives

Chris Schmidt-Nowara, Assistant Professor of History at Fordham University, is working on a book about national identity and commemorations in 19th-century Spain and its three major colonies: Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. He examined pertinent issues to investigate how the Spanish state represented itself, both in Spain and in the colonies.

David Edwards, a researcher at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) of the Smithsonian Institution, got in touch with us to inquire about gold dating from the late 15th century to the early 18th century. This new landmark museum—scheduled to open on the National Mall in September, 2004—will feature a central theme demonstrating the motivations which brought Europeans to the “New World,” so gold plays an important role. Unfortunately, our collection is lacking certain important pieces sought by our potential borrower: in this case, the notable VIGO- and LIMA-marked English gold coins of Anne and George II, respectively, minted from captured Spanish treasure.

Former ANS Curator Dr. William L. Bischoff sought to learn more about the Indo-Scythian coinages of Azes II, from the ancient regions now falling mostly within the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Society’s extensive collections of these issues of the “Sakas” include many examples of hoard coins donated by Jonathan Rosen and selected pieces from the great bequest of Edward T. Newell. Browsing through the varieties of these coins, believed to date from roughly 20 to 1 B.C., provided me with the occasion to attribute several.

Dr. Philip R. Mossman requested photographs of a pair of French coins from the cabinet for a Colonial Newsletter article on the coins and currency of Nova Scotia when it was the “14th colony.” In his ground-breaking work, Dr. Mossman found evidence, among other discoveries, for the use of the gold Louis and silver Écu. His long-term study was “spurred on since my family is of very old Nova Scotia stock—the Mossmans arrived from Switzerland on the second passenger ship to Halifax in 1750.”

France, Louis XV, AV Louis d’or aux mirlitons, 1723-Y, Bourges Mint (ex Davis): 1971.308.1)

France, Louis XV, AR Écu d’argent aux huit L, 1725-(9), Rennes Mint (ex Hermanos): 1962.57.12)

James Hearn contacted us on account of having bought an 1838-M North Peru 8 reales with an unusual feature. He describes his coin as having what appear to be “two ‘dots’ between the ‘M’ and the date.” The ANS example of the 1838 M Nor-Peruano 8 reales shows no trace of a second dot between the M and the date, such as that which Hearn found on his example. Presumably the anomaly is accountable to a slight variation on that particular die.

Peru, 8 reales Nor-Peruano, 1838-M (ANS Purchase, Echenique): 1967.113.125)

Radu Nedelcu inquired initially about an Ottoman Turkish coin from the Constantinople mint, of which he sent images. It was to be dated to the fifth year of the reign of the Sultan Selim III (which corresponds to CE 1793/4). He then requested help which several other coins, including a Serbian 5 para of 1884, from the Heaton Mint, Birmingham, Great Britain, and a half Thaler of Hungary, dated 1785, from the Vienna Mint (it had one side planed off, and had been turned into a piece of jewelry—what we familiarly call a “love token”).

Joaquin Gil del Real requested photographs and information regarding the Field, Brodie & Co. Savings Bank of Colon, silver 5- and 10-cent tokens with reeded edges. These scarce pieces, with diameters of 16 and 20mm, are listed by Russell Rulau under Panama, although of course the isthmus was still a part of Colombia in 1885. Colón (both the Province and city of that name) is a port. The “B” mint mark which appears on them has been suggested as that of Bogotá, but no information on these tokens is known to have survived in Colombia as reported to Gil, who has kindly provided some additional background data on these interesting and enigmatic pieces for our records:

—Walter Joseph Field associated himself with Brodie in January, 1885 (according to an item that appeared in the Star & Herald of Panama). Field’s father had arrived in Panama circa 1854 and did well in Colon, founding the Exchange Bank of Colon in 1866. By 1872, though, things were tough and it folded. During the year 1885, unfortunately, there were political ‘upheavals’ in the country, and in Colon things got out-of-hand when, supposedly, Pedro Prestan set the city on fire. Sadly, all of the Notarial Records, from the founding of the city of Colon, were burnt and none survived. At that time, banks had to have a patente, or license; though I have looked and looked, none has appeared. From 1855, Colombia experimented with the “federal” type of government. By the end of 1885, however, Mr. Nunhez assumed power in Bogota and Panama, like many others in the federation, ceased to be a “State” and reverted to a mere department. Mr. Field packed his bags and started to return to the USA but stopped for a few days in Costa Rica. He stayed there over 40 years and had coffee fincas and was a founding “father” and first president of the Banco Internacional de Costa Rica—his portrait graces the 10 Colon bill of 1916. In the 20’s he sold out and came to Sunny California, lost all in the market crash and passed away. (Pers. comm.)—

Colombia/Panama. Field, Brodie & Co. Savings Bank of Colon, silver 10 cents token (ex Parish): 1892.37.6)

American Indian Peace Medals Gain Attention

The ANS cabinet is justly renowned as the home of the foremost collection of America’s Indian Peace Medals. These have formed the basis of all serious work on the subject, and have brought recognition to the Society. During recent months, therefore, it is not surprising that a number of individuals have made inquiries of one sort or another concerning this field of Americana.

Dale Chlouber, Curator of the Washington Irving Trail Museum, was researching an unlisted silver 1792 George Washington oval medal for which they were unable to determine antiquity. The previous owner stated that it was originally acquired in the early 1960s, in a trunk full of numerous artifacts, including pictures, which had been personal effects of Quanah Parker, the famous Comanche Chief. Many replicas of Peace medals have been turning up for some years, now, often accompanied by cheerfully fantastical stories. An additional suspicious Washington small oval medal was submitted by Samuel C. Gassman for analytical comparison with ANS specimens. Rebecca Reynolds, the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Fellow for American Decorative Arts and Sculpture Art of the Americas at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, contacted us to consult on Washington’s “Treaty of Greenville” medal issue.

The Business and Economics Reference Librarian at the Holland/New Library of Washington State University, Cheryl Gunselman, is in the process of attempting to locate all of the Thomas Jefferson Indian peace medals of the silver, 3-part (hollow or shell) type. This project is part of her research for an article to be co-authored with anthropologist Roderick Sprague. The Jefferson Peace Medals are presently among the most popular pieces of Americana thanks to increasing awareness of their historical importance. The Society has received multiple requests from other institutions to borrow them recently—no doubt due to the approaching bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Jefferson Indian Peace Medal, 55mm (ex Schiff): 1915.143.1)

The ANS holds six of these important emblems of early American expansion. Five are examples of the original silver medals (two large, one medium-sized, and two small). The Society also has a third large-sized “original” 3-part medal made of copper. Researcher Michael Hodder contacted us to verify information in connection with his own investigations on this issue. One of the large silver medals is on indefinite loan to Monticello; other pieces have been lent to the Missouri Historical Society. There are also a number of additional, later versions of the Jefferson Indian Peace medals in the cabinet, including forgeries, but these are, of course, considerably less evocative.

Jefferson Indian Peace Medal, 76mm (ex Grunthal): 1949.52.1)

Jefferson Indian Peace Medal, 103mm (ex Wyman): 1923.52.11)

Still another individual contacting us about Indian Peace Medals was Dr. Rita Laws, author of a forthcoming book entitled Indian Peace Medals and Related Items, Collecting the Symbols of Peace and Friendship. The reference is intended to deal with US and Indian history, culture, peace symbolism, coins, medals, and especially, collecting. It will include notes on classifying the medals presented to Indians and describe how to detect counterfeits and how to care for a collection, she informed us.

Medallic Meanderings

It is always satisfying to locate something in the cabinet matching a mere description of someone else’s piece. One such medal which recently came to my attention was one which brings to mind the correlation of certain current concerns with those of centuries past. Today, we find it all too easy to forget the global terror that was once represented by the scourge of smallpox, but the discovery of inoculation against the virus was a great advance in medical practice and in world health. In 1798, English physician Edward Jenner published his observations on a new form of immunization obtained by infecting a body through introduction of the related, but far less virulent, cowpox (taken from pustules). His technique of “vaccination” (from vaccus, the Latin for “cow”) quickly gained the attention of the French emperor and became widespread. The once dread disease has now been almost completely eradicated. From Jenner’s process has come our word and concept “vaccination,” as exemplified by a medal about which Heidi Bramford inquired.

France, AR 33mm Parisian Municipal Vaccination program award medal, 1814 and thereafter: 1925.57.28, Gift of William R Powell.

This issue owes its origin to health measures introduced in Paris under Napoleon and was presented to doctors in recognition of the vaccinations they had given. On its obverse is shown a cow beneath medical instruments, with EX INSPERATO/ SALUS (“health from an unexpected source”) in the exergue; the rev. reads VACCINATIONS/ MUNICIPALES/ DE PARIS/ M.DCCCXIV. within an oak wreath. The medal was designed by Alexis Joseph Depaulis (signed DEPAULIS F. in tiny letters, at the l. obv. margin) and was distributed for an extended period beginning in 1814. Storer, Medicina in Nummis, 4649-52; Freeman, Medals Relating to Medicine and Allied Sciences, 597.

Bob Mueller contacted us regarding an exhibit running this summer at the Cornish Colony Museum, in New Hampshire. He is a Board Member the Museum as well as being the author of the presentation on the medals of Paul Manship at the ANS’ Coinage of the Americas Conference in 1997. This upcoming feature, for which he sought loan objects, focuses on the contributions and art of the women of the Cornish Colony, particularly Frances Grimes (1869-1963), Helen Farnsworth Mears (1876-1916) and Elsie Ward Hering (1871-1923). Regrettably, our cabinet is deficient in this respect. We have no works by Hering, only one by Mears, and of the six catalogued in our data base as being by Grimes, investigation proved that several were the misattributed creations of other artists. Mears’ beautiful work, representing the quintessence of the Cornish Colony’s productivity (as well as depicting its founder and inspiration), is her 1898 medallic tribute to her master, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Checking this specimen gave me a chance to correct our recorded description.

—Obv. AVGVSTVS SAINT-GAUDENS SCVLPTOR AETATISo L / HELEN MEARS FECIT PARIS MDCCCXCVIII; a half-length portrait figure of Saint-Gaudens at age 50, facing right and leaning on the pedestal of a model for his superb equestrian statue of General William T. Sherman; the lower edge is inscribed COPYRIGHTED 1916 / by MARY MEARS.—

US. AE 190 x 220mm plaque of Saint-Gaudens by Helen F. Mears, sculpted in 1898 (ANS Purchase): 1923.55.1)

Lynda Stoddard requested information about a bronze aviation medal by French sculptor Paul-Marcel Dammann, called “Toucher les étoiles” (to touch the stars), which had evidently still been available in 1992. Unfortunately, although we have seventeen Dammann pieces in the cabinet, we lack this one. An inquiry to the French mint on Stoddard’s behalf brought the prompt and courteous response from Eliane Thiebaud, “Désolée mais cette médaille n’est plus en vente” (“so sorry, but this medal is no longer available”).

James Sweeny continued his research on British Calendar medals and sent us a copy of his printed preliminary study of these fascinating pieces. Among those in the ANS cabinet is to be found the earliest known dated example by Powell (1746), of whose pieces the earliest previously cited, by Fuld, was a 1748 piece (George and Melvin Fuld, “Calendar medals and store cards,” The Numismatist, Vol. 69, no. 1 (Jan. 1956), pp. 33-40 [and various issues to] Vol. 72, no. 11 (Nov. 1959), pp. 1355-1371.

An inquiry from Jennifer Harper instigated a look at the British medals in the cabinet celebrating the abolition of slavery throughout Great Britain’s Colonial empire, in 1834. There were a dozen or so medals commemorating this great humanitarian occasion. The ANS holds an outstanding collection of numismatic memorabilia relating to slavery and its abolishment, including pieces celebrating the British government’s edict. Among the varieties issued by Davis of Birmingham are examples matching Harper’s. One is as follows:

Great Britain, AE 45mm, abolition of Colonial slavery medal, 1834, by J. Davis of Birmingham, proof (ex Smith): 1928.25.13)

—Obv. Negro in chains kneeling r., hands clasped; AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER; in ex., A VOICE FROM/ GREAT BRITAIN/ TO AMERICA ./ 1834; on the ground line to l., DAVIS, to r., BIRM. Rev. a Negro standing facing, with raised hands holding broken chain links, amidst broken shackles and whip, highlighted by rays behind in field; in background, a hut, palm trees and a plant; THIS IS THE LORDS DOING; IT IS MARVELLOUS IN OUR EYES. PSALM 118 V.23; in ex., JUBILEE AUGT. 1/ 1834. Brown, British Historical Medals, 1666—

Once again, there have been several inquiries about the ANS’ extremely successful 1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration medal by medallic sculptor Emil Fuchs. In terms of all of its varieties combined, this is probably the most common “art medal” ever produced in this country, but it is, of course, nevertheless a collectors’ item. There are at least half a dozen different varieties which people keep encountering (see ANS Magazine, Vol. 2, No., Spring 2003, p. 42).

People Make the Collections

Among other individuals who have recently been in contact with us for aid of one sort or another are James J. Boyle, Margaret and Pedro Castillo, Wei-Tsu Fan, Alvin Feinman, Kate Goodwin, Fred Grinstein, Marian Halperin, John Hanley, Thomas Lange, Debra Lans, Robert Levinson, David Liu, David McBride, Donald Mitchell, Gerald Morris, Gerard Muhl, Dr. Beth E. Notar, Graham Parker, Helen Rosen, Marlene Teichman, and Dan and Jihan Varisco. Interest in numismatics never seems to wane. We can be thankful that this remains true for our Coin Room volunteers, Ted Withington, Henry Bergos and Richard Perricelli, to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude. It is through the help of volunteers that we are able to continue making progress in collection management activities while the staff’s time is taken up with public service efforts of the sort represented by the contacts mentioned earlier.

The greatness of the ANS’ cabinet is due to far-sighted contributions by many individuals over the past 145 years. A number of outstanding leaders in this respect, of course, have served as the Society’s Presidents (including Daniel Parish, Jr., Archer Milton Huntington, Edward T. Newell, Herbert E. Ives and Harry Fowler). Others have been primarily collectors (and their families) who came to understand the great benefit of a collection of this stature. Many of these public-spirited donors, so devoted to making this institution the great source that it has become for everyone wanting to learn more about the role of numismatics in civilization, are no longer with us. I enjoy mentioning the names of the donors who contributed the items we have been examining; their memories endure as their gifts continue to serve. As we consider the visitation and usage the cabinet experiences today, and the many activities involved, let us never forget that it is thanks to our generous donors that so many people can turn to the ANS for information.