Comitia Americana and Related Medals

Comitia Americana and Related Medals; Underappreciated Monuments to Our Heritage, by John W. Adams and Anne E. Bentley. George Frederick Kolbe Publications (Crestline, Calif.), 2007. ISBN: 0-934352-09-7, 6″ x 9″, xv, 285 pages, both black & white and color illus., linen-bound hardcover, $135 ($10 P&P in the U.S., $25 elsewhere).

The formidable team of Adams and Bentley has succeeded in pulling off a truly rare feat for this day and age. They have thrown a spotlight on an area of early American numismatics that has somehow managed to dodge the attention it so rightfully deserves—simply by hiding under all of our noses.

The Comitia Americana series and their sister medals have been known to antiquarians and historians since they were created, having never disappeared from the collective numismatic consciousness of the past two centuries. As such, it is almost amazing that this book wasn’t penned over a century ago by the likes of a C. Wyllys Betts or a William Sumner Appleton.

One must start with the introduction, where the authors thoughtfully lay out their approach, clearly differentiating their philosophy from the normal numismatic perspectives, which occasionally are overly occupied with condition and die variation. In their words, those who collect early American medals are collecting history. With this declaration, Adams and Bentley are preparing the reader to learn of the true contexts of the medals, from the events and heroes thus immortalized to the circumstances behind their creation.

The story begins with the hundreds of sets of medals authorized by Congress that never came into existence, a truly disappointing episode in our early history. Those few surviving sets and partial sets are then surveyed. From there, each medal in the series receives its own chapter, complete with all of the information one could possibly want, all backed up by primary source documentation cited in the abundant endnotes section.

Presented in a formulaic manner, the authors first give an account of the military event that resulted in the Congressional authorization for the recipient’s medal, along with relevant biographical information. Next is the section detailing the creation of the medal, followed by a thorough description of its devices and a translation of the legends. With so many strong points to this tome, it is perhaps the documentary history that will prove of greatest interest to the reader.

As a result of a worldwide survey of almost seven hundred individuals and institutions, Adams and Bentley also present their analyzed findings in the metrology sections of each chapter, along with a chart denoting the weight, diameter, metal, and location for each of the specimens listed. With hundreds (if not thousands) of Comitia Americana medals studied, the authors reached an ideal vantage to comment on both the original dies and their evolution as they wore, rusted, cracked, or failed during manufacture. Even the later copy dies used for restrikes are given their due. One could argue the metrology sections are the book’s greatest contribution.

In addition to the Comitia Americana medals, appropriately lavish attention is also paid to the Benjamin Franklin medals of 1777, 1784, and 1786, the gorgeous Libertas Americana medal, and the Diplomatic Medal of the United States. As these medals have much to say regarding the creation of the Comitia medals, and as the reverse is also true, the authors are unquestionably correct in choosing to include these additional pieces in their discussion.

Throughout, the text is illustrated with high-quality color and black-and-white images of the medals under discussion. Interspersed are photographs of many of the actual dies cut during the eighteenth century to strike these medals, accompanied by images of some of the sketches and drawings produced during their design phase.

The authors conclude the medals portion of the book with a chapter on the wide-ranging sagas of the dies during the intervening centuries—a discussion that could easily stand on its own as a monograph. As this work is sure to prove of use and interest to military and art historians in addition to numismatists, the final chapter explains the mechanical processes used to create the different types of medals studied, from initial authorization to final production, be it by striking, casting, or electrotyping.

It can be said with great conviction that this book is an invaluable reference work with high production values. Both John Adams and Anne Bentley are to be heartily congratulated for producing this essential and enjoyable research tool, which belongs in the library of every history buff, military historian, art lover, numismatist, and museum.

—Erik Goldstein

Review: Silver Coinage of the Artaxiad Dynasty

Y. T. Nercessian. Silver Coinage of the Artaxiad Dynasty of Armenia. Armenian Numismatic Society Special Publication 11. Los Angeles: Armenian Numismatic Society, 2006. Hb., 212 pp., index, 96 b/w plates. No ISBN. $60.00. Distributed by the Armenian Numismatic Society.

Just about anyone who has ever done work on money in the dying days of the Seleucid kingdom, the Mithradatic wars, or the early Roman client-kings of the Near East has been compelled to touch—if only lightly—on the coinages struck by the Artaxiad rulers of Armenia, but few have seriously dealt with them in their own right. Thus these interesting and enigmatic coins have often been treated more out of a sense of duty and with some trepidation, rather than with the full attention that they deserve. The anxiety caused by Artaxiad coinage is not entirely unfounded, since the chronology, mint, and ruler attributions of many of the coins are hotly disputed, and most of the standard English-language references are either outdated (i.e., P. Bedoukian, Coinage of the Artaxiads of Armenia [London, 1978]) or unconvincing (i.e., A. Mousheghian and G. Depeyrot, Hellenistic and Roman Armenian Coinage [Wetteren, 1999]). Y. T. Nercessian’s new book attempts to put better order to the silver issues of the Armenian kings (the bronzes still remain an attribution nightmare in many respects) by assembling and updating die studies and commentaries that have appeared in the Armenian Numismatic Journal (hereafter ANJ).

Before diving right into the die catalogues and discussion, Nercessian attempts to orient the reader who may not be intimately familiar with the Artaxiad dynasty and its coinage by providing brief histories of the kings believed to have struck silver coins (Tigranes II–Artaxias III). These synopses are fine, but they are frequently based on outdated secondary sources and include regnal dates that have been challenged by others. The most recent work utilizing the evidence of cuneiform documents and a passage from Cicero now suggests that Tigranes II could not have occupied Syria before the 70s BC (see G. R. F. Assar, “A Revised Parthian Chronology of the Period 91–55 BC,” Parthica 8 [2006]: 74; O. Hoover, “A Revised Chronology for the Late Seleucids at Antioch (121/0–64 BC),” Historia 56, no. 3 [2007]: 296–298), but this could not have been known to the author at the time of publication. Very much more useful and up to date is the survey of twenty-five known hoards containing Armenian silver, which includes finds as late as the Munich hoard of 2004/5, and the excellent overview of previous literature on Artaxiad silver coins arranged by ruler.

Following this introductory material, the author presents a die study of all of the known ancient coins with numismatic, metrological, and iconographic commentary. Modern Armenian summaries appear at the end of the book.

Those looking for some new discussion of Tigranes II the Great and his coinage are likely to be disappointed with Silver Coinage of the Artaxiad Dynasty of Armenia, since the bulk of the text on this king has been lifted directly from an earlier article (“Silver Coins of Tigranes II of Armenia,” ANJ 26, nos. 3–4 (2000): 43–108). Happily, the die catalogues for Tigranes (especially at Antioch) have been overhauled in order to include more than 162 new specimens discovered by the author between 2000 and 2005, thereby providing a substantial update to the ANJ article. Nevertheless, readers should use the catalogues with some caution, since a number of erroneous die identifications are evident from the plates. For example, Antioch A1-P31a in plate 4 actually involves the obverse die A4 in plates 8–9 and A10-P97a in plate 12 uses a different obverse die than the other illustrated A10 specimens. Die A25 in plate 26 is really a poorly preserved example of the preceding A24 die (the A25-P71a example is remarkable for its use of an obverse strike identical to that found on A24-P68a), while A28-P81 in plate 28 utilizes a different obverse die than the other illustrated A28 coins. In plate 38, die A35 is the same as A36, coin A42-P139a in plate 47 actually involves the obverse die A43, and A52 in plate 57 is really another example of A53. Likewise, die A54 in plate 58 is identical to A55, and A67 in plate 75 appears to be a doublestruck example of A66. Despite these problems, the new catalogue still represents an important expansion of the corpus of specimens from the first die study of this king by François de Callataÿ (L’histoire des guerres mithridatiques vue par les monnaies [Louvain, 1997], 215–221). In addition to Antioch, Damascus, and a controversial “Satellite Mint of Damascus,” Nercessian’s catalogue also includes the issues attributed to Artaxata and an enigmatic group of four small coins of uncertain origin described as “fractional drachms.” With an average weight of 2.95g, it seems difficult to escape the probability that the latter are tetrobols, but unfortunately these interesting coins are not discussed at any length in the text.

Nercessian identifies a series of tetradrachms depicting a comet on the king’s tiara—a detail otherwise found only at Damascus—as emanating from a “Satellite Mint of Damascus.” (John Ramsey, “A Descriptive Catalogue of Greco-Roman Comets from 500 BC to AD 400,” Syllecta Classica 17 [2006]: 215–218, has now connected this comet with the comet iconography of Tigranes’ father-in-law, Mithradates VI of Pontus.) Other commentators have suggested potential mints at Tigranocerta after 69 BC (!) or Nisibis for these coins (Mousheghian and Depeyrot [1999], 36–37; C. Foss, “The Coinage of Tigranes the Great: Problems, Suggestions, and a New Find,” NC 146 [1986]: 63), but the author is probably right to locate them in Syria on the basis of their use of the royal (ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΤΙΓΡΑΝΟΥ) rather than imperial titulature (ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΤΙΓΡΑΝΟΥ). The former seems to have been preferred in Syria, whereas the latter was apparently reserved for Armenia proper. However, while the shared use of comet tiaras indicates an obvious relationship with Damascus, the style, which is much superior to the somewhat crude local style of Damascus, provides a much closer link to Antioch. The curls of hair that escape from the earflap, the rendering of the facial features and some details of the tiara, and the use of a Tyche of Antioch rather than a Tyche of Damascus reverse type strongly points to the influence of Antioch, although the portrait on Antioch die A65 is hardly “identical” to that on A4 of the “Satellite Mint,” as Nercessian alleges. Nevertheless, the treatment of the tiara’s peaks and the consistent rendering of the diadem as a fillet on the “Satellite Mint” tetradrachms point to production at a separate facility (but see Antioch A49–A50 for other fillet diadems). Based on the relationships between the second comet tiara mint and both Antioch and Damascus, it is tempting to think that it may have been located somewhere between these two major Syrian cities—perhaps a northern Phoenician city during Tigranes’ campaign in the region? In any case, the mint in question might be more aptly described as a “satellite mint of Antioch influencing Damascus” until we can properly identify it by name.

The author also grapples with the serious problem of the sequential letters that appear on Tigranes’ drachms from the Artaxata mint. He wisely discards the commonly held view that Greek double letter combinations equivalent to the numbers 33 through 39 represent regnal dates and the suggestion that the single letters (1–10, 20, and 30) might stand for months. However, the attempt to explain the double letters by resurrecting Babelon’s old suggestion that they represent dates counted according to the autonomous era of Sidon (beginning in 111/0 BC) is far from compelling. This idea may have had some air of plausibility when the Artaxata coinage was still believed to be of Syrian manufacture, but there is no reason for the Sidonian era to have had currency in the Armenian heartland. Indeed, if Tigranes invaded Syria no earlier than c. 75 BC, as inferred from Cicero, a Sidonian era is completely out of the question, since the reverse type of the so-called Tyche of Artaxata is directly copied from the Tyche of Antioch on his Antiochene coinage. The Tyche of Artaxata type is not likely to have appeared in year 33 of Sidon (78/7 BC), several years before Tigranes took possession of Antioch. Nevertheless, we are tempted to agree with Nercessian in thinking that the double letters probably represent date numerals rather than simple controls. Perhaps they are based on some otherwise unknown Armenian era or possibly the king’s regnal years backdated to his period as a hostage of the Parthians. Based on the relationship between the Antioch and Artaxata Tychai, such a hypothetical era would have had to begin in 108/7 BC at the very earliest.

In addition to the relatively large coinage of Tigranes the Great, the much scarcer silver issues attributed to his successors in Armenia from 55 BC to the early Augustan period are also treated in the book. Having die studies for these rare coins assembled together in one place will no doubt be of great use for future research. However, readers should be cautioned that some of the issues are given firm ruler identifications when in fact there is some debate, and the authenticity of a few of the coins has been doubted in print.

The most extensive of the silver coinages struck after the death of Tigranes the Great was that produced by his son Artavasdes II, consisting of drachms and an extremely rare series of tetradrachms. Shared typology (king in Armenian tiara/king [really Helios?] in a quadriga) and a shared monogram seem to tie the two series to the same mint facility. Nercessian follows Mousheghian in identifying the mint as Artaxata, but as Bedoukian has pointed out (Coinage of the Artaxiads, 26), this is difficult to accept when the supposed mintmark contains nothing remotely resembling an alpha. Regardless of the mint identification, the apparent production of these coins at the same place and time raises a number of serious questions that the author leaves unasked and that seem unanswerable. For example, why is the ornamentation of the tiara different for each denomination? The drachms have a star flanked by eagles, as on the bulk of Tigranes’ coins, but the tetradrachms have the star alone. Why is the legend so different between the tetradrachms and the drachms? The latter refer to ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΑΡΤΑΥΑΖΔΟΥ, but the former name ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΑΡΤΑΥΑΣΔΩ ΘΕΙΟΥ. The royal name, given in the genitive on the tetradrachms as ΑΡΤΑΥΑΣΔΩ appears to be written with an eye on two different Greek dialectic traditions. On the one hand, it employs the Aeolic genitive ending omega when we would expect the usual omicron and upsilon ending of Attic/Koine, while the diphthong ΑΥ follows the pattern of Koine Greek in representing the sound “av” or “ab” rather than Attic “au.” The consciously Atticizing Greek textual sources give his name as Artaouasdes or Artabazes (see Dio 40.16; Plut. Crass. 19, 21–22, 24), never as Artauasdes. Also problematic for the name on the tetradrachms is the fact that it appears on the king’s drachms in a different form (ΑΡΤΑΥΑΖΔΟΥ) fully consistent with Koine Greek, the dialect that one would expect to have been used in late Hellenistic Armenia. The epithet ΘΕΙΟΥ used to describe Artavasdes on the tetradrachms is also curious. The theta and omicron have rare square forms, yet there seems to have been no difficulty in producing regular round omicrons for the drachms. It was not uncommon for eastern Hellenistic monarchs such as the Seleucid Demetrius II, the Arsacid Phraates III, and the Lagid Ptolemy XIII to describe themselves as theos (“god”), but the tetradrachms of Artavasdes stop short of proclaiming full godhead and instead hail the king as merely theios (“holy”). Why should this be? The entire situation is extremely puzzling.

Even more problematic are the four drachms of Artaxias II that Nercessian presents as authentic, though they have been condemned as modern forgeries by Anahit Mousheghian, Georges Depeyrot, and Ruben Vardanyan (R. Vardanyan, “Counterfeit Silver Coin of with the ΑΡΤΑΞΕΡΞΕΩ ΘΕΙΟΥ,” Patma-Banasirikan Handes 1 [1999]: 321–326; Mousheghian and Depeyrot [1999], 170). While there can be no question that they are beautiful pieces, they are made very suspicious by the use of a circular legend convention and monogram that only appears on civic bronzes of Artaxias in the first century AD and the peculiar inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΡΤΑΞΕΡΞΕΩ ΘΕΙΟΥ, which obviously mimics that of the tetradrachms attributed to Artavasdes II. The form of the king’s personal name is also problematic, for all of the extant Greek textual sources call him Artaxias or Artaxes (see Dio 49.39–41, 49.44, 51.16; Jos. AJ 15.105) but never Artaxerxes (the Achaemenid dynastic name), as on these coins.

A unique drachm in the ANS collection (1944.100.62304) and two poorly preserved hemidrachms are also doubtfully attributed to the reign of Tigranes III (c. 20–8 BC). In 1986, Clive Foss argued that the drachm and associated bronze issues naming ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΤΙΓΡΑΝΟΥ ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΦΙΛΗΕΛΛΕΝΟΣ probably represent early issues of Tigranes (II) the Great before he assumed the title King of Kings (NC 146 [1986]: 63). This view was largely based on the use of square, Parthian-style legends on the bronzes, but it is further supported by the artistic style (i.e., the flaps of the tiara still cover the ears, whereas the ears are uncovered on the issues of Artavasdes II and Tigranes V [really III?]; the drachm reverse is clearly related to a bronze type widely recognized as an issue of Tigranes II) and letter forms (especially Φ), which seem more appropriate to the early first century BC than to the post-Actian period. It is also probably no coincidence that the same titles were carried by Tigranes II’s contemporary Parthian enemy, Mithradates III (87–80 BC) (for the dating of this ruler and his relationship with Tigranes, see Assar, Parthica 8 [2006]: 69–75). Based on this evidence, it makes the most sense to agree with Foss in attributing the ANS drachm to Tigranes the Great rather than to Tigranes III. However, it is unclear what should be done with the two hemidrachms that Nercessian associates with the drachm. The a1-p1b specimen is almost completely illegible, while the fragmentary name or title on a1-p1a appears to be [?]ΗΡΑΝΟΣ rather than [Τ]ΙΓΡΑΝΟΥ. If none of these coins belong to Tigranes III, it then becomes possible to seriously consider the probability that two bronzes often attributed to Tigranes V are really issues of Tigranes III (for this suggestion, see RPC I, nos. 3841–3842).

The last silver series fully treated in the study is composed of drachms depicting the laureate portrait of Augustus on the obverse and the diademed head of a Great King Artavasdes, whom Nercessian identifies as Artavasdes IV (AD 4–6) without further comment. This attribution follows Bedoukian, but RPC I, 571, noting the use of the title ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ, raises the good possibility that the king in question is really Artavasdes III (5–2 BC), who was appointed by the emperor.

The didrachms and drachms of Germanicus struck at Cappadocian Caesarea (RPC I, nos. 3629–3630) to commemorate the establishment of Artaxias III as the Roman client-king of Armenia in AD 18 are described in the catalogue and illustrated in plates, but receive neither commentary nor die study on the grounds that this is beyond the scope of the book. This is fair enough, but one must wonder: why have these pieces been included at all? The coins were not minted in Armenian lands and Artaxias III was merely the throne name of Zenon of Pontus—no true scion of the Artaxiad house to begin with. The last true Artaxiad monarch was actually Tigranes IV, after whom Armenia was ruled by various unsatisfactory Roman and Parthian clients drawn from other Near Eastern dynasties. In any case, the Caesarean series was probably fairly limited. The authors of RPC I report only five didrachm specimens using a single obverse die and two drachms also with a single obverse.

Despite our disagreements in interpretation and some disappointment with the often recycled and sometimes banal discussion of the text, the die catalogues and good plates make Silver Coinage of the Artaxiad Dynasty of Armenia a necessary work for anyone dealing with the series. If used with care, the data it contains will certainly provide an important foundation for future and much needed study of ancient Armenian coinage.

—Oliver D. Hoover

Review: The Hibernia Coinage of William Wood

Sydney Martin. The Hibernia Coinage of William Wood (1722—1724). Ann Arbor, Mich.: C4 Publications, 2007. Hb. 492 pp., index, b/w illus. throughout. ISBN 13: 978-0-615- 15396. $85.00. Distributed by Charles Davis.

In the summer of 1722, the English iron and copper magnate William Wood obtained a patent from King George I to produce a copper coinage for cash-starved Ireland. Despite the very attractive design of the new Hibernia farthings and halfpence, their imposition on Ireland without the involvement of Irish Parliament led to an immediate and increasingly violent outcry against the coins. Thanks especially to the fiery rhetoric of the anonymous Drapier (a.k.a. Jonathan Swift), Wood’s coinage found little acceptance in Ireland, and by the summer of 1725 he had negotiated the return of the patent to the King.

Although the economic and historical interest of the series should be immediately evident from the preceding synopsis, and the artistic merit of the coins is undisputable, there has been very little detailed publication of the series. One might get the impression that even now, after so many decades, the poisoned pen of the Drapier still contributes to the marginalization of Wood’s Hibernia coinage. We are very fortunate that Sydney Martin has dared to stand up to Swift’s ghost and correct the centuries of relative neglect by producing an exhaustive die catalogue for the Hibernia coinage with historical and numismatic commentary.

The first chapter serves as an introduction to the life of William Wood and the history of his ill-starred attempt to strike a coinage for Ireland, while the second provides an overview of the production methods used for the Hibernia series. Here Martin shows that the unprecedented outcry against the coinage was fueled largely by politics and nascent Irish nationalism rather than by the specific defects of the coinage touted by Swift and others. He points out that the complaint that the coins were underweight and of bad metal was refuted by the trial of the pyx, but it is worth considering that the fiduciary nature of virtually all eighteenth-century British and European copper money (excepting Swedish plåtmynt) should have made these issues irrelevant in the first place. The value of the Hibernia coppers was dictated by the willingness of the royal government to accept them at face value. Such willingness was made clear by the payment of Irish troops in Hibernia coins and the order that they be accepted for taxes. With the backing of the government, Wood’s coinage was actually much more likely to retain its value than the many merchant tokens that normally passed for money in Ireland.

The author believes that there was some merit to the objection that Wood’s coinage would flood the notoriously cash-starved Irish economy with more money than it could use and thus drive out what little gold and silver there was. This might have been a reasonable fear if Wood had filled the entire order for £40,000 worth of Hibernia coppers, but he does not appear to have done so. Martin later offers a rough estimate of the total production of the Hibernia series at 1,595,000 farthings and 6,710,000 halfpence, based on the known dies. These numbers are fully supported if we apply the more statistically sound Carter/Esty method of estimating the total number of original dies (see W. Esty, “How to Estimate the Original Number of Dies and the Coverage of a Sample,” NC 166 [2006]: 359–364). Using this method, there were probably 28.4 to 33.5 original farthing obverse dies and 125.8 to 137.8 halfpence dies. Taking the highest die estimates and assuming (as does Martin) a maximum of 50,000 coins per die (probably much too high), Wood would have struck something in the neighborhood of 1,700,000 farthings and 6,900,000 halfpence. All of this would have been worth a little more than a third of the £40,000 that Wood was authorized to produce. Clearly there was no flooding of the Irish economy actually going on.

Finally, the author uses cost analysis to show the baseless nature of the accusation that Wood was unfairly profiting at the expense of the Irish people. Indeed, it is convincingly argued that if anything, Wood’s production of coinage for Ireland operated at a loss. Somewhat less convincing, however, is the theory that once Wood realized that he had embarked upon a losing venture he consciously tried to incite the Irish protesters in the hope that the king would take back the patent (p. 14, n. 46). While this is not entirely impossible, it seems rather unlikely, especially in the absence of any supporting documentary evidence. Such recourse would have been unnecessary, for as Martin points out himself, the chain of bribery that led to Wood’s acquisition of the patent probably gave him enough blackmail material to force its return in the end.

Each of the two Hibernia denominations receives its own catalogue, which treats obverse and reverse dies separately. Martin’s catalogue entries are remarkable for their level of detail and can easily be held up as a model for how dies of early modern coinages ought to be described. Each entry provides all the necessary diagnostic information for identifying known dies and documents changes to their appearance over their period of use. The descriptions of observed die states are extremely important, as the dies were somewhat poorly manufactured and heavily used. Die breaks often mar the designs, even in relatively early die states, while the letters of the legends are commonly distorted by bifurcation, especially in later states. Pitting from rust and sinking portions of dies also pose problems for identification.

Our only real criticisms of the farthing and halfpenny catalogues are related to minor inconsistencies in the descriptions. For example, many of the coin images that accompany the catalogue entries show clear bifurcation of the letters (i.e., farthings 3.5 and 3.18, and halfpence 4.82, 7.1, 9.1, etc.), but this feature is mentioned only occasionally (i.e., farthing 2.1). Likewise, there is some inconsistency in the use of terminology to describe die states between the catalogue and the labels given to the illustrations. The labels use IDS, MDS, and LDS (Initial, Early, and Late Die State), but the catalogue never refers to the middle die state, instead referring to two phases of a later die state. Still, any confusion caused by these mixed designations is easily remedied by the detailed descriptions of the die states in the entries.

Several dies and varieties presented in the catalogues are worthy of some brief special mention. Some dies have unexpected pellets between and within letters (i.e., farthing reverse Bb.4, halfpenny obverse 4.49). The purpose of these features is never fully explained by Martin, but one wonders whether they might represent marks initially put into the dies as a means of laying out the design before the device and letter punches were applied. These pellets are all roughly the same size as the prominent centering marks visible on many of the obverse and reverse dies, which marks the author discusses. Likewise, the “eyebrow” mark above the initial stop of halfpenny reverse Bc.1 gives a greater impression of a layout mark rather than of an erasure of a blundered stop, while a similar mark at the elbow of Hibernia on Gb.5 and below H in the legend of Gc.18 also look like possible positioning aids.

The halfpenny obverse 4.36 is an interesting example of a die that has received a weak portrait type from its hub, thereby giving King George an uncharacteristic flowing hairstyle. If not for the other coins clearly showing that the ends of the king’s curls were included in the hub, one might conclude from this piece that they were intended to be completed by hand and that die 4.36 was unfinished. Halfpenny obverse 4.49 involves apparently re-engraved hair at the nape of the king’s neck, which may possibly correct a similar case of poor hubbing.

Three farthing patterns and one halfpenny pattern are also included in the catalogues. These have not always been accepted by all authors as proper issues of the Hibernia coinage. However, two of the farthing patterns are certainly related to the main Hibernia series (5.1-G.1 and 5.1-H.1), as they share the 1724 Hibernia farthing reverse die G.1. Interestingly, the exceptionally animated treatment of the hair on the farthing obverse dies 4.1 and 5.1 and halfpenny obverse 9.2 also connects these patterns to Wood’s 1724 Rosa Americana patterns (see Breen, Encyclopedia, nos. 99–103). The situation is less clear where the farthing 4.1-F.1 is concerned, because there is actually no clear link to the Hibernia series either through the obverse portrait or the reverse type. Martin describes the latter as a depiction of Hibernia with a shield, staff (scepter), and orb, rather than her usual harp, but this seems rather unlikely. It is far more probable that this anepigraphic reverse type represents Britannia, not least because the shield upon which she rests is blazoned with a rose and thistle entwined—obvious emblems of England and Scotland, respectively. If this farthing pattern does indeed depict Britannia and is a true Wood production, then we must wonder whether he might have schemed at obtaining a patent to strike coins for England as well as for Ireland and the American colonies. The pattern farthing reverse H.1, which is sometimes muled with the Hibernia pattern reverse G.1, also tends to imply a planned English farthing coinage. Its type features a crossed trident and scepter with the legend UNUS UTROQUE REGIT (“One [king] reigns everywhere”), clearly alluding to the British overseas empire. The type also appears on the halfpenny pattern 9.2-P.1 and is derived from a 1628 shilling pattern of Charles I. The 1724 date of this pattern is intriguing, as this was the same year that English regal copper ceased production. Regal farthings and halfpence were not issued again until 1730. Perhaps G.1 (and F.1, which seems to embody the same idea of British imperial power) was produced in a failed attempt to win a patent that would have filled the void between 1724 and 1730.

The catalogues (and the rest of the text) are supported by superb black-and-white coin illustrations that reveal the full beauty of the types as well as the smallest defects that appeared on the dies during the course of striking. Neil Rothschild, a coin photographer whose skillful use of lighting and quality of imaging borders on the legendary within the American colonial numismatic community, produced most of the illustrations. Because the coins are generally depicted at 2.5 times actual size and more than one die state is often shown, students of the Hibernia series should have little difficulty locating the diagnostic features of individual dies described in the catalogue entries.

A final chapter discusses the Hibernia coinage in its secondary area of circulation in the American colonies. This is only appropriate, since the book represents the fourth volume produced by the Colonial Coin Collectors Club. Martin does an excellent job of presenting the find evidence for the coppers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, and Nova Scotia. However, his data (170 coins) should be supplemented by one halfpenny (1723) from East Moriches, Long Island (NY), and a “large hoard” from Boston (“Old Coins Unearthed,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 25, 1898, 4; J. Colburn, “English Coins Struck for the American Colonies, Coins Issued by the Several States and by the Federal Government Previous to the Establishment of the Mint in 1792,” Historical Magazine 1, no. 10 [October 1875]: 300; information courtesy of John Kleeberg). The suggestion that the Hibernia coppers may have come to North America in part through the machinations of speculators after virtual demonetization in Ireland seems very plausible, especially in light of the example provided by Mark Newby and the St. Patrick halfpence in the later seventeenth century.

As an interesting addendum to the extensive find evidence for American circulation, the author also charts the history of the Hibernia coinage as a series recognized by collectors as “colonial.” Based on a review of early American and English sale catalogues, it is shown that the coppers were probably elevated to “colonial” status shortly after 1861, when W. C. Prime published them in Coins, Medals, Seals, Ancient and Modern as issues sent to America.

In addition to the main text and catalogue, Martin also includes five appendices. The first and probably most unusual of these deals with curiosities related to the Hibernia series. Highlights include an oversize “rock” halfpenny with the added edge legend LOOK UNTO THE ROCK WHENCE YE ARE HEWN, a tube for storing farthings passed down through Wood’s descendants, Peter Rosa’s equipment for manufacturing Hibernia replicas, and a halfpenny converted into a nail (?). Equally interesting but somewhat less odd are the countermarks that sometimes appear on the halfpence of 1723.

In appendix B, the author presents a new grading methodology, with detailed enlargements to depict every wear grade from AG 3 to UNC, while appendix C gives rarity estimates for the Hibernia series. These estimates are based on the frequency with which individual varieties appeared in the eight major private collections surveyed by Robert Vlack in 1975, plus the material in the American Numismatic Society and British Museum cabinets, as well as the collections of John J. Ford and the author. A concordance between Martin’s varieties and the taxonomies found in the earlier works of Vlack, Philip Nelson, Don Taxay, and Walter Breen is given in appendix D. Because of its clarity and relative simplicity, there is little doubt that the new Martin identification schema will ultimately supersede all of these.

The final appendix reproduces contemporary documents related to the introduction of and public outcry against the Hibernia coinage. Most of these items are drawn from contemporary newspapers, but also included are the lyrics to Charles Shadwell’s song in praise of the Drapier and the music for Turlough O’Carolan’s “Squire Wood’s Lamentation on the Refusal of His Halfpence.” Now specialists in Wood’s coinage have access to something they have long needed: an appropriate tune to hum while looking at coins and poring over die charts. Hopefully some enterprising numismatist/musician will do the great favor of recording the O’Carolan piece for those of us who are musically illiterate.

The Hibernia Coinage of William Wood represents a major step forward in our understanding of Wood’s failed Irish coinage and provides a model to which all privately published numismatic works should aspire. No doubt it will inspire a much greater interest in the Hibernia coinage than the series has previously tended to enjoy in North America and will serve as a stable foundation for future study. If he were alive today, we can imagine that Swift would be singularly incensed by this worthy attempt to rehabilitate the Hibernia coppers for modern numismatists. Perhaps the book might have elicited an eighth letter from the Drapier. Nevertheless, we look forward to Martin’s next foray into the world of William Wood, in a planned book on the Rosa Americana coinage, which was greeted with almost as much enthusiasm in the American colonies as the Hibernia series was in Ireland.

—Oliver D. Hoover

Review: The Joint Expedition to Caesarea Maritima

Jane DeRose Evans. The Joint Expedition to Caesarea Maritima Excavation Reports, Volume VI: The Coins and the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Economy of Palestine. Boston: The American Schools of Oriental Research, 2006. Hb. 240 pp., 2 indices, 4 b/w and 4 color plates. ISBN 0-89757-074-X. $84.95.

Herod the Great, the client-king of Judaea under Augustus, is infamous in Jewish, Christian, and pagan Roman literature for his paranoid fear of being overthrown by relatives and children, a fear that resulted in the murder of several heirs and the tradition of the Slaughter of the Innocents. On the subject of this behavior, which almost cost him his kingdom, Caesar Augustus is said to have remarked ironically that he would rather be Herod’s pig than his son (Macrobius Saturnalia 2.4.11). Thankfully, the expression of Herod’s megalomania was not limited to bloodshed alone—as Augustus must have known, or he would have had him deposed—but also manifested itself in more positive ways. Not least among the latter was the extensive building program Herod instituted to adorn his own kingdom and other cities of the Roman Near East. After the refurbishment of the Temple, which by all accounts (even those generally hostile to the king) was spectacular, the jewel of Herod’s architectural achievements was his foundation of Caesarea Maritima on the site of the old port of Strato’s Tower.

The present book by Jane Evans is the sixth volume chronicling the finds from the exploration of Herod’s showcase city conducted by the Joint Expedition to Caesarea Maritima (JECM) from 1971 to 1987, and it looks at the physical remains of the wealth (2,734 coins) that once passed through it. Over the course of two chapters and a catalogue, the author presents the finds and attempts to use them to answer various numismatic and historical problems as well as to interpret Caesarea’s place within the larger context of coin circulation in the ancient Near East.

One of the perennial questions about Caesarea is the foundation date for the pre-Herodian settlement at the site. Evans rightly points out that the current numismatic evidence does not strongly support the influential view that Strato’s Tower was founded in the fourth century by Abdaštart I of Sidon (see R. Stieglitz, “Strato’s Tower and Demetrias Again: One Town or Two?” in Caesarea Papers II, ed. K. Holum, A. Raban, and J. Patrich [Portsmouth, R.I., 1999], 359–360). The only fourth-century coin from the site is a bronze of Aeolian Cyme (no. 1), which the author suggests may have arrived decades later than c. 350–320 BC, its probable period of issue. This view is supported by the contents of the Ascalon 1988 hoard (CH IX, 548), which was closed in c. 100 BC but included fourth-century bronzes of western Asia Minor.

While Evans recognizes the numismatic evidence as a potential argument e silentio against a fourth-century foundation for Strato’s Tower, the coins seem to offer a more positive argument for settlement in the late third, or, perhaps more likely, early second century BC. Excluding the Cyme piece, a possible (but not illustrated) issue of Antiochus I, and a third-century bronze of Side that probably came to the site in the context of the Seleucid conquest of Phoenicia and Coele Syria in 202–195 BC (see D. T. Ariel, “Coins from the Synagogue at Korazim,” in Z. Yeivin, ed. The Synagogue at Korazim: The 1962–1964, 1980–1987 Excavations [Jerusalem, 2000], 35), no fully attributable coins date before the reign of Ptolemy IV (222–204 BC). The sole identifiable Ptolemaic coin in the catalogue is attributed to Ptolemy V (no. 43), but see C. Lorber, “The Last Ptolemaic Bronze Emission of Tyre,” INR 1 (2006): 17–18, for the probability that it belongs to Ptolemy IV. Two other uncertain Ptolemaic coins of the same type and module (nos. 383–384) most likely belong to this same Tyrian series of Ptolemy IV, although issues of Ptolemy II or Ptolemy III cannot be ruled out in the absence of illustrations. If the Ptolemaic coins all belong to Ptolemy IV, then there is a remarkable absence of coins not only for the fourth century but also for the bulk of the third century as well. On the basis of the great dearth of coins from the fourth and third centuries BC and the sudden appearance of relatively numerous issues of Antiochus III struck in the aftermath of the Fifth Syrian War, it is tempting to think that Strato’s Tower might have been a Seleucid foundation of the early second century. Unfortunately, there are no JECM finds that can help with the controversy over whether Strato’s Tower was refounded as Demetrias by the Sea in the mid-second century BC (see A. Kushnir-Stein, “The Predecessor of Caesarea: On the Identification of Demetrias in South Phoenicia,” in J. H. Humphrey ed., The Roman and Byzantine Near East [Ann Arbor, 1995], 9–14; O. Hoover, “A Seleucid Coinage of Demetrias by the Sea,” INR 2 [2007]: 77–87).

For the Seleucid period at the site, the author notes a shift under Antiochus IV from Antioch and Tyre to nearby Ake-Ptolemaïs as the primary supplier of coin, but this appears to be an artifact of her use of somewhat outdated attributions for the Seleucid coins (all come from A. Houghton, Coins of the Seleucid Empire in the Collection of Arthur Houghton [New York, 1984]). The four small bronzes of Antiochus III with standing Apollo reverse (nos. 9–12) that she attributes to Antioch may very well be from Ake-Ptolemaïs, which is now known to have operated as a subsidiary of Antioch and whose products are commonly found in Israel (A. Houghton and C. Lorber, “Antiochus III in Coele Syria and Phoenicia,” INJ 14 [2002]: 49–50). Three small serrate bronzes of Antiochus IV with Apollo seated on omphalos reverse (nos. 14–16) have also been reattributed to the mint of Ake-Ptolemaïs on the basis of find evidence (SNG Spaer 1108–1129). This means that only six (perhaps seven, see below) Seleucid coins of Antioch—each of a different king—are known from the site and that Caesarea is more in line with other cities of the region in having Ake-Ptolemaïs as their primary source of coinage. The case of Tyre is especially interesting, because the Caesarea finds (nos. 40–42, 44–50) illustrate both the importance of the city as a regional mint under the Seleucid kings and the continuation of this status in the Roman period (nos. 51–67). It is also notable that the same Antioch types of Alexander I, Alexander II, and Antiochus VII found at Caesarea (nos. 18–20) also occurred in the Northern Israel 2002 hoard, which was primarily composed of small bronzes of Antiochus III and Antiochus IV from Ake-Ptolemaïs (see CH X, forthcoming).

Before leaving the Seleucid material, it is necessary to mention two historical errors and an attribution mistake that have somehow crept in. On page 31, Ptolemy I’s seizure of Phoenicia and Coele Syria from Laomedon of Mytilene in 320 BC is identified as the First Syrian War, although this title is normally reserved for the conflict between Antiochus I and Ptolemy II in 274–271 BC. The author also succumbs to the old view that Seleucus IV faced severe financial difficulty as a result of the Peace of Apamea. This interpretation has been shown to fail in light of the hard economic evidence for the king’s reign (see G. Le Rider and A. Houghton, “Les ressources financiéres de Séleucos IV (187–175) et le paiement de l’indemnité aux Romains,” in Essays in Honour of Robert Carson and Kenneth Jenkins [London, 1993], 49–67). Much as the removal of Laomedon and the finances of Seleucus IV have been misinterpreted, so too has a poorly preserved bronze with cornucopia reverse (no. 7). In the catalogue it is tentatively described as a new example of a unique hemidrachm of Antiochus IX. However, the coin’s diameter (16mm), weight (2.46g), and the fact that it is made of bronze all conspire to make this identification impossible. One wonders whether the coin might not actually be an Antioch issue of Demetrius II (SNG Spaer 1613), which employs a cornucopia of similar type to that found on the Antiochus IX hemidrachm and would fit the diameter and weight criteria. Unfortunately, the coin in question is not illustrated in the plates.

As only six Hasmonaean coins serve to represent the late second and the bulk of the first centuries BC at the site, the author makes the good point that this may be evidence for abandonment and for Josephus’s remark that Strato’s Tower was “worn out” when Herod adopted it as the site for Caesarea Maritima. The gap in finds of Tyrian coins, which extends into the early second century AD, also supports this interpretation and is remarkable considering the general importance of Tyre as a regional coin supplier. Evans’ useful discussion of the Herodian and procuratorial issues that abound at the site touches on the controversial question of dating the transference of minting from Jerusalem to Caesarea Maritima. She is probably right to see the mint of Caesarea open with the large module bronzes of Agrippa I with Hellenizing types and to attribute all prutot to Jerusalem. The presence of six Greek and Latin inscribed provincial Judaea Capta types of Titus and Domitian (nos. 88–93) among the finds may tend to support the view that these coins were indeed Caesarea mint products and not struck elsewhere, as has been suggested (K. Butcher, review of Roman Provincial Coinage. Supplement I and Volume II. SNR 79 [2000]: 203).

Notable Roman provincial finds include a new type combination for Trajan at Dora (no. 70) and a previously unknown combination of a Salonina portrait obverse with a Gallienus hexastyle temple reverse at Tyre (no. 62). Among the imperial coins was found an apparently unpublished antoninianus variant of Maximian’s CONCORDIA MILITVM series from the Cyzicus mint (no. 476). The separate discoveries of nineteen countermarked bronzes primarily of Caesarea under Domitian are also important as they serve to confirm the suspicion that several male-head countermarks (GIC 115, 133, and 135) were applied in Caesarea. Two variants of this countermark type can now be added to Howgego’s corpus, as can a new countermark featuring a standing female figure (the Tyche of Caesarea?) applied to a Caesarean coin of Diadumenian (no. 114).

Especially interesting for the Roman period is the author’s attempt to use the presence of “foreign” coins such as the antoninianus of the British usurper Carausius (no. 481) and coins of the Axumite Kingdom (most likely fifth-century imitations from Egypt) (nos. 375–382) and Vandalic Carthage (nos. 1777–1881) as a possible sign of the continued functionality of Caesarea’s port. Evans acknowledges that the date of the harbor’s closure is disputed on the basis of the physical remains, but the relatively large quantities of North African coins combined with the evidence of imported pottery from this region in the late fifth and early sixth centuries AD appear to make a case for a late closure. On the other hand, a similarly strong presence of Axumite and Vandalic types at other inland sites may indicate the importation of small change for regional use and therefore makes it difficult to draw inferences from the finds about the harbor at Caesarea (see G. Bijovsky, “The Currency of the Fifth Century CE in Palestine—Some Reflections in Light of the Numismatic Evidence,” INJ 14 [2002]: 196–210).

For the most part, the Byzantine finds at Caesarea follow patterns similar to those reported for Jerusalem and Sardis and exhibit the same absence of postreform folles of Justinian I known from other sites in Palestine. A good explanation for this gap still remains to be found. Particularly notable among the Byzantine coins are thirty-two folles (mostly issues of Maurice Tiberius and Heraclius) countermarked with the monogram of Heraclius, which now confirms the suspicion that the countermarks were applied in Palestine and probably at Caesarea. On the basis of the dated Heraclian pieces, Evans argues that the countermarks were probably applied to revalidate older coins beginning in c. 630–634 as an emergency means of paying the army during the ongoing conflict with the Islamic Arabs. If this interpretation is correct, as seems likely, we would also add that the true severity of the financial situation facing Heraclius might be gauged by the fact that both official issues and imitations were countermarked. An Heraclian monogram countermark (Hahn type 1a) appears on an imitation purporting to be a follis of Theupolis (Antioch) (See P. Pavlou, “A Byzantine Countermark on a ‘Follis’ Bearing the Mint Signature of Theupolis (Antioch),” ONS Newsletter 127 [1990/1]: 357–358). Three other Heraclian pieces with rare eagle countermarks that were almost certainly applied in Egypt are also notable. As Evans notes, their presence combined with the large influx of Alexandrian dodecanummia and hexanummia at Caesarea in AD 613–618 (nos. 2678–2680, 2683–2706) lend strong support to Hahn’s iconographic arguments for dating the Egyptian countermarking to c. 613–617.

The material ends with five Arab-Byzantine fulus of the seventh century AD, which might be worth further investigation. While they all might very well be typical pseudo-Byzantine types as the bald descriptions imply, one wonders whether the small-diameter (13mm) three emperors standing fals (no. 2730) might potentially be an Umayyad “imperial image” issue from the mint of Tabariyya (Tiberias) (see S. Album and T. Goodwin, Sylloge of Islamic Coins in the Ashmolean I [Oxford, 2002], 88–89 and nos. 590–593). The coin, which is not illustrated in the plates, would need to be checked for any remains of the Greek or Arabic mint name for confirmation. Likewise, the low weight (2.51g) and small diameter (20mm) of a facing bust fals raise the possibility that it is an Umayyad “imperial image” coin from the mint of Hims (Emesa) (see Album and Goodwin 2002, 85 and nos. 538–558), but again it would be necessary to look for evidence of the Arabic mintmark to be sure. A Constans II follis described as coming from an uncertain mint (no. 2727) might be better classed as a pseudo-Byzantine piece. Its somewhat crude style and corrupt legend (the usual ANEOS to the right of the denomination mark has become IMEO) indicate that it is an imitation of Constans’ ubiquitous Constantinopolitan series. The surviving numeral in the exergue suggests an issue of year 6 (AD 646/7) as the likely prototype.

The author wisely warns against the all too frequent attempts to use coin-loss data as an index of prosperity, noting, for example, that increased deposition during the runaway inflation of the later third century AD suggests a relationship between loss and devaluation rather than increased wealth. In reaching this conclusion, the author echoes the serious concerns about interpreting coin deposition recently expressed by Kevin Butcher (“Small Change in Ancient Beirut,” Berytus 45–46 [2001–2002]: 31–36). Nevertheless, she occasionally slips back into prosperity-index mode when she links some increases in coin loss with known periods of construction and affluence at Caesarea (i.e., in AD 100–130s and 346–363). Evans also breaks some new ground by using Annual Average Coin Loss statistics (a methodology normally employed for western European sites) in order to make more meaningful quantitative and chronological comparisons between the finds at Caesarea to those of some twenty other sites in Palestine, Phoenicia, Syria, and western Asia Minor. Hopefully this useful methodology will be added to the interpretive arsenals of others presenting coin finds from Near Eastern sites in future. The Annual Average Coin Loss statistics for Caesarea are reinforced by the results of the chi-square test presented in appendix 2. However, we would question the utility of developing a profile for finds at a “normal” eastern city. When coin deposition may be driven by social forces within individual communities as much as by accident, how can a general concept of “normalcy” have much meaning? Indeed, one wonders whether the use of labels like “normal” might not inadvertently create red herrings for comparative archaeology.

In addition to the main discussion of the find coins and the comparison between sites, Evans also includes two appendices. The first is an excellent republication (with corrections and new commentary) of the 1993 Caesarea hoard of ninety gold solidi (closed c. AD 395) found in the socket of a grinding stone, while the second contains the chi-square test for Caesarea, as mentioned above.

The catalogue lists all of the coins from the fourth century BC to the sixth century AD excavated by JECM between 1971 and 1987, but the arrangement of some of the material is not as user friendly as it might be. For example, rather than presenting the Seleucid and Ptolemaic coins by ruler as in many other excavation reports, they are listed by mint before the autonomous and provincial issues of the cities in question. This arrangement is a little problematic, because it tends to widely separate coins identifiable by dynasty, but not by ruler or type, from the other related issues and because, as we have seen, some of the mint attributions are not absolute for these rulers. The listing by mint is also hampered by the placement of some cities under peculiar geographical headings. The Galilean city of Gaba is inexplicably located under the heading for Syria rather than under Galilee, while the Syrian metropolis of Antioch ad Orontes [sic] does not appear under Syria proper but under Coele Syria. Damascus, on the other hand, is listed under Syria, when it is properly speaking a city of Coele Syria.

Four black-and-white plates depict general finds from the site and are of very good quality, even if the coins illustrated therein are less than pristine specimens and the images are occasionally rotated at odd angles (i.e., 25, 358, 2651, etc.). It is a little disappointing that only plate 1 plus the first row of plate 2 are devoted to the Hellenistic and Roman provincial issues, but specialists will certainly appreciate the inclusion of many specimens that were probably countermarked at Caesarea and the new provincial types of Trajan and Salonina. The remainder of plate 2 is taken up with examples of the Roman imperial, Vandalic, and Axumite finds, while the final two plates illustrate Byzantine finds, especially those with Heraclian countermarks. The color plates illustrating the Caesarea gold hoard are excellent both for their detail and their capture of the great beauty of the material. One can almost feel the warmth of the solidi glowing on the page.

Like the stone markers that indicate the stages of the road built by the Tenth Legion to connect Caesarea with the inland cities of Judaea, The Coins and the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Economy of Palestine marks an important new step in the development of our understanding of southern Levantine coin finds. Although caution must be used with respect to some of the Hellenistic material, Evans has presented much new data that will certainly help to pave the way for future study of the economy at Caesarea Maritima and in the surrounding region.

—Oliver D. Hoover

Archivist’s News (Spring 2008)

June 23, 1922. The waiter from the Metropole, one of London’s most fashionable hotels, hurried to find his manager. He had just returned from the room of J. Sanford Saltus, where he was supposed to serve breakfast. Something was amiss, however—the door to Mr. Saltus’s bedroom was locked, and he did not respond to the waiter’s calls.


Hotel Metropole, 1908. ANS Archives.

The elderly philanthropist was well known to the hotel’s staff, having been a frequent guest for more than ten years. This time he had arrived about a week earlier and had last been seen the previous evening around nine o’clock, when he had requested a ginger ale and retired to his room.

After speaking with the waiter, the hotel’s manager ordered a porter to break into the bedroom. Inside, a grim scene confronted the staff: the partially disrobed, lifeless body of Saltus. Severe burn marks covered two fingers on his right hand. On a dressing table near the corpse were two glass tumblers, both containing unidentified clear liquids, at least one of which presumably was the ginger ale he had requested the previous evening. On the floor next to the table was an empty packet labeled “cyanide of potassium.” Also on the table was a cablegram that read: “Letters received. Great surprise and honor. Am happy but now well, and will go to sanitorium [sic]. Let us remain true friends for the present. There’s no one but you. Be cheerful and hold your own. Love, Estelle.” It was a scene that would have confounded Sherlock Holmes: A dead benefactor, no signs of a struggle, the doors locked from the inside. What had occurred, a suicide or some terrible accident?

John Sanford Saltus had been born in 1853, almost sixty-nine years earlier, in New Haven, Connecticut, to a well-established New York family. He was the only son of Theodore Saltus, the founder of the Saltus Steel Company, from whom John Sanford inherited his great wealth.

As a boy, Saltus attended at least briefly the Anthon Grammar School in New York City. (Coincidentally, the school’s founder, William Henry Anthon, was the brother of the ANS President at the time, Charles Anthon.) Otherwise, Saltus was educated at home by private tutors because of his “delicate constitution.” Perhaps as a result of this solitary upbringing, Saltus developed a deep shyness that lasted throughout his life—even in adulthood he was described as living in “semi-seclusion” in a New York City hotel. The result, as a colleague would later note, was that Saltus had “a certain bashful, embarrassed timidity, that until you got to know him intimately made him appear as lacking in social instinct and provincial in his thoughts.”

Saltus was a colorful character—a “modern romantic,” according to an obituary—with varied interests. A lover of the “lost cause” of the Confederacy, Saltus acquired the first known Confederate half-dollar, which he donated to the ANS, and the die from which the Confederacy’s silver coins were struck. The latter he donated to the New Orleans Museum.


J. Sanford Saltus, 1911. Courtesy Salmagundi Club, N.Y.

Saltus was a skilled fencer. As a longtime member of the Fencers’ Club of New York, he established the Saltus Cup award in 1905 to honor champion fencers, an award still presented today to the winners of a national U.S. fencing competition. Saltus longed to be an artist and studied painting briefly at both the Art Students’ League in New York and the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, although he does not appear to have had any success or even exhibited any of his works. Instead, Saltus devoted much of his life—and inherited fortune—to supporting the arts, founding prizes at the National Academy of Design (in 1908), École des Beaux Arts (in 1910), and Art Students’ League. In 1913, he endowed the ANS award that bears his name. In time, Saltus would be named an officer of France’s Legion of Honor because of his patronage of the arts.

Saltus was also an avowed Francophile. He commissioned statues of Joan of Arc in New York City and New Orleans; in France in Nice, Blois, Rouen, and Domrémy; and in England at Winchester Cathedral—all anonymously or through fictitious “Joan of Arc committees.” “Wherever we find a touch of pure romance,” noted one of Saltus’s eulogizers, “search and you are apt to discover John Sanford Saltus standing a little to one side and paying the bills.”

Saltus was equally passionate about the fate of the lost Dauphin, Louis XVII, and amassed an extensive library on the subject, which he subsequently donated to the Salmagundi Club, of which he was a member. (It was said that as a result of the donation, the club’s library had the largest collection in the United States of material regarding the Dauphin, at that time.) While at the Salmagundi Club, Saltus also was able to indulge in his love of costumes, appearing at the club’s annual parties adorned in the garb of the likes of King Lear. Similarly, he was regularly seen in costume in Nice during Carnival.


Saltus in Carnival constume, undated.

In the 1880s Saltus married Medora Hubbell, a fellow artist, and settled down to life in the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City, with periodic trips abroad, typically to France. He joined the ANS as a life member in 1892 and quickly became one of its more active members, serving in a number of capacities: from 1897 to 1898, he was Second Vice President, and from 1900 to 1905, Corresponding Secretary. He was also an avid proponent of the Society’s publications and medallic programs, serving on the Society’s publications committee from 1899 through 1905 (he chaired it from 1900 to 1904) and on its orders and decorations committee from its inception in 1901. In addition, Saltus provided a significant amount of funding for the Society’s efforts to commission commemorative medals, and he had a role in many if not most of the medals the Society issued starting in 1897 until his death.

By the start of the twentieth century, Saltus’s life appears to have been solidly structured. Everything changed, however, in 1906. That year began ordinarily enough with his election in January to the ANS’s newly formed governing Council. However, on March 19, Saltus wrote to the Society’s Secretary, Bauman Belden, stating that he needed to forego an upcoming meeting: “Mrs. Saltus has been very ill,” he wrote, “and I am much worried about her. She is a little better today in some ways, but I would not like to leave here at night.” A month later, Saltus’s beloved Medora was dead.

In early May, two days after he buried his wife, Saltus wrote again to Belden, this time resigning from all active responsibilities with the ANS (while still retaining his membership). “Think of it,” he wrote, “you have a wife who loves you, and who you love. I had one, but she is gone. It is awful to be alone.” Three months later, after complaining of being “ill and lonely,” Saltus fled to Paris. Saltus subsequently would be elected as Second Vice President of the ANS in January 1907, but remained steadfast in his refusal to accept governing responsibilities. That decision, however, did not prevent him from continuing to support the ANS. In addition to funding its medallic programs, he donated numerous objects. Indeed, at the time of his death it was estimated that he had donated more than 3,300 medals and decorations, 1,700 coins, and a similar number of pieces of paper money.

After the death of his wife, Saltus spent much of his time traveling in the United States and Europe. At the time of his own death, Saltus was visiting London to attend a meeting of the British Numismatic Society. (Saltus was a founding member of the BNS in 1903 and had served as Vice President from 1910 through 1921, although apparently without attending any meetings but one. In 1910, he had also donated the funds to the BNS to establish a medal award in his name.) Earlier in 1922, Saltus had been nominated to serve as the Society’s President—the first (and still only) American to be so honored. At their June 28 meeting, the BNS was planning to pay homage to the “Godfather of the Society,” as Saltus was known to its members.

Saltus arrived in London around June 14 and checked into the Hotel Metropole, as he had done many times before. On June 17, Saltus wrote to W. J. Andrews of the BNS about the June 28 meeting, enthusing that “the reception you are going to give me at our Society is like the Welcome to the Prince of Wales!” He also noted that he was planning to return to the United States sooner than expected, in about a month or so. Less than a week later, Saltus was found dead in his hotel room.


Program from BNS meeting Saltus was to attend on June 28, 1922. ANS Archives.

The contemporaneous newspaper accounts of Saltus’s death questioned whether it was suicide or some type of accident. Some of Saltus’s associates—at least those at the ANS—had doubts as to whether his death was truly accidental. John Reilly, the ANS Treasurer, was certain it was a suicide. “We were much shocked to read about Mr. Saltus’ peculiar demise,” Reilly wrote to Sydney Noe. “Poor man, he lacked the necessary equipment to keep a proper balance at all times. Maybe being president of several things bothered him.”

Given the circumstances of his death, a coroner’s inquest was immediately scheduled and an investigation begun. During the investigation it was confirmed that Saltus had died by ingesting cyanide. The cyanide itself Saltus had purchased only recently from a local druggist, although he apparently did not have the prescription, as required under British law. Witnesses gave conflicting statements regarding Saltus’s state of mind: one hotel official reported that he “seemed to be in very good spirits, and was enjoying excellent health,” while the hotel’s assistant manager testified that on the afternoon of his death Saltus had been “unusually agitated” over the death of Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, who had been assassinated on June 22 by IRA gunmen as he returned to his London home after dedicating a war memorial in the Liverpool Street Station. In addition, there was that mysterious cablegram from “Estelle” advising Saltus that the two of them would remain “true friends.” British officials knew the medical cause of death—cyanide poisoning—but the question remained: was Saltus’s death a tragic accident or, for some reason, suicide?

Further information emerged in the days following Saltus’s death. For instance, it was learned that the mysterious “Estelle” who had sent the cablegram was, in fact, Estelle Campbell, the widow of another prominent New Yorker. Saltus had known Campbell since they were children and apparently had proposed to her by cablegram about week before his death. Campbell told the press that “it was agreed that I should join him in Paris in the last week of July to prepare for our wedding there.” She also reported that shortly before his death he had cabled her “regarding a new collection of coins, in which he was deeply interested, and to which he referred as including ‘a great find.’” He had written, she said, that he was “the happiest man in the world.”


Estelle Campbell, July 1922.

Ultimately, the inquest reached its verdict: death by misadventure—essentially, death by accident. British papers reported that it was “the disclosure of his hobby [coin collecting] that gave the clue to the solution of the mystery” of his death. Saltus, it was reported, had purchased several coins shortly before he died. He was using the cyanide, it was said, to clean the coins. “It is believed,” one paper reported, “that, absorbed in his examination of the coins, he reached for a drink of the ginger ale without looking to see which glass he took,” and chose the glass with the cyanide by mistake. The mysterious burn marks on Saltus’s fingers were attributed to a last-minute realization of what he had done: the moment he realized his “fatal error,” Saltus “plunged his fingers into his throat to provoke sickness and so expel the poison,” with the result that the cyanide burned his fingers.

Even after the inquest’s official pronouncement, however, not all were convinced. “I thought of Mr. Saltus yesterday,” John Reilly wrote to Noe afterward. “Poor fellow. I wonder what really happened.” Reilly had good reason to wonder. At about the same time Reilly was writing to Noe, the Society’s curator, Howland Wood, received a letter from Rev. Milo Hudson Gates, a Fellow of the ANS and Rector of the Church of the Intercession, a church located across Broadway from the Society’s Audubon Terrace headquarters. Gates happened to be in London at a nearby hotel at the time of Saltus’s demise. As he explained to Wood: “I heard of Mr. Saltus’s death and went immediately to offer my services. They certainly were needed because the chances were at first very strong that the verdict would be Suicide. I attended the inquest and we were able to bring out so many facts against this theory that the Coroner’s verdict was ‘Death by Misadventure’. . . Mrs. Saltus [sic] alas, as of course you will know as well as I, has had a terrible blow. It was sad enough and tragic enough as it was, but what a tragedy it would have been if the Court had rendered a verdict of Suicide. I am very glad to have been able to help in preventing this.”


Rev. Milo Gates, 1938. Courtesy the Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of New York at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Saltus’s body was returned to New York City the next month, where funeral services were held at the Marble Collegiate Church on July 21. Saltus was buried in the Bronx’s Woodlawn Cemetery, alongside his beloved Medora. When his will was later submitted for probate, the court determined that at the time of his death Saltus was worth about $3.5 million dollars (about $41 million in 2006 dollars). Of this, a substantial amount was bequeathed to various causes, the most significant of which ($100,000) went to the Museum of French Art. Additional monies were distributed to various relatives. The single largest bequest ($500,000, or almost $6,000,000 in 2006 dollars) went to Estelle Campbell. Nothing was bequeathed to the ANS.

Did Saltus commit suicide? The case holds many unanswered questions. For example, if Saltus and Campbell had so recently become happily engaged, why did she cable him to suggest that they “remain true friends”? That does not sound like the language a newly engaged couple uses. Similarly, in his June 17 letter to the BNS’s W. E. Andrews, Saltus noted that he was planning on returning to the United States at the end of July—why would he do this if his fiancée was coming to Europe at the same time to plan their Paris wedding? Also, when one reviews the contemporaneous press accounts, although there are many detailed descriptions of Saltus’s room, none mention old coins either near the glass of cyanide or anywhere else in the room. The official inquest records have been lost, so there is no way to confirm exactly what was in the room. Ultimately, it may be impossible to say for certain whether Saltus did commit suicide due to an engagement gone bad, or if he simply met a tragic end because of poor eyesight and a love of coins.

News (Spring 2008)

The ANS Is Moving: March 1—September 1, 2008

The ANS is now preparing for the move to its new premises at One Hudson Square in the spring of 2008. As part of these preparations it will be necessary to pack the numismatic collections and library. Consequently, the library and collection will be unavailable to visitors until September 2008. The staff of the ANS will be working hard over the summer to install the library and collection into its new, purpose-built home. The new building will include a secure viewing area for coins, as well as a large, light new library. We aim to have these new spaces open for users by September 1, 2008.

For more information about the ANS relocation, see the feature article by Ute Wartenberg Kagan on page 49.

Contributions October 1, 2007 Through January 23, 2008

Grand Total: $762,758.99

GENERAL FUND: $315,762.37
General Contributions: $23,043.37
Mid Year Appeal 2007: $710
End of Year Appeal 2007: $27,835
Gala Sponsorships: $127,500
Gala Program: $4,800
Gala Roster: $5,925
Gala Dinner Tickets: $17,634
Gala Contributions: $6,755
Live Auction: $88,000
Silent Auction: $13,560
Gala Total: $314,174

RESTRICTED FUNDS: $446,996.62
Hudson Square Renovation Project: $300,000
Francis D. Campbell Library Chair: $7,620
Newell Publication Fund: $45,861.62
U.S. Chair: $75,000
Stack Family Coinage of the Americas Conference Fund: $27,000
Mark Salton Lecture Fund: $1,500
Harry Fowler Lecture Fund: $250
Islamic Curator Fund: $600
Roman Curator Fund: $15
Vault Tray Naming: $2,000
Colonial Newsletter Fund: $150

Contributors October 1, 2007 through January 23, 2008

$50,000 and over

Mr. Charles C. Anderson
Mr. Donald G. Partrick

$25,000 and over

Heritage Auction Galleries
Mr. Arthur A. Houghton III
The Stack Family

$5,000 and over

Dr. Lawrence A. Adams
Mr. Joel R. Anderson
Dr. Alain Baron NG
Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.
Mr. Tom Denly, Denly’s of Boston
Mr. Dick Eidswick
Prof. Ward Elliott
Mr. J. Eric Engstrom
Mr. Daniel M. Friedenberg
Mr. Dan Hamelberg
Mr. Daniel W. Holmes Jr.
Mr. Kevin Lipton,
Lipton Rare Coins
Mr. Greg Rohan
Mr. Greg Roberts,
Spectrum Numismatics
Ms. Laura Sperber,
Legend Numismatics
Anthony J. Terranova
Baron Lorne J. Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kaszon
Whitman Publishing

$2,500 and over

Mr. Jeffrey Benjamin
Dr. Gene Sherman
Dr. Arnold-Peter C. Weiss MD
Mr. George U. Wyper

$1,000 and over

Mr. John W. Adams
Mr. Thomas Bentley Cederlind
Ms. Muriel Eymery
Mr. Ira Goldberg
Mr. Jerome Haggerty
Prof. Kenneth W. Harl
Mr. Reed Hawn
Mr. David Hendin
Mr. Robert A. Kandel
The Leon Levy Foundation
Mr. Sydney F. Martin
Ms. Lottie Salton
Mr. Peter K. Tompa
Mr. John Wilkison

$500 and over

Mr. Richard M. Accola
The Arts Federation
Mr. Robert Brueggeman
Mr. William A. Burd
Mr. Thomas Eden
Dr. Jay M. Galst
Mr. David D. Gladfelter
Mr. Charles Hale
Mr. Raymond Huckles
Mr. George F. Kolbe
Mr. Frank L. Kovacs III
Mr. Herbert L. Kreindler
Dr. Hubert Lanz
Mr. Richard Margolis
Mr. James Mossman
Mr. Emilio M. Ortiz
Mr. Colin E. Pitchfork
Platt Byard Dovell White
Dr. Evangelos G. Poulos
R. M. Smythe & Co.
Mr. Jonathan P. Rosen
The Joseph Rosen Foundation
Mr. P. Scott Rubin
Dr. Stephen K. Scher
Dr. John Alan Seeger
Mr. David B. Simpson
Time Moving and Storage
Mr. David Enders Tripp
Mrs. Susan Gerwe Tripp
Mr. David L. Vagi
Mr. Frederic G. Withington
Mr. & Mrs. William Zifchak

$250 and over

Prof. Jere L. Bacharach
Dr. Francisca Bernheimer
Mr. Victor Failmezger
Mr. Bill Fivaz
Mr. Joseph C. Foster
Mr. & Mrs. Lucius Fowler
Mr. Chester L. Krause
Mr. Jerome Lacroix
Mr. Joseph R. Lasser
Mr. John Lorenzo
Prof. Thomas R. Martin
Mr. David Noyes
Mr. Richard Perricelli
Dr. Busso Peus
Dr. Ira Rezak
Mr. Wayne G. Sayles
Mr. Bruce W. Smith
Mr. Mark D. Tomasko

$100 and over

Mr. Gary Adkins
Mr. David Andreas
Mrs. Catherine Bullowa-Moore
Dr. Andrew M. Burnett
Dr. Osmund T. Chan
Mr. James Diracles
Dr. Donald Erlenkotter
Mr. Arthur M. Fitts III
Mr. Richard E. Gutman
Dr. Hakam Kayasseh
Dr. Daniel L. Koppersmith
Mr. Giovanni Mantia
Mr. Richard Mantia
Mr. Werner G. Mayer
Dr. Roger Addison Moore
Mr. Shimon Nussbaum
Dr. Joel J. Orosz
Dr. Luis R. Ponte
Mr. C. Barry Schaefer
Mr. Robert W. Shippee
Mr. Tim L. Shuck
Mr. Donald A. Squires
Mr. Brian R. Stickney
Mr. R. Tettenhorst
Mr. Kerry K. Wetterstrom
Hon. John Whitney Walter
Mr. Vicken Yegparian

Up to $100

Mr. Joseph J. Adamski
Mr. Stephen Album
Mr. Leonard Augsburger
Prof. Roger S. Bagnall
Mr. Allan Baldauf
Mr. Mark Baribault
Mr. Scott D. Barnes
Mr. Bruce D. Bartelt
Mr. Mitchell A. Battino
Mr. Robert P. Beaulieu
Mr. Richard M. Beleson
Mr. Allen Gary Berman
Bruce Biederbeche
Dr. William L. Bischoff
Col. Joseph E. Boling RET
Mr. Bary Bridgewater
Mr. H. Robert Campbell
Mr. Don Canaparo
Mr. Charles R. Carlson
Mr. Jesse Caruso
Mr. John F. Connell
Ms. Jan Carol Crenshaw
Ms. Elizabeth Currier
Dr. Lawrence E. Cutler
Mr. Joseph J. Daragan
Mr. Robert G. Doran
Mr. Donald H. Doswell
Mrs. Barbara Druck
Dr. David F. Fanning
Mr. Warren K. Fischer
Rev. William J. Fulco
Dr. George J. Fuld
Mr. Jeff Garrett
Prof. Peter P. Gaspar
Mr. C. Herbert Gilliland
Mr. Joseph Giordano
Mr. Kenneth Goldman
Mr. Jayseth Guberman
Mr. Leon Gurovich
Mr. Stephen Hassett
Mr. Randy Haviland
Mr. Jay Henn
Dr. M. Lamar Hicks
Mr. Eric Michael Hildebrant
Mr. Wayne K. Homren
Ms. Joanne Isaac
Jewish-American Hall of Fame
Mr. Robert W. Julian
Dr. Donald Kagin
Ms. Judith Kaller
Mr. Thomas F. Kirby Jr.
Prof. John H. Kroll
Prof. Hans Laufer
Prof. Frederick M. Lauritsen
Mr. James J. Manning
Dr. Henry F. Marasse
Mr. Donald Mark
Ms. Marsha Brooks McCoy
Dr. Marvin M. McNeil
Dr. Sewall H. Menzel
Metropolitan New York Coin Convention
Mr. Andrew E. Michyeta III
Mr. Scott Mitchell
Mr. Thomas A. Mulvaney
Col. William Bain Murray
Mr. Robert W. Norton
Mr. Michael D. Packard
Mr. W. David Perkins
Dr. Galen B. Ritchie
Dr. Agustin A. Rodriguez-Gonzalez
Ms. Jill Roszhart
Mrs. Margo Russell
Dr. Leon A. Saryan
Dr. James A. Schell
Mr. John Selig
Mr. Barry W. Stallard
Ms. Jeanne Stevens-Sollman
Mr. Peter Sugar
Mr. Scott A. Travers
University of Iowa Libraries
Mr. Joseph Uphoff
Mr. Siegfried von Schuckmann
Mr. Mel Wacks
Mr. Phelps Dean Witter
Dr. David J. Wolf MD

Long-Time Members

Twenty-Five-Year Members

Mr. Philip C. Aftoora
Mr. Efrain Archilla-Diez
Prof. Glen W. Bowersock
Mr. Alberto Campana Jr.
Mr. Robert P. Campbell
Dr. Martha Carter
Mr. Marc Davidson
Ms. Beth Deisher
Prof. Douglas Domingo-Foraste
Mr. Sheridan Downey III
Dr. Jane DeRose Evans
Mr. Harry J. Forman
Mr. Stafano Garbin
Mr. William G. Gay
Mr. Dennis G. Glew
Dr. Wolfgang Hahn
Mr. Thomas E. Higel
Mr. Stan Klein
Mr. Volker Kricheldorf
Mr. Eliot Lewiskin
Mr. Donald Mark
Mr. Jeffrey Oliphant
Mr. Emilio M. Ortiz
Dr. Andrea Saccocci
Mr. Christian Schaack
Mr. Carmen D. Valentino
Mr. Michael Weiskopf
Mr. Keith M. Zaner

Thirty-Year Members

Mr. Michel Bendenoun
Mr. George H. Brosi
Dr. Jay Lee Calesnick
Mr. George S. Cuhaj
Dr. Jay M. Galst
Mr. Richard Giedroyc
Mr. Francois Benoit P. Gurnet
Mr. Rich Hartzog
Mr. George N. His
Mr. Michael J. Hodder
Mr. Heinrich Ihl
Mr. Steven Ivy
Mr. Joseph A. Karnas
Mr. Charles Paul Karukstis
Mr. Daniel Kruger
Mr. William Maksudian
Prof. Thomas R. Martin
Mr. Eric J. McFadden
Mr. Paul E. Neupert
Dr. Maurizio Polisseni
Mr. Richard H. Ponterio
Mr. Harry J. Rescigno
Mr. Robert J. Rhue
Sackler Library
Ms. Teresa Sanchez-Latour
Smith College Library
Mr. Douglas E. Spangler Jr.
Vassar College Libraries

Forty-Year Members

Mr. Douglas B. Ball
Dr. Gregory Brunk
Mr. John P. Burnham
Mr. Walker Carlton
Mr. R. A. G. Carson
Mr. Paul D. Carter
Prof. Jane M. Cody
Mr. Richard Jay Crosby
Mr. Beverley Curtis
Dr. Garth Richard Drewry
Prof. Eugene Joseph Dwyer
Mr. Leslie A. Elam
Mr. Paolo Girardi
Prof. Adon A. Gordus
Mr. Patrick Dennis Hogan
Mrs. Silvia Mani Hurter
Mr. Robert W. Julian
Mr. Samuel Lachman
Dr. Brooks Emmons Levy
Mr. Arthur J. Mack Jr.
Mr. Robin S. McDowell
Mr. Peter D. Mitchell
Mr. Warren Lloyd Plumer
Professional Numismatists Guild
Mr. Edward Roehrs
Dr. Kolbjorn Skaare
Mrs. Hyla A. Troxell
Mr. Werner Uibeleisen
Universita degli Studi
University of Alberta
University of Western Australia
Emil Voigt
Mr. William B. Warden Jr.
Wheaton College Library
Mr. John A. White

Fifty-Year Members

Mr. David W. Armet
Mr. Q. David Bowers
Dr. Joan M. Fagerlie
Prof. Peter Robert Franke
Mr. Clifford L. Mishler
Mr. Richard W. Murrie
Mr. Michael J. Parris
Dr. Stephen K. Scher
Mr. Andreas A. Tsekouras
University of Washington Libraries
Dr. Tibor A. Vince
Mr. Walter J. Zimmerman

In this anniversary year, the ANS wishes to express its gratitude to its many extremely generous donors and long-time members. We hope that in the future you continue to support the development of our collections, conferences, educational seminars, print publications, and Internet resources.

From the Executive Director (Spring 2008)

Dear Members and Friends,

The American Numismatic Society is celebrating its 150th Anniversary. Not many institutions in the United States today can look at such a distinguished history. Despite the fact that millions of Americans collect state quarters or other coins, serious numismatic collecting and research as represented by the ANS is not that common. How, then, did a small club of dedicated collectors grow into such a large and internationally reknowned organization?

This issue of the ANS Magazine helps to answer that question by giving an overview of the history of the ANS and highlighting a few of the key personalities that helped to make the institution what it is today. Some are famous industrialists such as J. P. Morgan or Archer Huntington, who were coin collectors as well as major philanthropists. Many of the names in our history, however, are less familiar to the general public, though it is the names of these many collectors who have left amazing collections to the ANS that are remembered by numismatists to this day. (In addition, our Archivist, Joe Ciccone, has prepared a fascinating article about one of the ANS’s most colorful and generous individuals, J. Sanford Saltus.)

It is hard to understand the ANS’s recent history without realizing how rapid the collections have grown since the 1940s. Today, the collection comprises over 800,000 objects, larger than comparable collections in the British Museum or elsewhere. The U.S. system of tax deductions for donated objects or money has obviously helped American museums catch up with their European counterparts. Nevertheless, it is amazing to look at the individuals who so generously contributed their collections to the ANS. Often, it is not just individual coins but a coin collection that allows us to understand entire periods, economic patterns, or people. The ANS continues to acquire whole collections in a number of areas, and we hope that many members will consider donating to the ANS in the future. In this issue, we also highlight, decade by decade, some of the important gifts to the cabinet and acquisitions through purchase that have made the ANS cabinet the world-class repository of coins and related numismatic material that it is.

Over the next few months, the ANS will be closed. Our move to One Hudson Square (see page 49) is being scheduled for the late spring, and we are planning to reopen to the public in September. I am confident that members will greatly enjoy our new facilities, where we have put a much greater emphasis on facilities for members beyond the library and collection storage.

In addition, in this issue we bid farewell to our long-time librarian, Frank Campbell, who has been with the ANS for fifty years—a full third of the Society’s existence! I ask you to join me in wishing him a joyful retirement.

Sincerely,
Ute Wartenberg Kagan
Executive Director, ANS

Frank Campbell: An Appreciation of Five Decades of Service

by Rick Witschonke

ANS Head Librarian Francis D. Campbell, who turned sixty-five last year, has decided to retire, effective March 31, after an outstanding career at the Society spanning fifty years—fully one-third of the Society’s existence. Over that period, Frank has made many valuable contributions to the ANS, and he leaves as his legacy the foremost numismatic library in the world and a chair bearing his name.

In 1958, when Frank was in his junior year at Bishop DuBois High School in Washington Heights (Manhattan), two of his neighborhood friends told him about part-time jobs they had gotten working in the photography department at the ANS, and they encouraged Frank to apply for a job as well. As fate would have it, Frank was given the job of library assistant, and thus began his lifelong involvement with numismatic books. After graduating from high school in 1959, Frank was accepted at Fordham University, where he graduated in 1963 with a BS in Communication Arts. Throughout this period, Frank continued his part-time work at the ANS library, and upon graduation, he became a full-time employee. Frank worked under Head Librarian Dick Breaden (whom Frank describes as an “encyclopedic polyglot”) and Breaden’s assistant Geoffrey North. When Breaden left the ANS in 1966, North succeeded him as head librarian, and Frank was promoted to the position of assistant librarian. North was an excellent mentor and friend to Frank. As former Curator Richard Doty put it: “Frank and he [North] respected each other, and they got along extremely well. Geoff was a very gentle, very erudite individual.”

So when North suggested that Frank might benefit from a degree in library science, Frank took his advice, and in 1969 began taking classes at the Queens College School of Library and Information Studies. Frank was an excellent student, maintaining a 4.0 average and becoming a member of the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society. He graduated with a masters degree in library science in 1973. When North retired in 1975, Frank was offered his position, and he became the Society’s head librarian, a position he has held for thirty-three years.

Frank grew up in Washington Heights at a time when the neighborhood was a melting pot of Irish, Italian, Polish, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and African American families, and Frank’s friends included most of these ethnic groups. His father worked nights as a subway conductor, and Frank remembers that his clothes were always pressed and his cap shined as he went off to work. Frank has three sisters, all of them older. At the age of twelve, Frank was riding on a bike with a friend when they were hit by a bus. Frank was severely injured and remained in a coma for eleven days. He eventually recovered, but had to wear a brace on his leg for some time afterward. This perhaps explains why Frank never joined the excellent track team at Bishop DuBois High School, which he entered the following year. Instead, he turned more toward bookish pursuits, foreshadowing his ultimate choice of career. During this period, Frank became friends with an old gentleman who raised pigeons in a coop on the top of a garage on 168th Street. He would lure stray pigeons to his roof, then catch and sell them. Frank was fascinated, and he constructed a coop of his own inside the window of the second bathroom in his parents’ apartment, where he raised homing pigeons. Geoff North learned of Frank’s hobby and volunteered to take some of Frank’s pigeons with him when he vacationed in Vermont, then release them, so they could return to Frank’s apartment. Several times, Frank brought his pigeons to the ANS library and kept them there until North departed. Frank promises no feathers ended up in the books! In the mid-1960s, Frank was infected with wanderlust and hitchhiked to Los Angeles and later to Newfoundland. In the 1970s, Frank’s love of birds took him on Audubon Society birdwatching tours to South America and the Galapagos Islands.


Left: Frank camping, c. 1960s; Center: Frank in 1964 (photo by Joe Garcia); Right: Frank at the ANS library, c. 1970s.

About this time Frank first met his future wife, Rosa. She had immigrated from Puerto Rico in 1971 and was working at the Centro Esperanza, a community-services organization affiliated with Our Lady of Esperanza Church. Frank had always been a member of the church, and had even served as an altar boy. In 1970, he had become a member of the board of the Centro Esperanza, and through that position he met Rosa. In 1978, Frank moved into a wonderful bachelor apartment in Riverdale, with a fireplace and a lovely view of the Hudson. Frank and Rosa continued to date, and they married in 1984. In 1987, their son Geoffrey was born, named after Frank’s mentor and friend Geoffrey North. Geoff Campbell is now a junior at SUNY Binghamton, where he is one of the stars on the track team; during vacations, he often helps out at the ANS. And Rosa continues to work in the health services field. In 1993, Frank and Rosa purchased a home in Irvington, New York, where they currently reside.

When Frank took over as head librarian in 1975, the ANS already had a formidable numismatic library and a clear commitment to continued growth. However, parts of the library were in need of a major overhaul, and the entire record-keeping system was paper-based, employing a three-by-five-card catalogue of the library’s holdings as the primary means of searching for specific books or articles (as did most other libraries at the time). Short of visiting the Society and consulting the card catalogue itself, the only way the public could access the ANS library holdings was through the massive Dictionary Catalogue, which was basically a printed photocopy of the card catalogue.

Frank, of course, had extensive direct experience in cataloging numismatic works at the ANS, and he had also written reviews for ANS Numismatic Literature and the Library Journal. As early as 1970, he had prepared a report outlining the needs and future direction of the library. Over the years, the ANS had developed an excellent subject heading list tailored to a numismatic library. And the ANS, unlike most libraries, cataloged not only books but individual journal articles by author, title, and subject, providing a powerful search tool for scholars. But the subject heading list needed updating, so, in 1978, the ANS applied for and was awarded the first of three grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to make the list compatible with the Library of Congress cataloging system. The initiative finally concluded in 1987, with the production of the definitive “List of Subject Headings for Specialized Collections in Numismatics,” which ultimately included nearly 20,000 items. Throughout this period, the ANS had also been updating its card catalogue to conform to the revised subject headings, and this involved the modification of 75,000 cards. Given the fact that all of the library’s systems were paper based, it is not surprising that the entire project took a decade to complete. In 1991, Frank presented a paper summarizing the project and introducing the subject list at the Brussels International Numismatic Congress.

Leslie Elam, former ANS Executive Director, summarized the project this way: “Frank was forward-looking enough to see the need not only for standardized terminology but also for an integrated reference system that would provide detailed guidance to librarians preparing subject entries in the future.”

In 1983, while the subject-heading project was still in progress, the ANS engaged a consultant to design an automated system to replace all of the manual procedures employed at the time. By 1985, various automation options were being considered, and the ANS implemented a software package to assist with the subject-heading project. In 1997, a test group of library-catalogue entries was made available on the Society’s Web site, and by 2000, the entire card catalogue had been converted to a searchable database and made available online.

The driving force behind the Society’s automation initiatives was Harry Bass, ANS President from 1978 to 1984, and, while working together, a real bond of friendship formed between Frank and Harry. Even before his presidency, Bass showed a keen interest in the Society’s library. In 1970, Frank attended an American Library Association convention in Dallas: “When Harry heard I was heading his way, he extended a warm invitation to visit his home and inspect his library. He called his library the ‘Sanctum Sanctorum,’ and it was quite a treat for a then young librarian to be given a personal tour by Harry Bass. The year following my trip to Dallas, Harry established the Bass Library Fund, the income from which has been used ever since for library acquisitions.”

Frank was struck by the contrast in their backgrounds: the sophisticated billionaire Texas oil executive and the kid from Washington Heights who grew up with “doowop” music and stickball. Just as Breaden and North had done when Frank first joined the Society, Bass befriended, encouraged, and challenged Frank. Bass even joined Frank and Rosa at their apartment for dinner one evening, and this meant a lot to Frank. As Doty puts it: “Frank Campbell and he [Bass] hit it off marvelously. Frank is a national treasure, he really is. And Harry, who also knew good books and publications, those two were very, very close.”

In addition to his library duties, Frank has also found time to help other organizations and to share his knowledge through publication. For example, in 1985, Frank served as chairman of the New York City Museums Council. Also in 1985, his important article “Numismatic Bibliography and Libraries” was published in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science and later reissued in booklet form. In 1992, a report on the Libraries and Bibliography Roundtable, which Frank had chaired at the Brussels Congress, was published in the Revue Belge de Numismatique et de Sigillographie. That same year, Frank served as a consultant to the Art and Architecture Thesaurus Program, sponsored by the Getty Art History Information Project.

During his tenure as head librarian, Frank has also been instrumental in bringing many important acquisitions to the library, both through donation and purchase. These include the David Bullowa library; the many manuscripts relating to early American coinage given by Joe Lasser; the Newcomb, Clapp, and Hines correspondence; the Brand inventory and papers; the Garrett archives; the Norweb collection inventory; the New Netherlands archives; the Mickley diary; the Zerbe correspondence; the many early numismatic books donated by Jonathan Kagan; the Kunz letters; and the Chapman bid books and correspondence.

Frank’s many accomplishments and contributions to the development of the ANS library are clearly impressive. But perhaps his most important legacy lies in the many scholars and numismatic researchers whom he has helped over his long career. If one could list all of the numismatic publications that have benefited from the assistance that Frank provided their authors, it would undoubtedly number in the thousands. Frank’s knowledge of numismatic literature is encyclopedic, and he is always ready to answer questions or suggest a source that might be useful. Frank summarized the satisfaction he feels this way: “They’ve all come here and done research, both in the coin collection and the library. It’s very pleasing to see the Society’s library and its collection mentioned in the acknowledgements of the books these people publish…. You know the author; you have a feel for the person, and very often you have an informal, first-name relationship with the person. And that just adds to the pleasure of working in this kind of environment.

“I look at my career as one where I’ve gained much more knowledge from the people who’ve come here, because they’re all specialists within a specialized field; they bring knowledge that you didn’t have previously. And you build on that. And eventually you have that knowledge, and people think you’ve had it from time immemorial, and they credit you for it. But it’s an exchange that goes on, between the clientele and the staff of a museum.

“I am very lucky. I’ve met a lot of good people through this institution, and they’ve been very supportive and given me a lot. They’ll always say ‘oh, he’s given me this’ and ‘he’s helped me with that.’ But I think I’ve gotten more from them than they got from me.”

I suspect that most of Frank’s many friends and colleagues would disagree. And we will all certainly miss him greatly.

(Thanks are due to ANS Archivist Joe Ciccone and Photographer Alan Roche for their assistance in preparing this article.)

The ANS Celebrates 150 Years

by Joe Ciccone, Robert Hoge, and Peter van Alfen

During its century and a half in existence, the American Numismatic Society has grown from a small New York City club of collectors with no permanent home into a leading numismatic center. With its world-class collection of objects, spectacular library resources, and its dynamic exhibition, education, and publication programs, the Society is unparalleled in its mission to be the preeminent national institution for the advancement of the study and appreciation of coins, medals, and related cultural objects as historical and artistic documents. Like any institution as long-lived as the ANS, the Society has witnessed significant changes, reformations, reorganizations, and, at times, upheavals, which if anything attest to its continuing vigor and relevance for each succeeding generation. As the following pages and the 150th anniversary roster also demonstrate, the creation of this organization, with its comprehensive collections and productivity, has been the work of many far-sighted and generous individuals, only a few of whose contributions can be recognized in this limited overview but all of whom are worthy of admiration by posterity.

As part of our sesquicentennial celebrations this year, join us as we look back over 150 years of ANS history and as we look forward to an equally successful future. For those interested in a more in-depth look at ANS history, we recommend the abridgments of Howard Adelson’s 1958 centennial history published in earlier issues of the ANS Magazine, now available on the Web (http://ansmagazine.com). Also currently in preparation is an updated volume on the history of the Society’s 150 years, which will be published within the coming year.

The Society is grateful to all the 150th Anniversary donors for their support.

The original print layout of “The ANS celebrates 150 years” as it appeared in the ANS Magazine can be downloaded in PDF format (20.1 MB).

1858-1867

Thanks to its enthusiastic young founders, Augustus B. Sage and Edward Groh foremost among them, the fledgling American Numismatic and Archaeological Society began quickly to develop its mission, identity, and collections, and by 1860 it had already obtained its first East and South Asian, Islamic, Latin American, modern world, and early American and United States coins and tokens—the latter its earliest area of emphasis. In the 1860s, serious scholarship commenced with the launching of the Society’s American Journal of Numismatics.


Augustus B. Sage (1842—1874), one of the founding members of the ANS, in whose home the first meeting of the Society was held.

United States. AR dollar, 1799/8, Philadelphia mint. Breen 5390; Bolender 1799.1 (ANS 1858.9.1, gift of R. J. Dodge) 39 mm. This dollar was among the first ANS acquisitions.

United States: Georgia. AV dollar (1842-1852), Augustus Bechtler private coinage, Rutherfordton mint. Breen 7764. (ANS 1864.40.1, gift of F. H. Norton) 16mm.
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Invitation to the first meeting of the Society, dated March 8, 1858.

Invitation to the first meeting of the Society, dated March 8, 1858. The letter reads in part: “Dear Sir, An informal meeting will be held at the house of Aug. B. Sage, at 121 Essex St. for the purpose of taking the preliminary steps toward the organization of an Antiquarian Society in this city. You are earnestly equested to be present on the occasion.”


William Bramhall succeeded Augustus Sage as curator in January 1859 but was forced to resign from that position later in the year when the Society contemplated incorporating—all officers had to be adults and Bramhall was not yet of legal age.

Frank Norton served as president from 1865-1867 and was the main figure in the Society’s post-Civil War rebirth in 1865. During his presidency the ANS had numerous accomplishments, including the launch of the American Journal of Numismatics. He resigned in 1867 due to a dispute over its publication.

The first series of the American Journal of Numismatics was established in 1866. This was the Society’s first periodical, which continued until 1924.

Edward Groh (1837—1905) was one of the founding members of the Society and served as its curator from 1859 to 1879, and again from 1897 to 1905.

New Jersey. AE copper (penny, or cent), 1786, Rahway Mills mint. Maris 14-J. (ANS 1859.7.4, gift of M. S. Brown) 28 mm.

1868-1877

In the early 1870s, the Society nearly faced extinction. After a surge of interest and activity following the post–Civil War reorganization, interest in the Society had quieted considerably by 1870. For three years, the collections were boxed up and housed in private homes. Revival came in 1874, with the resumption of regular meetings and the adoption of a new membership medal. Before and after the “dormant” period, the Society’s cabinet continued to develop. Early dealer Edward Cogan donated four uncirculated cents from the recently discovered Georgia hoard handled by William H. Chapman and John Swan Randall. The Society’s own Medals Committee began adding its medals to the collection. George H. Lovett gave a souvenir token of General Custer’s Cavalry Division to the cabinet just a month before that wayward officer and his command were annihilated at the Battle of Little Big Horn.


Charles E. Anthon (1823-1883) was the first elected president of the Society, serving from 1868 to 1870 and again from 1873 until his death in 1883.

United States: New York. Cu “restrike” of “Excelsior” copper, 1787, by J. A. Bolen, of Springfield, Massachusetts (ca. 1860s). Breen 990; Bolen 12. (ANS 1870.1.1, gift of J. A. Bolen) 27 mm.

United States. AR member’s medal, ANS, 1868, by George Lovett. (ANS 0000.999.3350) 42 mm. When the Society reorganized following the Civil War, there was considerable interest in the idea of promulgating the Society’s identity through tokens of membership, which manifested in the ANS’s new membership medal.

United States. Cu cent, 1818, Philadelphia mint. Newcomb 10. (ANS 1870.2.1, gift of Edward Cogan) 29 mm.

United States. WM Abraham Lincoln memorial medal, 1866, by Emil Sigel, American Numismatic and Archaeological Society, New York. (ANS 1874.5.1, gift of the Society’s medal committee) 83 mm. This was the first of many specially commissioned ANS medals.

1878-1887

Still without a permanent home, the Society was nevertheless on firmer footing in its third decade. The reputation of the Society was growing in no small part due to its continuing efforts to commemorate significant current events in New York City and the United States with specially commissioned medals made available on a subscription basis. It was also during this period that the limited collections of the Society began to expand through the acquisition of important pieces, including significant purchases such as the U.S. Treasury’s 1879 metric set. Beginning in 1883 (and continuing nearly every year until 1914), Society President Daniel Parish Jr. made a series of unprecedented donations to the Society, becoming second only to Edward T. Newell as a presidential contributor to the cabinet. In 1880, the Society acquired the first specimens for its Greek department—though they were actually ancient Judaean coins.


Lyman Low became the ANS Librarian in 1886 and served in that position until 1891.

United States. AV, 1890 (ANS 0000.999.3366). 46 mm. Daniel Parish Jr. (1842-1914) joined the ANS in 1865 and served as Librarian from 1866 to 1870, and from 1883 until 1896 he served as President. To commemorate his many significant donations to the ANS, the Society commissioned this medal designed by Lea Ahlborn, one of the foremost medallic artists of the period.

The ANS has published annual reports of its activities in various forms since 1878. Today the annual report is published online.

Haiti: Faustin I. AE medal, by I. Bessaignet, 1852, Paris mint. (ANS 1880.1.1, gift of G. F. Ulex) 36 mm.

Charles Wright served as curator from 1880 through his death in 1896.

Rhodes: Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, Master Helion de Villeneuve (1319-1346). AR grosso gigliato, earliest issue, Rhodes mint; found in the 1871 Temple of Artemis hoard, Ephesus. Schlumberger Pl. 9, 17 var. (ANS 1881.11.3, gift of J. Tuttle Wood) 28 mm.

United States. AV 4 dollars, proof pattern “Stella,” 1879, Philadelphia mint. Breen 6408; Judd 1635; Pollack 1832. (ANS 1882.1.2, purchase from the Treasury Department) 21 mm.

British Colonial America: George I. Brass 2 pence, 1723 Rosa Americana series, London mint. Breen 121; Nelson 15. (ANS 1886.1.2, gift of J. Evans) 31 mm.

Benjamin Betts was president from 1870 to 1873. His presidency was unremarkable, so his greater contributions really occurred during his tenure as Treasurer from 1874 to 1888, when the Society enjoyed its first period of financial stability.

1888-1897

Ever in search of a suitable home, the Society opened its fourth decade with a move from rented rooms at New York University to new rooms at 101 East 20th Street. Problems with the landlord prompted yet another move in 1892 to rooms at the Academy of Medicine Building at 17 West 43rd Street, where the Society remained until 1901. Lack of interest in the archaeology department lead to its closing in 1894 and the dropping of “Archaeological” from the Society’s name. In fact, the Society was already recognized as being at the forefront of numismatic scholarship, leading to an invitation to produce a numismatic exhibit for the 1892 Columbian Exposition. The impetus of publications such as the first volumes of the British Museum’s Catalogue of Greek Coins, the expanded second edition of Henri Cohen’s Déscription Historique on Roman imperial coins, and Ernest Babelon’s catalog of the coins of the Roman Republic was clearly reflected in the resulting growth of the cabinet in these areas. The collection of popular political tokens was also augmented around this time.


Andrew C. Zabriskie (1853-1916) served as the Society’s president from 1896 to 1904. Zabriskie amassed a large personal collection, the most significant of which were Lincoln medals and Polish coins and medals. In 1873, he wrote A Descriptive Catalogue of the Political and Memorial Medals Struck in Honor of Abraham Lincoln, which has since become the standard reference for those collecting Lincoln pieces.

United States: Colorado. AV 5 dollars, 1861, Clark, Gruber & Co. private coinage, Denver mint. Breen 7944. (ANS 1895.22.1, gift of Andrew C. Zabriskie) 22 mm.

United States: Florida. AE Conquest of Amelia Island medal, by Gregor MacGregor, 1817. Brown 857 (ANS 1893.19.1, gift of Daniel Parish Jr.) 33 mm.

Above: United States. AE medal by Tiffany & Co., 1893 (ANS 0000.999.3424). 77 mm. Below: United States. AE medal by Tiffany & Co., 1897. (ANS 1985.81.161, gift of Daniel Friedenberg) 62 mm. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the ANS took it upon itself to commemorate current events both in New York City and in the United States, including the celebrations commemorating four hundred years since Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of America and the unveiling of Grant’s Tomb overlooking the Hudson River.

1898-1907

The beginning of the twentieth century was a good time for the Society, as one of its greatest benefactors, Archer Milton Huntington, heir to the Huntington transportation empire and an aficionado of all things Spanish, turned his attention to finding the Society a permanent home. In 1906, the Society moved temporarily into Huntington’s Hispanic Society at Audubon Terrace until the new neighboring ANS building was completed. From this era came a magnificent stream of gifts from the remarkable John Sanford Saltus who, like Daniel Parish, sought to develop the collection in many directions. Altogether, Saltus presented 865 gifts, ranging from single pieces to thousand-item sets. No less remarkable were Huntington’s donations at the time, including hundreds of Greek and Roman issues, Swedish plate money, and miscellaneous medals and tokens.


Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955) was the Society’s president from 1905 to 1910. His contributions to the ANS were numerous and substantial, including the donation of land and funds to build the Society’s first permanent home. The headquarters, which were located next to the Hispanic Society of America on Audubon Terrace, was completed in 1908. In the early 1920s, Huntington endowed the Society’s publications program with funding to establish the Numismatic Notes and Monographs series.

United States: Utah. AV 5 dollars, 1860, private coinage of the Deseret Assay Office, Salt Lake City mint. Breen 7936. (ANS 1906.99.70, gift of J. Sanford Saltus) 23 mm.

United States. Cu half cent, 1849, original proof, Philadelphia mint. Breen 1615; Gilbert 1849. (ANS 1906.99.43, gift of J. Sanford Saltus) 23 mm.

United States. Cu cent, 1793 “Strawberry leaf” variety, Philadelphia mint? (ANS 1906.99.52, gift of J. Sanford Saltus) 28 mm.

United States: California. AV 50 dollars, 1851, Augustus Humbert, U.S. Assay Office for Gold, San Francisco mint. (ANS 1906.198.1, gift of A.M. Huntington) 41

George Kunz served as corresponding secretary from 1898 to 1900 and was one of the Society’s representatives to the Exposition Universale in Paris in 1900. Given his position at Tiffany’s, he may have had a role with the production of some of the medals the ANS commissioned at the turn of the last century.

The Hispanic Society (l.) and the ANS (r.) on Audubon Terrace (c. 1908). Note that the original entrance was from 156th Street.

1908-1917

Home at last, the Society celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with the opening of its first permanent building in 1908, which in turn inaugurated a new era of growth, exhibitions, and publication. Before the outbreak of the First World War, the Society gained the services of its first professional and full-time staff, in the persons of the young Edward T. Newell, Agnes Baldwin, and Howland Wood. Wood had a great range of knowledge and interests; he studied and donated materials in widely varied fields. Newell purchased parts of Howland Wood’s collection so as to be able to donate them to the cabinet himself. Serious purchases from dealers such as Henry Chapman began to fill out areas of missing types. The greatest American paper money accession in the Society’s history came as an acquisition from Archer Huntington: 4,431 notes, including colonial and early American notes as well an outstanding collection of currency issued by the Confederacy during the American Civil War.


Agnes Baldwin Brett (1876—1955) was the Society’s first female curator, serving from 1910 through 1912. Between 1912 and 1914, the Society granted her permission to study abroad at the Cabinet des Médailles in Paris and to consult the private and museum collections of Europe. This research resulted in the publication of her first monograph, The Electrum Coinage of Lampsakos.

Russia: Peter I “the Great.” Cu Beard token, 1705, Moscow mint. (ANS 1914.265.55, gift of Edward T. Newell) 23 mm.

Edward T. Newell (1886-1941) was the Society’s longest-serving President (1916-1941) and perhaps the greatest numismatist of his generation, writing over thirty monographs. His massive personal collection, bequeathed to the Society in 1944, forms the core of the Greek and Roman collections.

The Society’s first permanent home at Audubon Terrace, a gift of Archer M. Huntington. The doors opened in 1908.

United States. AE commemorative medal by Victor D. Brenner for the ANS’s fiftieth anniversary, 1908, struck by Tiffany & Co. (ANS 0000.999.6744) 24 mm.

Honduras. AR 2 reales, 1823, Tegucigalpa provisional issue. (ANS 1915.12.1, gift of Howland Wood) 29 mm.

Howland Wood (1877-1938) was appointed Curator in 1913, remaining in this position for twenty-five years. During Wood’s tenure, the Society’s collections increased significantly, from 50,000 to almost 200,000 specimens.

United States. AR Huntington Award Medal, 1908 (unawarded), 65 mm. The Huntington Award is conferred annually in honor of Archer M. Huntington in recognition of outstanding career contributions to numismatic scholarship. The medal was designed in 1908 by Emil Fuchs to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the ANS. At Huntington’s request, his image does not appear on it. The first such award was given in 1918 to Edward T. Newell.

The temporary exhibit hall constructed for the Society’s important 1910 International Exhibition of Contemporary Medals. The catalogue was prepared by Agnes Baldwin Brett.

1918-1927

Following the end of the Great War and the return to civilian life for the Society’s staff and membership, the ANS continued to make a name for itself as a patron of the arts and respected national institution. Another large gift from Archer Huntington in 1920 endowed the publication of the Numismatic Notes and Monographs series, which continues to this day.

The 1920s witnessed a very successful expansion of the Society’s collection of rare American Indian Peace Medals, thanks largely to the consortium of Board members and other benefactors who pooled their resources in order to purchase important pieces as they came up at auction. The decade also saw the acquisition of the important Elliott Smith collection of items relating to slavery and its abolition. Dealers of the era were generous: the famous Wayte Raymond made many contributions, as did the Guttag brothers.


In 1919, the ANS commissioned a medal to present to the Prince of Wales on his visit to the United States. Here, at the presentation of the medal aboard the HMS Renown are (l. to r.) Edward T. Newell, the Prince of Wales, the prince’s equerry, John Flanagan (the sculptor of the medal), Dr. William Thompson, and H. Russell Drowne.

The Saltus Medal Award was initiated in 1913 by J. Sanford Saltus to reward sculptors “for distinguished achievement in the field of the art of the medal.” The silver medal was designed by A. A. Weinman, one of the finest American sculptors of the Beaux-Arts tradition and the second winner of the award. The first recipient was James E. Fraser in 1919. Ron Dutton received the award in 2008.

ANS benefactor J. Sanford Saltus (1853-1922).

Great Britain. AE emancipation medal, 1834, Birmingham mint. Brown 1666. (ANS 1928.25.13, gift of Elliott Smith) 45 mm.

Endowed by Archer M. Huntington, the Numismatic Notes and Monographs series began in 1920 and continues to this day.

British Colonial America: George III. AR Indian friendship “Happy while United” medal, 1766. Adams 4; cf. Betts 513; Fuld and Tayman 12. (ANS 1925.173.1, purchase as a gift of R. W. DeForest, James B. Ford and William Perkins) 60 mm.

Confederate States of America. AR half dollar, 1861, New Orleans mint (with obverse struck by captured federal die). Breen (ANS 1918.153.1, gift of J. Sanford Saltus) 31 mm. This is one of the treasures of the Society currently on view in the Society’s “Drachmas, Doubloons, and Dollars” exhibition.

1928-1937

The continuing growth of the Society’s library and numismatic collections was creating such housing problems by the late 1920s that a motion was made to construct an addition to the building that would double its size. Archer Huntington again underwrote most of this project. Material from the estates of a number of great collectors came to the Society during this epoch and several areas in the cabinet enjoyed dramatic increases. In appreciation for the handling, cataloguing, and disposing of its remainder, the New Jersey Historical Society gave to the ANS a portion of the major collection formed by mineralogist and mining engineer Edward R. Canfield. The Far Eastern collection of John Reilly Jr., long retained and utilized at the Society, was presented by his daughter Frances S. Reilly in 1937; it has given the ANS the foremost collection of traditional Chinese monies outside China. The estate of Herbert Scoville presented his marvelous collection of medieval and early modern coins of Italy.


Robert Robertson, Howland Wood, Farran Zerbe, and Edward T. Newell in front of the Society (1935).

Numismatic Studies was established in 1938 as a series featuring lengthy original studies where extended illustration is necessary or where large-flanned coins of considerable number are involved, requiring a larger format than originally used for the Numismatic Notes and Monographs series.

United States: Connecticut. Cu copper, 1787, New Haven mint? Miller 15; Breen 781. (ANS 1931.58.489, gift of the New Jersey Historical Society) 28 mm.

Italy: Ferrara, Alfonso d’Este. AV 2 zecchini (1505-1534), Ferrara mint. CNI 10, 443, 1. (ANS 1937.146.35, bequest of Herbert Scoville) 27 mm.

By the 1920s, the growth of the Society’s collections required additional space. Archer M. Huntington financed the construction of a new wing, which was built in 1929.

The Western Exhibition Room after remodeling (1930).

Japan. AE ebisu. 6 cash still attached to casting sprue, with figure (ANS 1937.179.13327, gift of Frances S. Reilly).

China, Han Dynasty (Jian He). AR ingot, 20 Tael (ANS 1937.179.19841, gift of Frances S. Reilly).

1938-1947

The Second World War set the tone for this decade, but despite the calamities and hardships imposed by the conflict, during this period the Society’s collections grew enormously. Unquestionably the foremost acquisition of this decade, and indeed probably the most important ever, was the bequest by President Edward T. Newell of nearly all (almost 90,000 items) of his phenomenal collection, following his untimely death in 1941. This great gift, and Newell’s own scholarship emanating from it, truly put the Society “on the map” as a major world-class institution for the study of classical coinages.

Another major acquisition was the permanent loan of the numismatic collections of the Hispanic Society of America (HSA), developed by Archer Huntington. These holdings (over 35,000 pieces), related to all regions and time periods elucidating the cultural history of Spain, her colonies, and the Iberian peninsula and Hispanic world in general, constitutes the foremost such collection in existence. To organize, study, and publish the HSA collection, the Society hired George C. Miles and initiated the Hispanic Numismatic Series a few years later (1950).


The leading Islamic numismatist of his generation, George C. Miles (1904-1975) served as Curator for Islamic Coins from 1946 and studied the extensive collection of coins Archer M. Huntington had donated to the Hispanic Society of America but that were housed at the Society. The results of Miles’ research on this collection were subsequently published in the Society’s Hispanic Numismatic Series.

British Colonial America: Massachusetts Bay Colony. AR sixpence, 1652, “NE” issue, Boston mint. Breen 9; Noe 1. (ANS 1946.89.5, gift of William Bradhurst Osgood Field) 20 mm.

In 1945, the Society established Museum Notes. In it, ANS curators published research conducted on topics related to the Society’s holdings and acquisitions, as well as original scholarship in the field of numismatics.

Spain: Ferdinand V and Isabella. AV 50 excelentes (ca. 1497-1504), Sevilla mint. Castan & Cayon 2489. (ANS 1001.57.2040, collection of the Hispanic Society of America) 66 mm.

United States. AE Joseph Pulitzer Medal for Journalism by Daniel Chester French (ANS 1940.100.2142, bequest of Robert J. Eidlitz) 71 mm. In 1940, the ANS received the Robert Eidlitz collection of nearly 5,400 medals, one of the most significant donations of medals in the Society’s history.

Arthur S. Dewing (1880-1971) received his PhD from Harvard University in 1905 and remained there until 1912, teaching philosophy and economics. After a brief sojourn in business, he returned to Harvard in 1919, where he remained until 1933, when he once again returned to the business world. During this latter period at Harvard, Dewing helped found the Harvard Business School and developed the case-study method used there. Dewing served as the Society’s president from 1947 to 1949, overseeing substantial reorganization.

Sydney P. Noe (1885-1969) joined the Society in 1915 as Librarian, where he reorganized the library’s collection and created its photofile. Noe remained librarian until 1938, when he succeeded Howland Wood as Curator. Noe also served the Society as Editor from 1921 to 1945.

Sicily: Syracuse. AR dekadrachm, ca. 400—390 BC, by Euainetos. SNG ANS 365; Gallatin O.IV-R.C.VII, 6. (ANS 1944.100.55823, bequest of Edward T. Newell) 34 mm.

United States. Cu cent, 1793, wreath series, Philadelphia mint. Breen 1640; Crosby 10-F; Sheldon NC-5 (unique). (ANS 1946.143.23, gift of George H. Clapp) 27 mm.

1948-1957

Among the most important activities undertaken by the Society in the 1950s was the establishment of the Summer Graduate Seminar, which remains the ANS’s most successful educational program. It was proposed in 1951 to establish a “summer workshop” for graduate students, in which students could familiarize themselves with a particular area of study, meet visiting scholars and, finally, develop a paper employing numismatics in their research. The first such seminar was offered in 1952, with thirteen students attending. Over fifty summers later, the Seminar continues, thanks in no small part to Eric P. Newman’s endowment.

The preparations for the Society’s centennial in 1958 included a major interior remodeling of the building brought on, in part, by the need to find additional space for the expanding collections. The jet-age design included the addition of new floors where high ceilings and skylights had once been.

Sadly, it was during this period—although this was not discovered until many years later—that the Society’s cabinet sustained its most critical loss. Famed U.S. large-cent expert William Sheldon evidently succeeded in switching dozens of the finest pieces out of the collection by substituting in their places other coins of identical varieties but slightly lesser states of preservation. To date, about two-thirds of these coins have been recovered; an ongoing effort seeks the remainder.

One of the Society’s finest gifts was the bequest of Past-President Herbert E. Ives, consisting of his medieval European gold collection. Another interesting addition to the cabinet was a group of representative Fugio coppers from the famous Bank of New York hoard.


Louis C. West (1882-1972) was the fifteenth president of the Society, serving from 1949 to 1959, while he also served in the Classics Department at Princeton University as a lecturer and in the Firestone Library as the University’s first Curator of Coins and Medals. He retained both positions until the 1960s.

In 1952, the Society launched its highly sucessful educational program, the Summer Graduate Seminar.

United States. Cu Fugio copper, 1787, New Haven mint. Breen 1307; Newman 11-B. (ANS 1949.136.10, gift of the Bank of New York and Bank of Fifth Avenue) 28 mm.

The four titles of the Hispanic Numismatic Series consists of publications devoted to the coinage of the Iberian Peninsula and of related countries and is based on the numismatic collection of the Hispanic Society of America. It was published jointly by the American Numismatic Society and the Hispanic Society between 1950 and 1954.

Henry Grunthal (1905-2001), seen here with Margaret Thompson, was Curator of European and Modern Coins from 1953 until 1973. Ever a cheerful figure, Grunthal was well regarded for helping members with identifications and appraisals.

In the late 1950s, the Society embarked on a series of renovations. This is the futuristic Eastern Exhibition Room following remodelling in 1958.

England: Henry VIII. AV sovereign, third coinage, ca. 1544-1547, London mint. Spink 2290. (ANS 1954.237.47, bequest of Herbert E. Ives) 38 mm.

Margaret Thompson (1911-1992), seen here with her niece, first came to the Society in 1949 and served as Curator of Greek Coins until 1976. She also served as the Society’s Chief Curator from 1969 to 1979. In 1989, the Society endowed the Margaret Thompson Curatorship of Greek Coins in her honor.

1958-1967

The chief accomplishments of this decade involved the publications program: the birth of the ANS’s contribution to the Sylloge Numorum Graecorum (SNG) and Ancient Coins in North American Collections (ACNAC) series, and the “internationalization” of Numismatic Literature in the late 1960s.

Ambassador Burton Y. Berry donated many hundreds of gold and silver ancient Greek coins during this period, which formed the basis for the ANS’s first SNG volume (1961), and he continued to do so into the 1970s, greatly enhancing the scope and quality of this outstanding part of the Society’s cabinet. A further splendid gift of such material came to the Society as the bequest of long-time friend and benefactor Adra M. Newell, widow of Edward T. Newell, fulfilling his wishes in completing the gift of an outstanding part of his incomparable collection. Other important gifts came from Bernard Peyton, who gave a fine assortment of early U.S. gold coins, and P. K. Anderson, who bequeathed his fine Hispanic collection.


Samuel R. Milbank (1906-1985) was the President of the Society from 1959 to 1978, making him the second-longest-serving president in the Society’s history.

United States. AV 2½ dollars, 1848, Philadelphia mint (counter-stamped CAL, indicating California gold). Breen 6196. (ANS 1960.166.65, gift of Bernard Peyton) 18 mm.

Joan Fagerlie served as Assistant Curator and then Curator of Roman and Byzantine Coins at the Society from 1960 to 1973. In 1957, Fagerlie attended the ANS’s Summer Seminar. In 1959, she became one of the first recipients of the Graduate Fellowship.

Nancy Waggoner (1924-1989) was hired in March 1968. One of Margaret Thompson’s students at Columbia University, Waggoner was first her assistant and later was promoted to Associate Curator in 1971 and Curator in 1976. She retired in 1988.

Spain (Al-Murabids): Tahsfin ibn ‘Ali. AV dinar, AH 537 (1142/3), Sevilla mint (unique). (ANS 1969.222.65; gift of P.K. Anderson) 26 mm.

Leslie Elam worked at the ANS from 1963 until 1999 in various capacities, most notably as Editor and Director. Between 1966 and 1972, the ANS underwent a series of management changes, resulting in Elam being named Director of the ANS in 1972. In 1997, Elam was named to the new position of Executive Director of the ANS. He retired in 1999.

Begun in the late 1960s, Ancient Coins in North American Collections (ACNAC) systematically describes and illustrates ancient coins in significant private and institutional collections.

1968-1977

This decade witnessed the expansion and increased professionalization of the curatorial staff. It also saw the Society co-host the International Numismatic Congress in 1973, a culmination of the efforts since 1905 to transform the Society from a local collectors’ club with scholarly pretensions into a world-renowned learned society. On a less happy note, this decade also saw the beginning of the financial troubles that would plague the ANS over the course of the next twenty years.

Nevertheless, important donations and purchases continued apace, with the gift of items from George C. Miles’ personal collection of mostly Islamic material by Mrs. J. R. McCredie; the bequest of the magnificent Robert F. Kelley collection of hundreds of significant Greek, Roman, and Byzantine coins; and the donation of the Dr. Lloyd Cabot Briggs collection of English coinage from the period of the eleventh-century anarchy during the reign of Stephen, among others. Perhaps the single most famous acquisition of this decade was the renowned Brasher doubloon (reportedly found by workers in a Philadelphia sewer in 1897), presented by the Society’s great benefactress Emery Mae Norweb. In 1973, the Metropolitan Museum of Art withdrew the longterm loan of its collections of coins in order to fund the purchase of the Euphronios crater. The ANS in turn acquired significant specimens from this collection.


Umayyad Caliphate: Arab-Byzantine series. AV dinar, standing caliph type, AH 75, Damascus mint. (ANS 1970.63.1, purchase) 20 mm.

Michael Bates joined the Society’s staff in 1970, becoming Assistant Curator in 1973, and Curator of Islamic Coins in 1977. He retired in 2006 and is currently Curator Emeritus.

United States: New York. AV doubloon (16 dollars), private pattern coinage by Ephraim Brasher, 1787, New York City. Breen 981. (ANS 1969.62.1, gift of Mrs. R. Henry Norweb) 30 mm. Another of the Society’s treasures currently on view in the “Drachma, Doubloons, and Dollars” exhibit.

William Metcalf served as the Society’s curator of Roman and Byzantine Coins from 1973 until 2000. He first came to the ANS in 1971, when he attended the Summer Seminar. In 1979, Metcalf was chosen to succeed the retiring Margaret Thompson as Chief Curator.

In 1975, Frank Campbell became the Society’s head librarian, after working in various capacities in the library since 1958. He retired in 2008, having served the Society for fifty years.

Richard Doty joined the ANS as Assistant Curator of Modern Coins. He curated the Society’s 1976 Bicentennial exhibition and collaborated with President Harry Bass to create the successful Coinage of the Americas Conference series.

In 1973, the Society co-hosted the eighth International Numismatic Congress (INC), the first time an had been held in the United States. Here the participants pose on the steps of Audubon Terrace.

1978-1987

In the early 1980s, the Society focused its efforts on public outreach with the introduction of popular events such as the Coinage of the Americas Conference and public lectures. Under Harry Bass’s guidance, the Society also began to take advantage of nascent computer technology with the development of the curatorial database. In addition, the ANS began to seriously tackle its financial problems with the capital campaign of the late 1980s and a downsizing of the staff. This was also the decade in which the Society revived its medallic program by expanding the Saltus Award and commissioning medals for the first time on a regular basis since the 1920s.

Many important gifts continued to come to the ANS during this decade. Among them may be mentioned the tremendous Arthur J. Fecht collection (actually turned over to the Society upon Fecht’s death in the 1940s; by the terms of his will it did not have its title pass until the death of his sister, ANS benefactor Neoma Fecht); the gift of the great medallic sculptor Victor D. Brenner’s extraordinary personal collection, donated by his nephew, David R. Lit; and the gift from the Chase Manhattan Bank of a part of the former collection of its famous currency museum.


Harry W. Bass Jr. (1927-1998), seen here with Samuel Milbank (r.), was ANS President from 1978 until 1984. Under his dynamic leadership, the Society initiated a number of new programs, including conferences, publications, and computerization. In appreciation for a generous bequest from the Bass Foundation, the ANS’ library is named after him.

Germany. AE commemorative medal by Karl Goetz, (ANS 1979.38.887, gift of the Goldberg family), Kienast no. 598, 92 mm. Thanks to the Goldberg donation of over one thousand medals in 1979, the ANS has one of the most complete collections of objects by the famed German medallic artist Karl Goetz anywhere in the world.

Alan Stahl first came to the ANS in 1975, when he attended the Graduate Summer Seminar. In 1980, he was hired to succeed Jeremiah Brady as Curator of Medieval Coins. Stahl’s responsibilities included curating the Society’s collection of medals. He actively worked with the Medals Committee to reinvigorate the Society’s moribund medallic program through exhibitions, the commissioning of medals, and expansion of the J. Sanford Saltus Award.

United States. WM quarter dollar, 1792, pattern by Joseph Wright, broad piedfort. Breen 1366; Judd 13; Pollock 15. (ANS 1980.66.2, gift of the Chase Manhattan Bank) 32 mm.

The ANS was one of the first museums in the United States to adopt computer technology for the creation of collections databases in the late 1970s.

Harry Fowler served as President from 1984 through 1989. His chief accomplishment was the successful Development Campaign—the Society’s first capital campaign.

The Society began publishing the quarterly ANS Newsletter in 1979 as a means of notifying members of recent and upcoming events. The final issue of the Newsletter was published in the winter of 2001. It was succeeded by the ANS Magazine in the spring of 2002.

1988-1997

In the 1990s, the Society increased its efforts to become a more public institution with the launch of the ANS website, the expansion of the lecture program, and the implementation of off-site conferencing in different regions of the United States. With the worsening financial situation, the ANS also began contemplating a move from Audubon Terrace, something that dominated much of the Society’s planning during the decade.

A healthy number of truly great gifts came to the Society during this period. The Jem Sultan collection of Ottoman Turkish coinage (formed by specialist William Holburton), presented to the Society by Olivia Lincoln—along with a large collection of Indian coins—gave the ANS the most comprehensive holdings in this field outside of Turkey. In the exquisite John D. Leggett collection, the Society received one of the foremost American assemblages of ancient Greek coins. With the addition of the collection of Past-President Harry W. Fowler, the cabinet was augmented by an important grouping of ancient Bactrian and Indo-Greek coins, leading to another ANS fascicule of the Sylloge Numorum Graecorum.


Ottoman Empire: Sulayman I “the Magnificent” (1520-1566). AR aqche, Nuwar mint, AH 926. Jem Sultan 1123. (ANS 1997.65.1124, gift of Olivia Lincoln) 12 mm.

The Colonial Newsletter was founded in 1960 and was originally published by The Colonial Newsletter Foundation. In 1997, the Society assumed publication responsibilities. CNL focuses on the study of the coinages produced by the states during the Confederation period and is published three times a year.

Carmen Arnold-Biucchi was the first Margaret Thompson Curator of Greek Coins, a position she held from 1989 through 2000. Previously she had served as Assistant Curator of Ancient Coins in the Roman and Greek departments since 1981.

Sicily, Syracuse. AR tetradrachm, by Kimon, ca. 406-405 BC. Tudeer 18j. (ANS 1997.9.56, bequest of John D. Leggett) 40 mm.

Bactrian Kingdom: Demetrius. AR tetradrachm, Panjhir mint, ca. 190-171 BC. SNG ANS 187. (ANS 1995.51.23, gift of Harry W. Fowler) 32 mm.

The second series of the American Journal of Numismatics which began in 1989, is the successor to Museum Notes. This publication continues as the Society’s annual scholarly journal.

John Kleeberg was Curator of Modern Coins from 1990 through 2000. Major accomplishments included his work on behalf of the ANS to reacquire the large U.S. cents stolen by William Sheldon in the 1940s.

The Proceedings of the Coinage of the Americas Conferences (COAC) consists of formal scholarly versions of the papers presented in the Society’s annual COAC, which was initiated by Harry W. Bass Jr. as a means of increasing the Society’s involvement with Western-hemisphere coinage, currency, and related fields.

1998-2007

The ANS’s financial situation reached its nadir in 1999 culminating in the loss of much of the curatorial and other staff. Under ANS President Donald Partrick and Executive Director Ute Wartenberg Kagan’s tutelage, the Society began to rebuild and redefine itself for the new century. Curators Robert Hoge and Peter van Alfen were hired in 2002. That year also saw the opening of the Society’s major exhibition “Drachmas, Doubloons, and Dollars,” at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well as the launch of the ANS Magazine. The most recent decade has also seen the vigorous revival of the ANS’s publication program, which in addition to traditional printed books and journals has now expanded to include online publications. In 2004, the Society left Audubon Terrace for good, moving into the Donald Groves Building in lower Manhattan. At the end of 2007, the ANS sold the Groves building in order to move into One Hudson Square.

Among the most important acquisitions in the new century was the collection of mostly late eighteenth-century Connecticut coppers formed by Edward R. Barnsley. These 1,241 objects were received under the terms of our agreement with the Colonial Newsletter Foundation (CNLF), thanks to the good offices of James Spilman. It is now widely believed that the Society holds not only the most complete collection of the surviving varieties of Connecticut “coppers,” but the largest as well.

Also in 2005, the Board of Trustees determined to discontinue the collecting of foreign military medals, orders, and decorations, and the resulting sales of this portion of the cabinet greatly increased funding available for acquisitions by purchase in other fields.


Donald G. Partrick, one of the eminent members of the U.S. numismatic community, became President of the ANS in 1999. A member since 1969, Partrick has been a generous contributor to the Society. Apart from supporting the building project at 140 William Street, he also endowed the position of North American Curator.

Spanish Colonial Mexico: Charles I and Johana, 1519—1556. AR 8 reales, assayer P over R (ca. 1540). Cf. Nesmith 6d (unlisted reverse die). (ANS 2006.13.1, gift of Richard H. Ponterio) 33 mm.

The Groves building, located at 140 William Street in downtown Manhattan.

In 2002, the Society launched the ANS Magazine to replace the newsletter format. In 2007, the magazine went online: ansmagazine.com

The Society launched its website in the late 1990s and has continually been adding content to it since, making it an indispensable research and news tool. In 2008, the ANS will be presenting a newly redesigned version of the website.

Seleucid Kingdom: Antiochus IV. AR tetradrachm, Ake-Ptolemais mint (168-167 BC). SCE 779b. (ANS 1999.30.24, gift of Herman Miller) 27 mm.

United States: Vermont, Machin’s Mills. AE “copper,” 1788. Miller 125-I; Breen 724 (ANS 2005.37.1140, Colonial Newsletter Foundation no. 6122, ex Barnsley) 27 mm.

2008


As we move forward into the twenty-first century (and into our new location at One Hudson Square), the ANS will remain a dynamic and authoritative collecting, research, and education center. The ANS staff, from l. to r.: Alan Roche, Aadya Bedi, Anna Chang, Anthony Harp, Ben Hiibner, Robert Hoge, Elena Stolyarik, Andrew Meadows, Faceta Richards, Francis Campbell, Ute Wartenberg Kagan, Joanne Isaac, Joe Ciccone, Müserref Yetim, Oleg Medvedev, Peter van Alfen, Peter Donovan, Rick Witschonke, Sebastian Heath, Garfield Miller, Ted Withington.

Curatorial Assistant Sylvia Karges discusses coinage of the Iranian Huns with Dr. Klaus Vonderovec from the coin cabinet of the Museum of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Exhibiting the collections is a priority of the Society. Here ANS coins are on display in the new Greek and Roman galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City.

The ANS’s new location at One Hudson Street, on the lower west side of Manhattan, at the foot of Holland Tunnel.

The 150th Anniversary Dinner Gala in Honor of Donald G. Partrick

by Megan Fenselau

The 2008 Annual Dinner Gala took place on Thursday, January 10, 2008, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. With two hundred guests in attendance, this year’s event raised over $300,000. The Augustus B. Sage Society Reception, sponsored by Heritage Auction Galleries, was held in the Duke of Windsor Suite. Sage Society members and their guests enjoyed cocktails and lovely harp music performed by Mrs. Jasmine Cowin as well as a talk entitled “Coins, Medals, and National Treasures,” by Sotheby’s vice chairman, Mr. David Redden.

All Gala attendees enjoyed a cocktail hour, sponsored by Stack’s Rare Coins, in the Hilton Room, followed by the Dinner Gala in the Empire Room. ANS Executive Director Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan acted as the evening’s emcee. Mr. Greg Rohan spoke on behalf of Heritage Auction Galleries, the evening’s Sesquicentennial Sponsor. During dinner, attendees were treated to an entertaining performance by Mr. Gerard Senehi, “The ExperiMentalist.” Mr. Senehi, whose services were donated by ANS Trustee Mr. George U. Wyper, also wowed guests during the cocktail hour. After the performance, Mr. Q. David Bowers spoke eloquently about the evening’s honoree, Donald G. Partrick. ANS President Mr. Roger S. Siboni introduced Mr. Partrick, thanked him for his long-time commitment to the Society and presented him with a special-edition engraved eighteen-carat gold ANS lapel pin.

Throughout the evening, guests were able to bid in the silent auction on items donated by Dr. Michel Amandry; Anderson & Anderson, LLC; Alain Baron; George F. Kolbe; Sydney F. Martin; Roger S. Siboni; Stack’s Rare Coins; Anthony J. Terranova; Raymond J. Williams; Arnold-Peter C. Weiss; and Whitman Publishing. The silent auction raised $13,650. The live auction was called by the always spirited and humorous Mr. Harmer Johnson and raised $88,000 through the sale of items donated by the owners of the American Bank Note Company Archives; Anderson & Anderson, LLC; Q. David Bowers; Victor Failmezger; Dan Hamelberg; Heritage Auction Galleries; Ute Wartenberg Kagan; George F. Kolbe; Stack’s Rare Coins; David Sundman; Anthony J. Terranova; Arnold-Peter C. Weiss; and Whitman Publishing. After an exquisite dinner and dancing to music performed by the Lester Lanin Orchestra, the evening concluded with each guest receiving an ANS 150th Anniversary tote bag, containing an ANS Anniversary Special Edition 2008 Red Book donated by Whitman Publishing and an ANS 150th Anniversary mouse pad. Fifteen lucky guests had a chance to win free subscriptions to The Celator, Coin World, Coin Values, Paper Money Values, and Worldwide Coins, donated by Kerry K. Wetterstrom and Amos Hobby Publishing/Coin World.


Gala honoree and ANS Chairman, Donald G. Partrick


ANS President Roger Siboni presents honoree Donald G. Partrick with gold ANS pin


Bruce Smith, Donald Partrick, Chester Krause


Ute Wartenberg Kagan


Seated L to R: Missy Eimer, Rosa Campbell, Frank Campbell, Connie Hamelberg. Standing L to R: Chris Eimer, Douglas Saville, John Adams, Dan Hamelberg, George Kolbe


Seated L to R: Mrs. Ian Goldbart, Alain Cheylan, Ian Goldbart, Mr. Ali Aboutaam. Standing L to R: James Ricks, Jean LeCompte, Mr and Mrs. Cyrus Dekhan, Alain Baron, Hicham Aboutaam, Baron Lorne Thyssen


Seated L to R: Jeanette Redden, Greg Rohan, Daniel Holmes Jr., Jonathan Kagan, Joel Anderson. Standing L to R: Mr. and Mrs. Steven Ivy, Chester Krause, David Redden


Seated L to R: Martina Dieterle, Hon. John Whitney Walter, Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Partrick. Standing L to R: Vicken Yegparian, Christina Lehmejian-Karaszweski, Lawrence Stack, Victor Failmezger


Seated L to R: Yvonne Weiss, Cornie Thornburgh, Susan Wyper, Jessica Mignucci. Standing L to R: Dick Thornburgh, George Wyper, Gerard Senehi, Arnold-Peter Weiss, Achim Schramm, Ira Goldberg, Marco Mignucci


Standing L to R: Larry Schwimmer, Michel Amandry, Greg Warden, Meredith Adams, Derek Warden, Lawrence Adams. Seated L to R: Jon Jencek, Jeffrey Benjamin, Victor England, Cathy England


Seated L to R: Heidi Becker, Rick Witschonke, Claudio Polisseri, Maurizio Polisseri. Standing L to R: Elizabeth Pendleton, Eric McFadden, Hadrian Rambach, Dick Eidswick, Monica Wiesen, Lynn Gasvoda, Mike Gasvoda


Ute Wartenberg Kagan, Joel Anderson


Gala Chairman, Joel R. Anderson


Auctioneer Harmer Johnson


Charles Anderson, Mary Counts


Andrew Meadows


Dan Hamelberg, Sydney Martin, John Adams


Greg Rohan


Sebastian Heath


Ashley Billingsley


Gerard Senehi, the ExperiMentalist


Douglass Rohrman, Harlan Berk


Alain Baron


Michel Amandry, MŸüserref Yetim, Peter van Alfen


Trustee Dan Hamelberg presents a surprise auction item


Jonathan Kagan, David Redden, Arnold-Peter C. Weiss


David Redden speaks to the Augustus B. Sage Society


Steven Ivy, Gerard Senehi, Victor England