Archivist’s News (Summer 2004)

by Joseph Ciccone

I am thrilled to report that we have completed the transfer of archival records from 155th Street to our new home on Fulton Street. In the past three months, we have searched high and low in our old headquarters and managed to locate more than 500 cubic feet of historical records. (A cubic foot is about the equivalent of a standard storage or banker box.) These records were stored throughout the old building, sometimes in less-than-ideal conditions. We then supervised the transfer of these records downtown, where they now reside in acid-free containers organized according to subject. Our efforts in this regard have been ably assisted by Aviva Gray, who has been working with the archives and curatorial departments since February, and our summer intern, Katherine Siboni. (To learn more about Katherine’s experiences from her own perspective, see her piece in this issue.)


Archival records stored in the sub-basement at 155th Street.


Katherine Siboni, left, and Aviva Gray, right, in the new archives room at 96 Fulton Street.

With the move now complete, we have begun processing the various collections. One of Katherine’s responsibilities has been to inventory the earliest boxes of correspondence. These date from 1858 and include the invitation to the Society’s first meeting, but multiply significantly starting in the early 20th century. Among the many intriguing finds revealed by Katherine’s inventory is a series of correspondence between the Society’s staff and J. Sanford Saltus. These letter document Saltus’ efforts to invigorate the Society’s medal program through the sculpting of medals for memorable occasions like the visit of the Prince of Wales to the US in 1919 and the endowment of a medal award for distinguished achievement in the field of the art of the medal.


Letter from J. Sanford Saltus to Archer Huntington, endowing the Saltus Award Medal, 1913.

Much of this initial inventory should be complete by the early fall, after which we will begin to enter this information into a database we are currently designing and eventually intend to place online as part of the archives’ website.

Web Site Enhancements

As I mentioned in my last column, we have established a website for the ANS Archives at http://www.numismatics.org/Archives/Archives. At the time of its launch, the site contained basic descriptive information about the archival program, as well as a listing of former and current ANS officers.

Since the last issue we have added two more resources to this site. The first is a history of the Society’s awards program. It is located at http://www.numismatics.org/Archives/Awards. This section includes a brief summary of the two awards that the Society confers, the Archer M. Huntington and J. Sanford Saltus Medal awards. In addition, it provides a complete list of the winners of each of the awards.

The second resource is a history of the Society’s premier educational program, the Graduate Summer Seminar in Numismatics. This resource, which is located at http://www.numismatics.org/Archives/GraduateSeminar, allows visitors to review the history of the Summer Seminar and learn who attended and/or lectured in any given year, as well as view images of the participants. We plan to further enhance this site within the next few months with the addition of an online database of student papers. We have already designed and populated this database and shortly plan to create the user interface.

Integrated into both new resources is biographical information on significant ANS officers and staff. For instance, visitors interested in learning more about either Archer M. Huntington (ANS President, 1905-09; Honorary President, 1922-55) or Margaret Thompson (ANS Chief Curator, 1969-79), merely have to click wherever their names appear in the new sections. Visitors will then be hyperlinked to brief biographical statements for each. During the next few months we plan to significantly increase the number of such online biographies.

Library News (Summer 2004)

by Francis Campbell

Although it has taken a while and involved the packing of more book cartons than we care to remember, the move to 96 Fulton Street is now complete. The first moving vans (i.e., The Padded Wagon) began the trek to Lower Manhattan in mid-April and by the first week of June had transported the entire Library, which is now installed on floors five and six of the new building. Assisting with the move, at both the old and new buildings, were Assistant Librarian, Barbara Bonous-Smit and Library Assistant, Kary Collado. Deserving special mention is the assistance provided by ANS member, Normand Pepin, whose efforts contributed substantially to the success of the overall move.


Awaiting van


Waiting to exit


Arrival at new home

In the week following the Society’s June 18th Grand Opening ceremonies, visitors began arriving to share the reading rooms with the students enrolled in this year’s Graduate Seminar. The Seminar students had been using the Library’s research facilities since June 1st. Although permanent signage is not yet installed, readers have been able to find what they want using the temporary section labels affixed to the end of each range of shelves. These will eventually be replaced with permanent signage and it is our intention to display the names of donors who have thus far participated in naming opportunities for Library rooms, sections and shelves. The Library Committee and its Chairman, John W. Adams, have been very active in this regard.


John Adams offering opening remarks

Ford Reading Room Dedicated

As was mentioned at the ceremony for our recently dedicated Harry W. Bass, Jr. Library, held on December 2nd, the Library is a work in progress and it is due to the support of the Bass Foundation and many others who share a concern for the Library that real progress is being made. Our most recent dedication ceremony was that held for the naming of The John J. Ford, Jr. Reading Room. While the Reading Room will certainly serve to memorialize John Ford’s name, it should be noted that the Library holds a resource that provides perhaps greater evidence of his talents as a coin dealer and expert on various aspects of United States numismatics. The resource I refer to is the New Netherlands Coin Company Archive. In 1950, Charles Wormser invited John to join him in running the New Netherlands firm, which had been founded in the 1930s by Moritz Wormser, Charles’ father. Within two years, John was a full partner and helped build New Netherlands into one of the most successful American auction firms. Although John published articles in various numismatic journals over the years, even winning the ANA’s Heath Award for his 1957 piece entitled, “Wayte Raymond, the Man and the Era,” the catalogs he prepared for New Netherlands will serve as a lasting tribute to his research and descriptive skills. Whether your personal favorite is the 1952 ANA Convention catalogue or New Netherlands’ 60th sale of December 3-4, 1968, you will find John Ford at his best.

John’s love of coins and books brought him into contact with most of the great dealers and collectors of his era. The Stack family, Charles Wormser, Wayte Raymond, Walter Breen, who he brought to work at New Netherlands, B. Max Mehl, the Norwebs, F.C.C. Boyd, Douglass Ball, Homer Downing, T. James Clark, and Louis Eliasberg are but a few of the names. He had a personal library of some 4,000 books, periodicals, catalogs, and correspondence. Fortunately for me, when he moved to Phoenix much of his library remained in boxes. Had this not been the case, I might well have missed the chance to have regular conversations with a truly original personality.

I came to know John well after he moved to Phoenix when he would occasionally call to have a reference checked or to request a photocopy. During these calls John would invariably share with me his memory of some personality or some event he had been part of in the course of his successful career as a coin dealer. John’s descriptions brought the personalities and events to life. In the mid-1990s, when I took ill and had to spend a while in the hospital John was quite solicitous about my health at a time when he was himself suffering from cancer. This is a side of John Ford’s personality that I will always remember.


Librarian Frank Campbell introducing the Library to the dedication attendees

The dedication ceremony, which was well-attended by members of the Ford family and numerous guests, provided the opportunity for old friends to reminisce about John’s career and inspect the room that will bear his name.


The ribbon cutting


The Ford family

Auction Reminder

On August 19th, during the ANA Convention in Pittsburgh, we will be conducting a donated book auction to benefit the Francis D. Campbell Library Chair. It will be held at Tambellini’s Restaurant (easy walking distance from the ANA Convention). Cocktails will be served at 5:15pm, followed by a dinner and the auction. Tickets are $50.00 each and reservations can be made by writing or e-mailing to John Adams, 60 State Street, 12th floor, Boston, MA 02109.

From the Collections Manager (Summer 2004)

by Elena Stolyarik

A year ago, in the summer 2003 issue of the American Numismatic Society Magazine, I wrote an article entitled “What It Takes to Move a Collection of over 1 Million Objects.” At that moment, I was not sure how to finish such a complex task. Today, however, I know the answer and can give advice (solicited, or not) to anyone attempting to repeat our “feat.”

Anyone who has ever moved knows how stressful it can be. And moving this large, valuable, and in many cases irreplaceable institutional collection is like moving every day for weeks on end! In the months it took actually to transport the collections, my colleagues and I often had nights filled with dreams of the tools (bubble-wrap, ethafoam, tape, seals, box-cutters) of our new trade (packing, sealing, stacking, unpacking).

Alexandra Halidisz and Aviva Gray
Normand Pepin Robert Wilson Hoge
Andrew Schloss
Sophia Gofman, Elena Stolyarik and Alexandra Halidisz
Peter van Alfen and Sebastian Heath
Rick Witschonke and Elena Stolyarik

Since the purchase of the Fulton Street building was announced, those members familiar with Audubon Terrace proposed varying scenarios to the ANS staff for moving the collections — with suggestions ranging from practical to fanciful Jules Verne-inspired scenarios — some stealthy, some grand; from affordable to, well, less so.

One thing was clear: getting the collections out of Audubon Terrace was going to be more difficult than getting them into Fulton Street. The ANS at Audubon Terrace comprises two buildings erected ca. 1907 and 1930. The main entrance faces north onto Audubon Terrace, and moving the collections from the Greek and Roman vaults involved crossing a distance of approximately 450 feet to Broadway, including two Terrace staircases (fourteen steps down/seven up), for a total of twenty-one steps. To move another large part of our collection from the main vault to the main Terrace entrance we would have had to add to this calculation an additional twenty steps down to the lower level and also an additional twelve steps down from the upper level within that vault (statistics provided by ANS invaluable volunteer and member Normand Pepin).

The service entrance on the south side, our alternative, faces a steeply sloping 155th Street and can be reached either on multiple stairs via a narrow semicircular staircase, or via the easier route through the building’s on-site superintendent’s apartment. This was the route ultimately chosen. (To move collections out though upper-story windows was rejected as too impractical.) Because of all the steps and space limitations, forklifts and other mechanical equipment could not be used. This meant employing manpower exclusively. After much deliberation, a basic system was devised and the needed material procured. In the end, wooden cases were built, each just large enough to hold about ten trays and weighing fifteen pounds empty (and when loaded with coins or medals, twenty to eighty pounds, depending on contents). Each case would be carried by two men holding one of two handles bolted to the side of each case. Since the move would be spread over many days (and weeks!) we could use 150 multi-use cases instead of 1500 or so single-use boxes.

Dawn Bennett Michael Bates
Sophia Gofman Jerry Jagernaugh and Garfield Miller

On the appointed days, carried by two men one-by-one, each case would wend its way from its vault of origin though the building—and the apartment—to 155th Street and be loaded into the moving company’s truck for the ride downtown via either the West Side Highway or FDR drive, with an unmarked car full of armed detectives right behind. Meanwhile, at Fulton and William streets, another group of detectives were taking their positions and waiting for the “items” to arrive. Once in front of the building, unloading was fast and efficient. Again came the cases, one-by-one, carried by two men into the building, up a short ramp to one of two waiting elevators to our new coin room and vault.

In the new vault the process was reversed: check each case against the inventory list, break the seal, remove the packing foam, remove tape and further ethafoam, place the trays into their new permanent coin cabinet, and remove the next tray until the carrying case is empty. Repeat, again and again…. The Monday, Wednesday, Friday delivery schedule, and the goal of maintaining a steady number of cases per trip, meant that both packing and unpacking continued on weekends and over the Memorial Day holiday. The weather was never a factor, though the closing of Fulton Street for a Flag Day parade postponed all deliveries.

Over the last several months, we could not take advantage of the museum’s closure to leisurely pack all the trays for the move before the movers arrived. The movers had thought that on the appointed day they would transport the collection downtown in one fell swoop and that would be that! But indeed, one of the reasons for the ANS’ move was lack of space within the vaults. Once out of their highly space-efficient coin cabinets, the coin trays would be in the aisles in their custom-built carrying cases and, unlike materials from the library and other parts of the building, the coin cases could never leave the vaults until the very last minute (for obvious reasons). This meant that very little work could be done ahead of time—so little, in fact, that the ANS staff and volunteers were often packing trays in the morning, hopping on the subway to Fulton Street at lunchtime and unpacking the same trays that afternoon. Staffing levels and location varied depending on factors such as time of day and day of the week.

ANS Fellow, good friend and loyal volunteer Ted Withington, who devoted a lot of time to this move, joked that we could now write a monograph complete with step-by-step instructions on how to move a museum collection. Here are some samples:

  • Remove coin tray from cabinet, put on table
  • Place one sheet of ethafoam on tray, and tape edges.
  • Slide tray into carrying case
  • Repeat nine times or until no more trays can fit.
  • Fill in any gap between top of top tray and inner top of carrying case with ethafoam, plywood or other materials.
  • Record all tray numbers
  • Close and seal carrying case, and record seal number and case number.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat….

From time to time we tried to improve our packing-unpacking process. At first, everyone was highly cautious and the first trays had a gift-wrapped look, as NO space was left un-taped. There was no way to be sure, until the plan was put into practice and the first batch of trays was unpacked, that we would know whether our methodology was sound. Eventually confidence grew, a routine and rhythm were established and what didn’t work or seemed superfluous (mostly, too much tape) was cut out enabling us to maximize output safely.

With fond memories of our teamwork and long hours working feverishly together, I expressing deep gratitude to my colleagues: the ANS curatorial staff, Robert Hoge, Peter van Alfen, Michael Bates, Sebastian Heath; our assistants, Dawn Bennett, Alexandra Halidisz, Sophia Gofman, and Aviva Gray; intern Andrew Schloss (University of Rochester) and Summer Seminar student Lauren Jacobi (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU), Pamala Wright, Director of Development, Juliette Pelletier, Membership and Development Manager, and Muserref Yetim, Editorial Assistant. Special thanks go to our volunteers—Rick Witschonke (former member of our Board of Trustees), who had to drive more than an hour from his home, and Ted Withington (long-term ANS helper), who called me nightly to find out what building to report to the next morning. I would like also to pay tribute to Normand Pepin, who worked very hard to help safely move the ANS Library; his book-packing talents were greatly esteemed by the moving company workers, who offered to hire him! Normand, however, preferred spending his “free time” with the curatorial department team and helping with our packing and unpacking.

There were many bumps, bruises, cuts and scrapes; obstacles to overcome and problems to solve. Though tempers occasionally flared, the goal pulled us through. Sometimes complicated situations gave us pause, and aggravations, but all of us fulfilling our personal assignments with great patience and diligence helped the ANS in this very historic moment. So now we are delighted to report to our members and friends that WE DID IT!!! Visit us at our new location, where one of the oldest research institution and museums in the country continues its illustrious history.

Lauren Jacobi Juliette Pelletier
Ted Withington Muserref Yetim

News (Summer 2004)

The First Summer Seminar at 96 Fulton

The 51st annual Summer Graduate Seminar commenced on June 1st amidst the final stages of the move and renovation of the 96 Fulton Street building. Thankfully, the two library floors were all but finished when the Seminar began so the students were able to study in relative peace as the frantic work continued on the floors below. By the time of the June 18th Grand Opening, the students had access to the coin collection and so missed barely a step in their studies. Heeding the advice of last year’s students, we extended the Seminar schedule this year by two weeks to allow more time and breathing space for the students to complete their projects. The extra weeks also allowed us to have more guest lecturers: these included Dr. Richard Stone of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA), who addressed issues of conservation and medals production; Dr. Stephen Scher, who spoke on the Renaissance coin collector and the rise of the portrait medal; Dr. Christopher Lightfoot, also of the MMA, who discussed the Roman and Byzantine coins he has excavated at the site of Amorium in Turkey; Prof. John Kroll from the University of Texas at Austin, who presented a paper on Hellenistic portrait coinage; Donald Scarinci, who introduced the students to 19th and 20th century medallic art; former ANS Trustee Rick Witschonke, who discussed cistaphoric coinage; and Prof. Roger Bagnall of Columbia University, who discussed papyri and numismatics. The students also benefited from their daily contact with our Visiting Scholar, Dr. Michel Amandry, the director of the Cabinet des Médailles at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, and from his talks on Roman provincial coinage, and Augustan and Tiberian coins from Africa (the latter was presented at the 1,147th consecutive meeting of the New York Numismatic Club, which graciously invited the students to attend and enjoy the views of Gotham from the Sky Club atop the Metlife building).


From left: Rick Witschonke, Peter van Alfen, Cristoph Rosenmuller, Lauren Jacobi, Lea Cline, Michel Amandry, Teresa Bernheimer, Nathan Elkins, Michael Bates, Matthew Harrington, Tracene Harvey, Sebastian Heath, Elena Stolyarik, Robert Hoge.

This year’s students and their projects were: Teresa Bernheimer from Oxford University (who unfortunately had to withdraw early to return to England); Lea Cline from the University of Texas at Austin, who worked on altar representations on the Augustan quadrantes of 5 BC; Nathan Elkins from the University of Missouri, who investigated the origins of architectural representation on Roman Republican coinage; Tracene Harvey from the University of Alberta, who studied the numismatic commemoration of the empress Livia on Roman coinage; Matthew Harrington from the University of Michigan, who examined the intersection of early 2nd century AD Roman literary culture and coinage; Lauren Jacobi from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, who sought to establish the social, political, and symbolic function of the Renaissance Zecca in Rome; Dr. Cristoph Rosenmuller, visiting professor at Brooklyn College, who studied the mint, money, and political machinations in early 18th century colonial Mexico.

Heath Attends Conference and Defends Dissertation

On May 19th Sebastian Heath participated in a workshop organized as part of the launch of the International Inscriptions of Aphrodisias (INSAPH) project. One goal of INSAPH is to make the inscriptions from the city available on the web. The discussion at the NYU workshop addressed strategies for doing this while integrating contextual material from the excavations that have been undertaken at Aphrodisias since the early 1960s. Professor Christopher Ratté hosted the event which was attended by specialists in humanities computing, epigraphy, and archaeologists from France, England, and the United States.

Dr. Heath will also be presenting the paper “The Characterization of Finewares on Late Roman Shipwrecks” at the Annual Meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America, which will be held in Boston in January 2005. Primarily focussing on shipwrecks off the coast of Southern Gaul, this paper is part of his continuing research into the cultural significance of ceramic imports into that region.

Finally, on June 21st in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Dr. Heath successfully defended his dissertation “Imported Pottery and the Rural Consumer in Late Roman Mediterranean Gaul.”

Van Alfen’s Simple Souvenir Now Available

Peter van Alfen’s new book, A Simple Souvenir: Coins and Medals of the Olympic Games, is now available (http://www.numismatics.org/Store/SimpleSouvenir; ANS members receive a 30% discount off the cover price). This richly illustrated catalogue of the current ANS Olympics exhibit at the Federal Reserve Bank, New York, explores the social and political function of Olympic numismatics. Van Alfen traces the history of Olympic numismatics from its ancient Greek origins to the 19th-century Olympic revival movements, encompassing not only the well-known IOC Olympics, but also the lesser known Olympics held in Athens before 1896 and in Much Wenlock, England, as well as the Socialist Olympic movements of the 1920s and 1930s. Illustrating over 120 objects, including ancient vases and sports equipment, early 20th century posters and other ephemera, in addition to the coins and medals, the book offers a unique perspective on the Olympics and its numismatic heritage.

Barbara Bonous-Smit Becomes Assistant Professor at CUNY

Barbara Bonous-Smit has served as the ANS Assistant Librarian for the past four years. She received her Ph.D. in 1996 from New York University and her M.L.S from Long Island University in 2000. Prior to coming to the ANS she worked at New York University Bobst Library as an Information and Media Assistant and as a cataloger.

Starting in September, 2004, Barbara will be working at City University of New York (CUNY), Queensborough Community College as an Assistant Professor in the Kurt R. Schuller Library. Her responsibilities will include providing bibliographic instruction and reference service to students and faculty; maintaining the periodicals (print and electronic), including collection development, ordering, accessioning and cataloging periodicals; and act as liaison between the Library and faculty of selected departments.

Barbara has been an outstanding member of the ANS staff and will be greatly missed says Dr. Ute Warternberg Kagan ANS Executive Director. However, she plans to assist the ANS as a volunteer to help with research for documents which can be delivered electronically (full-text articles, electronic books, bibliographies, dissertations, abstracts, etc.).

Trustees and Fellows for 2004 Nominations

Written notice will be sent to the Fellows of the Society in an Agenda for the upcoming Annual Meeting of the ANS to be held on Saturday, October 23, 2004 that: Pursuant to, Article V, Section 12 of the bylaws, the Nominating and Governance Committee nominated the following individuals for Trustee:

Dr. Lawrence A. Adams, of Studio City, CA, has been a members since 1982, a Fellow since 1997 and a Trustee since 2001. A dermatologic oncology surgeon, Dr. Adams is a CNG consultant on Greek and Islamic gold, as well as the publisher of the Journal of Ancient Numismatics. Dr. Adams serves on the Finance Committee and is a Platinum Circle contributor.

Mr. Charles C. Anderson, of Florence Alabama, has been a member since 1999, a life member since 2003, and a donor. He graduated from the University of North Alabama in 1956 with a B.S. in marketing. He entered the family business, Anderson News Company, from which four separate companies emerged: Anderson Media Corporation, Anderson Press Incorporated, American Promotional Events, Inc., and Books-A-Million, Inc. He is Chairman of the Executive Committee and on the Board of Directors of each company. In 1962, the family began a new business, importing and publishing numismatic and philatelic items, Anderson Press, which is lead by his son Harold, the Chairman and CEO. Its subsidiary, Whitman Publishing, is the largest numismatic and philatelic distributor in the US. Mr. Anderson is the former director of two banks, a member of a number of boards and is the former president of the Alabama Numismatic Association. He has founded other companies, nationally and abroad, has given to many charitable causes and civic projects including the Salvation Army, currently serving on their national advisory board. Mr. Anderson has been married since 1953 to the former Hilda Claire Barbour. They have four sons and eleven grandchildren.

Prof. Jere L. Bacharach, is a Professor in the Department of History, University of Washington, Seattle WA. He joined the Society in 1966, and became a fellow in 1981. Elected to the Board in 1993 he served until 2000. Currently the Chair of the Huntington Medal Committee, Professor Bacharach’s interests lie in medieval Middle Eastern Muslim political and economic history; monetary and numismatic history; Islamic art history including archaeology. He has edited and authored numerous scholarly books and articles, lectured at and organized conferences, and curated exhibitions. His professional activities both regional and national are extensive, serving on numerous committees and boards including, President of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) as well as President of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) 1999 and 2000.

Prof. Jane Merriam Cody, has been a member since 1968, a Fellow since 1987, and was elected to the Board in 2003. Currently, Prof. Cody is the Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences at the University of Southern California. An ANS summer seminar student in 1965, she held an ANS dissertation fellowship in 1966-1967. She is the recipient of numerous academic awards and honors, has held several editorial and advisory positions, served as a panelist on for the selection of Fulbright Fellowships in classics, NEH selection of summer stipend holders, as well as a Reviewer for the American Journal of Ancient History and the American Journal of Philology. Prof. Cody has served on several professional boards and committees as well as a gubernatorial appointee to the California Council on the Humanities. Prof. Cody has various papers and presentations on coins, the classics and philology to her credit.

Prof. Peter Gaspar, was born in Belgium, and raised in California. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at Yale University, and is a Professor of Chemistry at Washington University, in St. Louis, Missouri. Prof. Gaspar has been a member since 1970, a Fellow since 1975 and a Board member since 2000. A circle contributor, and conscientious donor, Prof. Gaspar serves on the Nominating and Governance Committee. He collects pennies of the Anglo-Saxon and Norman kings, has written on the evolution of coining and die-making techniques. He has lectured at past ANS Summer Graduate Seminars and delivered a Stack Memorial lecture. He is Corresponding Member of Council for the United States of America of the British Numismatic Society, and has conducted extensive research at the Royal Mint.

Mr. Daniel Hamelberg of Champaign, IL, has been a member since 1986 and a Life Fellow since 2002. An aficionado of rare American numismatic auction catalogues and literature, Mr. Hamelberg serves on the Library Committee, and is a major donor to the Francis D. Campbell Library Chair.

Prof. Kenneth W. Harl, was a 1975 Summer Seminar Student and joined the Society that same year. A Fellow since 1991, and a Trustee since 2001 he was also the 2001 Visiting Scholar of the ANS Graduate Seminar. Prof. Harl also serves on the Personnel Committee. Prof. Harl earned a Ph.D. from Yale University, and is currently a Professor of History at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. A donor to the Roman Provincial Coins Photography Project, he has written extensively about Roman provincial coins and in particular Asia Minor.

Mr. Reed Hawn of Austin, TX, has been a member since 1974, was elected to Fellow in 1981 and became a Life Fellow in 1982. An active participant in many civic and political arenas, he served on the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee, and is also a breeder of Arabian horses. A Silver Circle and Gold Circle contributor, Mr. Hawn has been a dedicated donor to the Society.

Prof. John H. Kroll, born in Washington, DC, Prof. Kroll took his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1968. He attended the Society’s Graduate Seminar in 1963. A Fellow and Trustee of the ANS since 1984, Prof. Kroll currently holds the Office of Second Vice-President and serves on the Executive Committee. He is Professor of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin, and a contributor and author to a number of numismatic publications. He also served as Secretary of The American School of Classical Studies in Athens.

Mr. David B. Simpson, of Tenafly, NJ, is an attorney engaged in the private practice of law since 1964. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the Columbia University School of Law. A member since 1980, and a Fellow since 1999, he was elected to the Board in 2001. Mr. Simpson is a Circle Contributor, donor to the General Fund and the Francis D. Campbell Library Chair and he currently serves on the Finance and Building Committees. He is also active in the New York Numismatic Club, where he currently serves as President.

Dr. Thomas A. Zdeblick, of Middleton, WI, became a member in 2000. A Silver Circle contributor, Dr Zdeblick became a Fellow and was elected to the Board in 2003. He is Chairman and Professor at the University of Wisconsin, in the Division of Orthopedic Surgery and the Department of Neurosurgery. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Among his professional accomplishments, Dr. Zdeblick was a fellow at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery, Division of Spine Reconstructive Surgery. He has received numerous awards during his schooling and residency as well as for his research and teaching skills. He lectures regularly at international meetings, has published over seventy papers in peer reviewed journals, authored three books, and contributed chapters to an additional sixteen books. Additionally, Dr. Zdeblick has been heavily involved with the design and development of several of today’s most advanced spinal instrumentation systems. Dr. Zdeblick’s is an active member of many professional organizations including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Spinal Injury Association, and Orthopaedic Research Society. He is collector of ancient Greek coins with a specific interest in coinage relating to Dionysos.

Nominations of Officers to the Society

  • President – Donald G. Partrick
  • First Vice President – John Whitney Walter
  • Second Vice President – John H. Kroll
  • Treasurer – Kenneth Lewis Edlow
  • Secretary – Ute Wartenberg Kagan

The Nominating and Governance Committee Also Nominates the Following Individuals to Serve as Fellows:

Mr. Victor England, of Lancaster, PA is the Senior Director of Classic Numismatic Group, Inc., (CNG). A member since 1986 and a Life member since 1995, Mr. England has been an advisor on coin purchases and is a major donor towards: Annual giving, special events, the Bass Computer Fund, the New Century Fund, etc., and a key advisor in our fundraising campaign. He is a graduate of the University of Denver with a B.A. in Economics. In 1986 he founded Classical Numismatic Auctions, which later became the cornerstone of CNG.

Mr. Jerome Haggerty, resides in Brooklyn, NY. A member since 2001, Mr. Haggerty has been a docent for the exhibits at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since 2003. He is a Bronze Circle contributor and has given towards the Francis D. Campbell Library Chair.

Dr. David Menchel, a physician residing in Fresh Meadows, NY, has been a member since 1987 and a Life member since 1996. A Silver Circle contributor for years, he has also given towards the annual fund drives and the Islamic Chair Fund. Recently he lectured at the 2004 Stack Family COAC, presenting on “Betts Medals Not Included in his Canon.”

Mr. Normand Pepin, an upstanding member of the New York community, joined the Society in 1981. For several years Mr. Pepin has been a devoted volunteer in the Library. His assistance, commitment and support to the Library and its staff, before, during and after the relocation to lower Manhattan is unparalleled.

Dr. Stuart D. Sears resides in Longmeadow, MA and has been a member since 1987. He has a Ph.D. in Islamic History, and is a major organizer of Islamic subject conferences at the ANS as well as a donor of the Islamic Chair Fund. Recently his research has been on the monetary reforms of the caliph ‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan via an ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship.

Mr. Lawrence R. Stack, of New York, NY. has been a member since 1977. A major supporter of the ANS, he has offered help with the fundraising campaign, has given to the Olympic exhibition and supports the recently named Stack Family COAC. Mr. Stack has been a key figure at Stack’s Rare Coin Galleries, since 1973. He has formed major collections of French Ecus, Five-Franc pieces and Ecus d’Or, has an in-depth collection of Celtic, Greek and Anglo-Saxon coins. He has a longtime interest in English Hammered coinage as well as US Colonial coins, US Gold and Type coinage.

Mr. David M. Sundman, President of Littleton Stamps and Coins, Inc., Littleton, NH, has been a member since 1984. A Silver Circle contributor for years he has donated towards Special Events, Annual giving and COAC. Mr. Sundman has been given the PNG Significant Contribution Award for his consumer protection work and in 2003 was the recipient of the ANA’s Medal of Merit Award.

Mr. Edward J. Waddell, Jr., has been a member since 1971 and a Life member since 1998. He is the president and chief operating officer of Edward J. Waddell, Ltd. of Frederick, MD, specializing in Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and early medieval coins. He has recently donated towards the Francis D. Campbell Library Chair.

2004 Candidate for an Honorary Life Fellow

Chester L. Krause, of Iola, WI, learned about coin and stamp collecting as a boy. After graduating Iola High School, he was drafted into the Army, serving as a mechanic and later assigned to protect General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army headquarters. In 1946 he returned to Iola to work as a carpenter, but in 1952 his interest in coin collecting led to publishing the Numismatic News. Although he has never been an ANS member, Mr. Krause has helped the ANS. He was one of the first to support the move downtown, and through Krause Publications has offered much assistance to our various operations. It is hard to overestimate the importance that Chet Krause has had on the numismatic community all over the world.

A list of the Nominees and short biographies can also be seen on the ANS website http://www.numismatics.org.

From the Executive Director (Summer 2004)

by Ute Wartenberg Kagan

Dear Members and Friends,

This ANS Magazine is the first issue that the ANS staff wrote in their new offices in downtown Manhattan. In the middle of July the last moving truck left our building on Audubon Terrace to deliver some shelves and a few old desks to our new location on Fulton Street. Although I was very eager to see our new headquarters ready for business, I had mixed feelings when I saw room after room being slowly emptied out at our old building; a great deal had happened within those walls, and a great deal of that history had accumulated in various forms over the years. An astonishing amount of material was left after the coins and the books were all gone. There were thousands of slides, the enormous photo file of auction catalog records, paintings (some great finds, but more on this in a later issue), sculptures, and some beautiful furniture. It was not always easy to find the gems among the many fifteen-year-old computers, miscellaneous boxes of typewriter ribbons, broken chairs, and reams of membership material. We did, however, take the time to sort through the old membership information, and so looked through thousands of boxes and packages. There again we found several treasures, including a turn-of-the-century questionnaire that prospective members around 1900 were required to fill-out; among the questions were details of family, education, and personal information that most members today would find intrusive, if not offensive. Needless to say, we’ve learned a great deal from these questionnaires about some of our earliest members! When all was said and done, it took over four months of almost daily moving before the building uptown was at last empty.

This summer’s issue features an article by our archivist, Joe Ciccone, on the history of our old building and its neighborhood Washington Heights. Joe, who works part-time for the Society, has done an amazing job with our archival holdings, and a lot of wonderful letters, papers, and photographs are now available for perusal and research. What used to be a mass of dusty boxes and loose folders tucked away in dark corners of the old basement is now a well-organized (and well-lit!), modern archives department overseeing 500 neatly labeled containers. The website of the archives department is also expanding, and I encourage everyone to look at these interesting, frequently changing pages http://www.numismatics.org/Archives/Archives. As our 150th anniversary is drawing closer, we plan to make use of this archival material for a new volume that will cover the history of the Society from 1958 to the present day, much in the same way that Howard Adelson’s 1958 volume covered the history of the Society’s first century (sadly, Prof. Adelson passed away recently; his obituary is found in this issue). Articles in this volume by some of our volunteers, interns, and this year’s Visiting Scholar, Michel Amandry, also provide insight into the everyday work of the ANS. We are very grateful to all of them for their interest, enthusiasm and hard work.

We will not, however, rest on our laurels, or catch our breath after this long, hard move. Our next big goal is to raise enough money to create a stable endowment to ensure that our new building will always be fully staffed, fully functioning, and open to serve you. I am delighted that our Board of Trustees is expanding and that some very distinguished numismatists have agreed to serve, and so are helping the American Numismatic Society begin its new era in downtown Manhattan. I am inviting all our members to join in this endeavor. It seems particularly important at a time when our national numismatic collection at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., has closed its doors to the general public that we at the ANS create a lasting, welcoming environment for collectors, academics, and the general public at large. I hope that we at the ANS can count on your support.

Yours truly,
Ute Wartenberg Kagan

The Stack Family Coinage of the Americas Conference (2004)

by Robert Wilson Hoge

2004’s Coinage of the Americas Conference (COAC) convened in the ANS’ new facilities, at 96 Fulton Street (140 William Street), in lower Manhattan, Friday evening, May 14, at 6:30 p.m. Attendees found the building well on its way to readiness for occupancy. A welcome from Executive Director Dr. Ute Wartenberg-Kagan, expressing appreciation to the Stack family for its commitment to support this major annual function of the Society, was followed by a statement of acknowledgment and satisfaction from Larry Stack. The theme for this year’s COAC was “Medals Illustrating American Colonial History, the Work of C. W. Betts Revisited.”


Larry Stack

Opening remarks were followed by the initial presentation of the Conference itself. This was a talk by Anne E. Bentley and John W. Adams, respectively Curator of the Massachusetts Historical Society and Trustee of the American Numismatic Society, on their large-scale project entitled “An International Survey of the Comitia Americana Medals.” Their goal is to locate and identify original and early restrike specimens of the Comitia Americana series extant in the world’s collections. Interesting preliminary results showed that original issues are considerably rarer than may have been heretofore supposed, and that the numbers reflect the political situations dominant at the time of their minting. These are the first medals that are attributed to the fledgling United States of America, although they were struck in France, at the Paris Mint (Monnaie de Paris).


Robert Hoge (l.) and John Adams (r.)

Anne Bentley

Participants congregated after the Bentley/Adams address for a sumptuous official dinner at nearby historic Fraunces Tavern, a location very much in keeping with the subject matter of the occasion. The 2004 COAC reconvened in the Society’s new facilities at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, for coffee followed by a full program of studies broken by a buffet lunch at noon. Eight presentations explored a number of the areas initially investigated and catalogued by early ANS member Charles Wyllys Betts in his 1894 work, American Colonial History Illustrated by Contemporary Medals.

D. Wayne Johnson, well-known specialist in American Medallic productions and former officer of the prolific Medallic Arts Company as well as a one-time major dealer in medals, delivered a paper entitled “How Many Betts Medals are ‘America American.'” He identified those medals in the Betts canon of issues from various sources which are truly a part of the history of the geographical region which is now the United States of America, and discussed the origins and criteria for selection of such pieces.


D. Wayne Johnson

Robert W. Hoge, Curator of American Coins and Currency at the American Numismatic Society, in his talk entitled “A Survey of the Betts Series of Medals in the Collection of the American Numismatic Society,” delineated the extent of the Society’s collection of this material, noting some pieces of particular attractiveness and interest among the extensive holdings which have been donated over the years. Of particular importance are the gifts of Daniel Parish Jr., around the turn of the last century, and the more recent contributions from the renowned Norweb collection.


US Comitia Americana Series, John Paul Jones, 1779 by Augustin Dupré. Early silver restrike, Paris Mint Betts. 568 (ANS 1967.225.518, Wadsworth Atheneum J. Coolidge Hills bequest).

Eric Goldstein, Curator at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, discussed “Exonumia of the British Armed Forces, 1740-1780.” Using contemporary source illustrations, he elucidated the interpretation and context of a wide variety of little-recognized pieces of numismatic militaria, pointing out the importance of social club insignia among officers.


Eric Goldstein

Vicken Yegparian, numismatist and researcher with the Stack’s firm, unveiled his original research on the exceedingly rare academic medal issued by his alma mater, which had not yet been uncovered in Betts’ day. His talk, “The Premium Medal’s Awarded by the Literary Society of King’s College in New York 1767-1771,” utilized unpublished materials from the archives of Columbia University (formerly King’s College) and elsewhere.


Vicken Yegparian

A leading specialist and researcher in the period of French Revolutionary numismatics, Richard Margolis presented the results of his long-term extensive research in original archival sources in France. In his talk “Benjamin Franklin in Terra Cotta, Portrait Medallions by Jean Baptiste Nini and Jean Martin Renaud,” Margolis covered these remarkable series of ceramic images and discussed their background and creation.


Richard Margolis

David T. Alexander, scholarly researcher, writer and numismatist with the Stack’s firm, presented “The Enigmatic John Stewart Comitia Americana Medal,” in which he pursued the occasion, the preparation and the post-humous awarding of this the most rare and least understood of the original Congressional series of medals.


David Alexander

In his “Thomas Jefferson, Medal Collector,” researcher and dealer John Kraljevich investigated the third president’s place in numismatics in terms of the coins and medals he is known to have handled and issues with which he was involved, reporting observations drawn from the collections of Jefferson’s papers and discussing his diplomatic activities and travels.


John Kraljevich

Researcher David Menchell summarized the extensive material which, for a variety of reasons, did not find its way into Betts’ catalog. His “‘Betts Medals’ Not Included in the Betts Canon” focused largely upon those medals relating to European treaties which contain specific provisions dealing with American subjects but which were not previously regarded as necessarily having American connotations. He included particular examples of items unknown to Betts but to be found in the ANS collection.


David Menchell

The working title for the eventual ANS publication of the proceedings from the 2004 COAC is The Medal in America, Volume 3: Medals Illustrating American Colonial History, the Work of C. W. Betts Revisited.

First Impressions (Summer 2004)

by Katherine Siboni

When I walked up to 96 Fulton Street for the first time on June 15 of this summer, I set foot into the American Numismatic Society Headquarters momentarily, looked around, and fleed immediately, hoping that no one had noticed me. After having yelled “Williams and Fulton” over numerous intercoms to blank-faced subway attendants, having dodged at least a hundred black suits whose ties were exactly at my eye-level, and having passed my bolted-up destination multiple times, one would imagine I would finally stumble into the building with a sigh of relief, not slip out just as quickly as I had entered. It wasn’t as though I suddenly felt nervous, or unprepared. But when I was greeted by a floor composed of dust and chunks of plaster, a cacophony of drilling and hammering, and almost all of the only human beings present elevated three feet above me on step ladders, I knew I couldn’t possibly be in the right place. I walked outside, checked the address once again, re-entered, asked if Dr. Wartenberg was in, and was amazed when they knew who I was talking about.

Every morning of my first week, I walked into a given room, and was greeted by towers of brown cardboard hovering over myself, the group of interns I had just joined, and anyone else from the museum scrambling to organize the building before the opening. The objective of every day was to make one of these rooms appear empty by 5:00. Eventually this was achieved, and a party was held in a clean, orderly building. The next week I started my internship with the archives.

Working in the archives, at first, did not seem dissimilar to working on the move, in that making order of impossible amounts of material was the goal. However, as Joe and Aviva—​archivist by profession and not numismatists—​glanced over my shoulder and proclaimed the name of the foreign face staring up at me from a pile of old photographs, and proceeded to pour out their knowledge of the given individual, I realized that my internship would require much more mental involvement than unpacking boxes. Through inventory work of old correspondence files, databasing the summer seminar, and looking up references to former curators, the ANS has managed to clear a corner of my brain in which to nestle and await the daily input of information. Moving through the building every day, more and more gaps in my knowledge of the society’s history are filled by the small but erudite staff, who weave information into this mental map that I am forming. Also, because of ANS’ size, I have found that all the aspects of the Society’s management are so compact that they inevitably coincide, allowing no possibility for detachment from the interest of the Society in any area.

As the thousands of coins, and the documents of those who were so well acquainted with them, have made their way off of the chaos of the big empty floors and onto shelves where they will be preserved and studied, they are also being stored away in my mind, which began the summer of 2004 just as unfamiliar with but open to Numismatics as 96 Fulton Street.

Roman Gold from Boscoreale at the ANS

by Sebastian Heath

Boscoreale, near Pompeii in Italy, is well known to Roman numismatists as the find spot of a hoard of over 1,000 gold aurei, the latest of which dates to AD 78, that came to light in 1894 or 1895. Covered with volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius on August 24, AD 79, the villa in which the coins were found had lain undisturbed until 1876, but even then the coin hoard lay undiscovered for almost another 30 years. Unfortunately, no formal study of the Boscoreale coins was made before they were dispersed into the market, and, as is often the case, it is very possible that a list pubished 1909 includes material from other finds as well.

A distinctive feature of coins from Boscoreale is their deep-red toning, and the term “Boscoreale” is now used in auction catalogs to describe similar discoloration on any Roman gold. The ANS cabinets hold many such coins as well as five aurei of Nero from the E. T. Newell collection that are accompanied by tags in Newell’s handwriting specifically noting the Boscoreale Hoard as their provenance. This is as good a basis for assigning the coins to the hoard as is likely to be available today. In addition, a single aureus of Nero from the A. J. Fecht bequest, which was deposited at the Society in 1948, but not formally accessioned until 1980, has a tag indicating that it is “ex Boscoreale find, Pompeii, 1898,” and so is included here.

Boscoreale coins tend to be well preserved and the ANS pieces are no exception. The small selection shown here certainly illustrates the high artistic skill of mid to late first century imperial engravers. Additionally, this group is interesting for showing the changing style of Nero’s official portrait. Born into a prominent family, Nero’s prospects improved dramatically when his mother Agrippina, Jr., herself a great-granddaughter of Augustus, married the reigning emperor Claudius in AD 49. Coins were subsequently issued in the name of the new imperial prince, including the specimen illustrated in figure 1. In this early phase, Nero’s image has similarities with that of Claudius, who had adopted him in AD 50.


Figure 1. Nero r./Inscribed shield, spear behind (RIC 78 under Claudius, AD 50-54). (ANS 1944.100.39405, E.T. Newell bequest).

At the beginning of his reign, following the death of Claudius in 54, Nero issued coins that also bore his mother’s portrait, as shown in figure 2. By 55, mother and son had fallen out with each other, and Nero had Agrippina murdered in 59. Figure 3 shows a coin of 60-61 that certainly depicts a slightly older man with more individualized features.


Figure 2. Jugate busts of Nero and Agrippina r./Deified Claudius and Augustus drawn by quadriga of elephants (RIC 6, 55). (ANS 1967.153.219, A. M. Newell bequest).


Figure 3. Nero r./Virtus standing l. (RIC 25, 60-61). (ANS 1944.100.39413, E.T. Newell bequest).

These first three coins may well have been struck at Lugdunum, modern Lyon in France, although debate on this matter continues. The last three, struck between 64 and 68 (figures 4, 5, and 6), are products of the Roman mint and show Nero’s fully developed and mature portrait. By this time, Rome had suffered the great fire of 64, and Nero’s subsequent behavior became increasingly erratic. Resistance to his rule came to a head in 68 when revolt broke out in Africa, Gaul, Germany, and Spain. Finally, on June 9 of the same year, Nero took his own life rather than be cut down by pursuing assassins.


”Figure 4. Nero r./Nero radiate standing (RIC 46, 64-65). (ANS 1944.100.39419, E.T. Newell bequest).


Figure 5. Nero r./Jupiter seated r. (RIC 52, 64-65). (ANS 1944.100.39422, E.T. Newell bequest).


Figure 6. Nero r./Salus seated l. (RIC 59, 65-66). (ANS 1980.109.158, bequest of A.J. Fecht).

Sources Used

Adelson, H. 1858. The American Numismatic Society, 1858-1958. (ANS: New York).

Blanchet, A. 1895. “Le trésor monétaire de Bosco Reale,” Revue Numismatique, Troisième Série 13, pp. 574-575.

Canessa, C. 1909. “Trésor monétaire de Boscoreale,” Le Musée 6, pp. 259-265.”

Tameanko, M. 1994. “Boscoreale; the aurei from the fabulous treasure of 1895,” The Celator 8.3, pp. 6-8, 10-12, 14-16.

Full information about each coin illustrated is available on the ANS web-site, http://numismatics.org/collection.

Obituary for the Belgian Franc: Part I

by Andrew Schloss

At the birthplace of the Euro, there is little nostalgia for the Belgian Franc. Unlike the Germans or French, who still mourn the loss of their beloved marks and francs, Belgium was all too ready to dump their faithful currency in favor of a vision of a united Europe. The Belgian Franc may have always played second fiddle to its southern neighbor (after all, it couldn’t even stand on its own two feet, always being proceded by the modifier “Belgian”) but if nothing else it had a visage that was remarkably reflective of the nation it served. Spanning only 175 years, the coinage of modern Belgium comprises a short series when compared to its neighbors. Nevertheless, coins of Belgium rival any other contemporary series in terms of aristry and historical significance. Far from being made of chocolate as one might expect, Belgian numismatics provide an excellent case-study of the ability of coins to peer into the soul of a nation.

Belgium looks to the future as the epicenter of European integration. No doubt this is partly the result of a traumatic post-World War II history in which the monarchy nearly faced dissolution, an African debacle left Belgium the poster child for decolonization gone awry, and the devolution of the unitary state along language lines threatened the kingdom’s very existence. In its struggle for national identity, Belgium has been described as “a hopelessly broken marriage which is held together only because the partners could find no other place to live” (Van Wie, p. 146). A look at Belgian coinage through these historical contexts provides insight into understanding as to why the current situation at the heart of the European Union remains uncertain.

The first part of this article will focus on the crisis in the monarchy that ensued Belgium’s liberation at the close of WWII and the way in which the contemporary coins reflected Belgians’ changing perceptions toward the institution. The second installment will focus on the traditional rivalry between Dutch-speaking Flanders and francophone Wallonia and how the language schism and the accompanying tension has come to dominate nearly all aspects of Belgian society.


From 1831 until the German Occupation of WWII, all coins of Belgium fetured either a bust of monogram of the ruling sovereign in its design. 20 Francs of Leopold III, 1934. (ANS 1935.999.286).

For more than a century the coins of Belgium have featured a portrait of the king and the inscription “King of the Belgians.” However, this image has not remained static and each variation in the coinage reflects the change in both the perception of the monarch and his interaction with his government. When Leopold I of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was crowned King of Belgium in 1831, he received the title “King of the Belgians.” Likely influenced by the 1830 revolution in France and the election of Louis Phillipe as “King of the French,” the title was considered by contemporaries to be a paradigm of a “new” monarch, the citizen-king as the figure head of a constitutional monarchy. The coins of Belgium from 1831 onwards featured either the monogram or bust of the king, accompanied by his royal title. The king continued to play an important role in Belgian politics as a force of influence until the outbreak of WWII and the ensuing German occupation. Belgium’s unease toward the role of the monarch in the years after WWII is reflected in the coinage of the era. Subsequently, royal imagery on Belgium coinage has mirrored the role of the monarch as a neutral and moderating force between dueling internal factions.

Occupation and Betrayal

The German invasion of the Lowlands came unexpectedly by air on May 10, 1940. The Luftwaffe and German paratroopers destroyed the air forces of the Netherlands and Belgium on the ground and seized key bridges and forts throughout the region (http://www.expatonline.com/moving/belgium/History/history_since_1945.cfm). Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg fled along with their respective governments to London where they continued an active resistance against the German aggressors. However, while the Belgian government joined the exiled nations of Europe in London, King Leopold III broke the ranks of solidarity and after a brief eighteen day campaign surrendered his country unconditionally to the German advancers (Van Wie, p. 151). The shock amongst the Belgian government was total. With no minister by Leopold’s side to countersign the capitulation, the government in exile regarded the surrender as invalid and continued plans of cooperation with the Allies. Although Leopold was taken prisoner and held at his palace at Laeken, his policies during the occupation smacked of German collaboration. Leopold and his family were taken to Austria after the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944, and while in exile they refused to show any support of the resistance movements while simultaneously calling the Allied liberators “occupying powers” (Witte, p. 170). While the image of Wilhelmina was removed from the coins of occupied Holland, as was the case of the other monarchs of occupied nations, Leopold’s bust remained on Belgian coinage throughout the Nazi occupation, a revealing clue about the absence of animosity between Leopold and the Germans (Van Wie, p. 151).


Unlike neighboring Netherlands and Luxembourg, where national heraldry was either radically changed or dropped altogether, Leopold III continued to grace the coins of Belgium during the Occupation. 5 Francs of Leopold III, 1941 (ANS 1951.177.2, gift of J. A. Yockers).

Crisis

Parliament convened in Brussels for the first time since 1940 on September 19, 1944 and in the absence of Leopold the legislature appointed his brother Prince Karel as regent. The character and actions of Leopold III during the occupation immediately sparked an intense conflict between the left and right wings of the Belgian political spectrum. The Communists, who attained considerable prestige in the years immediately after 1945, called for Leopold’s abdication while the conservatives vehemently opposed anything other than the king’s full reinstatement (Balthazar, pp. 80-85). In 1945 Prime Minister Van Acker left Belgium for Leopold’s temporary residence in Austria in order to negotiate an agreement. Van Acker was given instructions that Leopold was to publicly laud the Allied forces, purge his entourage, and renew his commitment to parliamentary democracy. The crisis deepened during Van Acker’s absence when the Christian Socialist Party (CVP), a conservative party backing the king, insisted on a public referendum to solve the debate. The largely socialist and liberal Parliament refused and in defiance the CVP left the government (Witte, pp. 170, 180).

As a result of van Acker’s successful mediation, Leopold returned to Belgium amidst this scene of political chaos which only worsened with the resignation of the Communists and the complete collapse of the coalition government. The elections held in 1949 saw the spectacular rise of the conservative right wing, with the CVP capturing 105 seats in the 212 seat Chamber. With a near majority, the CVP was easily able to force a referendum on the Royal Question. In a referendum held on March 12, 1950, 57.6 percent of voters favored the return of Leopold to the throne. The results however polarized the country: 72 percent of Flanders voted for Leopold while fewer than 50 percent in Wallonia and Brussels supported the king. Sensing the transformation of the Royal Question into a full-fledged regional conflict, Leopold offered a compromise in which he would temporarily abdicate and return when the situation had cooled down a bit. This solution pleased no one, with the Socialists and liberals wanting even more restrictions and the Christian Conservatives demanding full reinstatement. Amidst this snowballing crisis was another wave of elections that increased the CVP’s power in Parliament to an absolute majority. This parliament quickly voted to reinstate Leopold and on July 22, 1950 Leopold III returned to Laeken Palace (Witte, pp. 179-181).

The decision to reinstate Leopold as King of the Belgians sparked waves of protest through Wallonia. The Walloon industrial belt went on a general strike and was joined on July 26 by the transportation sector of the economy. There were plans to bring the entire steel industry to a standstill and calls for a Walloon Republic. Four people were shot dead by State Police at Grace Berleur. With the country at the verge of civil war, Leopold started a new round of negotiations with the government on July 31, 1950 in which it was finally agreed that Leopold would abdicate in favor of his son Baudouin. The bloody epilogue to the Royal Question crisis occurred on July 16, 1951 during the inauguration of Baudouin I when Julien Lahaut, Chairman of the Communist Party, shouted out “Vive la Republique” during the royal oath ceremony. Lahaut was shot dead one week later in front of his home in Seraing. The murder was never solved (Witte, http://www.resistances.be/).

Iconoclasm and Reconciliation

Belgium’s unease towards the role of the monarch in the years after WWII is reflected on the coinage of the era. The coins of Belgium from 1831 onward featured either the monogram or bust of the king, accompanied by his royal title. The years 1945-1947 saw a continuation of the series that had circulated prior to and during the German Occupation in a policy similar to other European countries who favored instilling a sense of continuity from before the war rather than immediate reforms. A complete redesign of Belgian coinage was unveiled in 1948 during the core of the crisis regarding the Royal Question. The new designs were a radical shift towards republican iconography. The portrait of Leopold III was completely removed from all of the denominations. Replacing him were allegorical representations of agriculture, commerce, and industry. The one and five franc denominations pictured the goddess Ceres, symbolizing agriculture, accompanied by a small horn of plenty (Van Wie, pp. 151-152). The theme of renewal was appropriate considering that the coins were introduced when Europe’s battlefields were still smoldering and is a motif common to the coins of many nations after WWII including those of France, West Germany, and Italy. The only reference to Belgium’s status as a monarchy was the crown on the reverse. The twenty and fifty franc pieces replace Leopold’s bust with a portrait of the classical god Mercury, a traditional symbol of commerce and prosperity. On these pieces even the crown on the reverse was omitted. The 50-centime coin features a portrait of a miner, symbolizing industry (Raymond, p. 2). The only post-WWII coin that Leopold III appears on is the 100 franc denomination, and even then he is portrayed on a tableau with his three predecessors, again stressing continuity after the war (Wie, pp. 151-152). The 100-franc coin also bears resemblance to a denier of ancient Gallic Belgium, further reinforcing the de-emphasis on Leopold himself and the focus on historical continuity (Pauwels, p. 75). King Leopold was also removed from the coinage of the Belgian Congo and replaced by an elephant motif (Raymond, p. 16).


Removed from every denomination save one, Leopold III was relegated to the infrequently seen 100-franc coin, where he shared the obverse with his three predecessors. 100 Francs, 1948. (ANS 1965.68.13, gift of Henry Grunthal).


Replacing Leopold III on the 20-franc coin in 1948, Mercury marked a dramatic shift from over a century of a continual royal presence. 20 Francs, 1949. (ANS 1965.68.11, gift of Henry Grunthal).


Even Belgium’s colonies in Central Africa felt the pressure of the Royal Question, as Leopold was replaced in the Belgian Congo with an elephant. Belgian Congo 5 Francs, 1947. (ANS 1950.122.509, gift of Wayte Raymond).

The subsequent return of royal imagery on Belgian coinage starting in the 1960’s and continuing until the present day is reflective of the role the monarch has played as a neutral and moderating force in the ever-increasing tensions between the Walloons and the Flemings as well as his standing as a rare source of national Belgian pride (http://www.expatonline.com/moving/belgium/History/history_since_1945.cfm). Baudouin first appears on a commemorative coin celebrating the 1958 World’s Fair held in Brussels. As a commemorative, the coin was only minted in small quantities and did not generally circulate. It was only in 1969 that the King’s portrait returned to Belgian coinage, although without any name or royal title. Earning the affection of most Belgians, Baudouin became a symbol of Belgian fortitude during a decade of economic stagnation exacerbated by the loss of the Belgian Congo (1960-1961) and the military debacles in Rwanda and Burundi (1962). The Belgian government slowly phased in coins from 1980-1989 with Baudouin’s portrait and royal name replacing the classical symbols of the immediate post-war years (Van Wie, pp. 151-152). The return of the Belgian monarch as a symbol of pride and national unity was complete in 1999 when Belgium chose to picture King Albert II on the national side of its Euro coins. Today, the monarchy is one of Belgium’s most cherised institutions, with Albert embraced on both sides of the political spectrum and the lives of the royal family covered exhaustively by the tabloids.


Reconciled with the monarchy, Belgium chose King Albert II to represent Belgium on the national side of the new Euro coinage. 1 Euro 1999 (ANS 2002.24.71, gift of Coast to Coast Coins).

The crisis in the monarchy had a happy ending. It took decades of patience and tact by the royal family, but at last their sins have been forgiven by the Belgian people. The major crisis of the post-war era, the splintering of Belgium into two, and then three, separate societies has a less optimistic prognosis. In the next part we will look at the intense rivalry between Flanders and Wallonia and its severe impact on Belgian life, including its numismatics.


See also: Obituary for the Belgian Franc: Belgium’s Post-War Political Landscape Reflected Through Its Coinage, Part II: Belgie, Belgique, Belgia?

Andrew Schloss is spending his second summer interning at the ANS. An undergraduate student at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., Schloss is both a coin collector and an avid student of history. He is spending the current academic semester interning with a Member of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

Volunteer Impressions (Summer 2004)

by Rick Witschonke

Last year I retired after a 30-year career in the field of technology consulting, and decided to spend some of my new-found free time doing volunteer work at the ANS. Since January, I have spent an average day a week at the Society, and have been having a wonderful time.

Since childhood, I’ve collected coins, specializing in the Roman Republic, and the provincial Roman coinage of that era. I’ve been a Fellow of the Society for many years, and served for several years on the Board. I got in touch with Sebastian Heath, ANS Director of Information Technology, and he suggested I help out with the creation of digital images of the Society’s collection for the online database, a massive and important project. Since the Roman Proconsular cistophori are one of my interests, Sebastian suggested we start with those. So, on January 27, 2004, I came in to the Society, and Sebastian patiently introduced me to the mysteries of capturing images using the Society’s Nikon digital camera, and then using Photoshop to enhance the images and make them web ready. The process is much more complex than I had expected (over 100 separate steps for each side of each coin), and on the first day it took me five hours to process four coins! Since then, we have begun using the Epson scanner, which gives results almost equivalent to the camera for most coins, and has the advantage of enabling you to capture eight images at a time. As a result, I was able to get my productivity up to eight coins per hour, a big improvement.

As a collector, the rather tedious task was lightened by being able to enjoy and appreciate the coins themselves. The riches of the Society’s collections are legendary, and it was fascinating to see firsthand coins that had been donated by famous collectors, or tickets written by Edward T. Newell and other early curators for coins they had wisely purchased in the 30’s and 40’s. Since I knew the coinage, I was able to add attributions according to Stumpf’s recent reference on the series. I discovered that Stumpf’s number 11.a (supposedly a specimen in the ANS trays) is actually an electrotype of the British Museum specimen (clearly marked as such). And I discovered a unique cistophorus of Hieropolis that Newell had donated, which I subsequently found had been published in 1950 in Museum Notes by Sydney P. Noe.

Then, in late April, the focus of the entire curatorial staff turned to the move from Audubon Terrace to Fulton Street. Elena Stolyarik, ANS Collections Manager, asked me if I would be willing to help with the move, and I gladly signed up. I was asked to help in packing some of the hundreds of trays of plaster casts of ancient coins that ANS curators have accumulated over the years to do the many die studies of ancient coinages that are so important to the advancement of knowledge of these series. While carefully wrapping these fragile artifacts of decades of numismatic scholarship, I was overwhelmed by the amount of work which must have been involved in producing a single die study. For example, the large cabinet containing the casts for Margaret Thompson’s die study of the New Style coinage of Athens contains about 3000 casts, collected over a period of years through correspondence with curators of collections all over the world (or personal visits to the collections). Then each cast was studied, and a die-linked sequence of the issues constructed (enough to blind a normal human). Then, the chronological conclusions were drawn, the text written, and the catalogue published. But, since it is impossible to publish photographs of every specimen (or even every die) in the finished work, the cabinet of casts represents the audit trail of the work done by the scholar, and the starting point for any future student of the series. Thus, the casts, even though not actual coins, have tremendous scholarly value in themselves, and must be carefully preserved. This is one of the things that the ANS does so well.

Another side benefit of assisting in the packing was that I got to explore the labyrinth of the old ANS building. I was familiar with the exhibition rooms, the Library, and the Greek and Roman vaults, but had never seen the two-story upstairs vault, or many of the subterranean rooms. I even discovered that the building actually included living quarters for some of the staff. And I got to see the fabled “swimming pool”, a large room which extends out under Audubon Terrace, and apparently had a tendency to flood.

Then, in late May, the actual move of the collections began in earnest. Elena had done a marvelous job of planning the move, including the design of specially-constructed wooden boxes to hold the trays, and an elaborate security procedure to ensure that every tray could be accounted for. And, for the entire period of the move, she was the field general, commanding the troops, and making sure the move went smoothly. The fact that we were able to move 700,000 specimens without misplacing even one item is testimony to her planning and execution skills (and a lot of hard work by the entire staff, the volunteers, and the moving company).

The packing and unpacking of the trays gave me a unique view of the diversity and depth of the Society’s collections. I saw samplings of the Greek trays, plus Oriental, Islamic glass weights (a real challenge to pack, but we didn’t break a single one), antique coin scales, Goetz medals, modern Latin American, war medals, Swedish plate money, and even wooden nickels. And, even though the work was quite physical, the camaraderie among the staff made the whole experience very pleasant.


Rick Witschonke and Michel Amandry

We were able to finish the move just in time for the beginning of the ANS Graduate Student Seminar, and this was particularly enjoyable for me, since Michel Amandry, of the Cabinet des Medailles in Paris is the Visiting Scholar this year, and he is an old friend. Peter van Alfen, ANS Curator of Greek Coins, who runs the Seminar, asked me if I would do a presentation to the students on the Roman Cistophori. I immediately accepted Peter’s kind invitation, and began spending time in the Library, doing research for my paper. This was the first time I had used the ANS Library extensively, and I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to have such easy access to the finest numismatic library in the world. Sitting at a table in the library, you have virtually every book, article, and journal that you could possibly want within 20 feet of you, and they are arranged in such an intuitive, user-friendly way, that you can easily find what you want within seconds, without having to even consult a catalogue. Frank Campbell, the ANS Librarian, and his staff deserve tremendous credit for maintaining such a valuable and accessible resource, and for getting the entire library moved to the new building and organized in time for the Seminar.

Finally, a note on the ANS staff. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all of the curators, and their excellent assistants. Their friendliness, openness, and willingness to help me with any problem have made my time at the ANS delightful. I look forward to continuing to work with them.