From the Collections Manager (Summer 2007)

by Elena Stolyarik

New Acquisitions

The ANS continues to build collections through purchases and gifts. From Auction 131 (Nov. 27, 2006) of Numismatik Lanz, of Munich, our Greek department acquired a group of thirty-one significant Carian coins. Among these are a very rare fifth-century BC silver obol of Halicarnassus (Fig. 1), two rare fourth-century BC bronzes of Ceramus (Fig. 2), and an exceptionally rare double siglos of an unknown satrap (Fig. 3). The mint city of Orthosia is represented by a very rare bronze coin with the image of Poseidon, from the second to first century BC (Fig. 4). Dating to the first century BC are a rare issue of Euromos bearing an image of a statue of Zeus Labraundos (Fig. 5) and a Bargylian hemidrachm with a beautiful image of Artemis Kindyas (Fig. 6). The ANS collection of Roman provincial coins gained a rare issue of Hadrian (Fig. 7) from Mylasa; several very rare bronzes of Domitia (Fig. 8), all from the mint of Tabae; and an attractive example of an issue of Julia Domna, from Trapezopolis (Fig. 9).

Fig. 1. Caria. Halicarnassus. AR obol (0.67 g), fifth century BC. (ANS 2007.15.10, purchase) 7.9 mm.

Fig. 2. Caria. Ceramus. AE coin, fourth century BC. (ANS 2007.15.16, purchase) 11.2 mm.

Fig. 3. Satrap of Caria. AR double siglos (14.77 g). (ANS 2007.15.1, purchase) 22.5 mm.

Fig. 4. Caria. Orthosia. AE coin, second to first century BC. (ANS 2007.15.25, purchase) 11 mm.

Fig. 5. Caria. Euromos. AE coin. First century BC. (ANS 2007.15.9, purchase) 22 mm.

Fig. 6. Caria. Bargylia. AR hemidrachm (2.11 g). First century BC. (ANS 2007.15.4, purchase) 15.9 mm.

Fig. 7. Hadrian (AD 117-138). AE coin. Caria. Mylasa. (ANS 2007.15.21, purchase) 18 mm.

Fig. 8. Domitia (AD 81-96). AE coin. Caria. Tabae. (ANS 2007.15.27, purchase) 18.2 mm.

Fig. 9. Julia Domna (AD 173-217). AE coin. Caria. Trapezopolis. (ANS 2007.15.31, purchase) 28.2 mm.

Another interesting accession to the Roman department came from ANS member and good friend David L. Vagi. This is an unusual billon didrachm of Elagabalus (AD 218-222) from a Syrian mint, a rare and intriguing issue heretofore lacking in the cabinet (Fig. 10).

Fig. 10. Elagabalus (AD 218-222). Billon didrachm. Syria. (ANS 2007.16.1, gift of David Vagi) 21.2 mm.

Through purchase, the Society was able to acquire a gold stater of Kipunadha (AD 355-360), a notable addition to our magnificent collection of Kushan coins (Fig. 11). Another significant acquisition in the South Asian department is an extremely fine-quality silver rupee of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir (1658-1707) struck at the mint of Akbarabad in AH 1102, year 34 (Fig. 12). This gift is one of among numerous generous donations from Mr. Alan S. DeShazo.

Fig. 11. Kushan Empire. “Kapinada,” gold stater, c. AD 330-360. (ANS 2007.17.1, purchase) 20 mm.

Fig. 12. India. Mughal dynasty. Aurangzeb (1658-1707). Akbarabad, AH 1102, regnal year 34. Silver rupee. (ANS 2007.25.1, gift of Alan S. DeShazo) 37 mm.

A fine group of historically important coins were received from Mr. Sydney Rothstein, who at the end of the World War II served in the U.S. forces occupying Japan. At that time, Army officials were preparing to melt down the Osaka Mint‘s collection, and Mr. Rothstein obtained permission to save some coins from this group by purchasing them for their bullion exchange value (except gold). As a result, seven rare examples of Japanese (Fig. 13) and Korean (Fig. 14) coins of the late nineteenth century, rescued more than sixty years ago, have now become a very valuable part of the East Asian section of the ANS cabinet.

Fig. 13. Japan. Silver 1-yen coin, Meiji 7 (1874). Brilliant proof. (ANS 2007.22.1, gift of Sydney Rothstein) 38.5 mm.

Fig. 14. Korea. Silver half-won coin, year 9 (1905). Proof (almost uncirculated). (ANS 2007.22.6, gift of Sydney Rothstein) 30.6 mm.

From long-time friend and benefactor Mr. George S. Cuhaj, our United States department received a generous and welcome gift of 112 examples of American transit tokens not represented in the ANS collection (Fig. 15). Mr. Cuhaj has for years been working diligently to build this vecturist aspect of the collection.

Fig. 15. United States. The American Vecturist Association. Transit token, 2005. (ANS 2007.18.74, gift of George S. Cuhaj) 38.5 mm.

The Society‘s collection of Americana received a new presidential dollar coin from Dr. Peter Donovan. With its large image of President Washington on the obverse and a reverse design of the Statue of Liberty, this is of course the first issue of the U.S. Mint‘s National Presidential program. Unlike some unusual and desirable examples that have been noted, the incused edge inscriptions E PLURIBUS UNUM, IN GOD WE TRUST and the date and mintmark are discernible on this piece. (During 2007, the U.S. Mint will issue the next three circulating one-dollar coins—those with the images of the presidents John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.)

An impressive donation came from long-time ANS member and summer seminar alumnus Mr. Dana Linett. His gift of 243 pairs of Guatemalan dies of national coinage, pesos and reales (Fig. 16), as well as medals (Fig. 17)—all dating from the end of the nineteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century—are an impressive addition to the ANS collection and a valuable resource for those researching Latin American history.

Fig. 16. Guatemala. 2-reales master die (hub) pair, 1890s (ANS 2007.14.38-39, gift of Dana Linett) 25 mm.

Fig. 17. Guatemala. Commemorative medal. Die pair, June 30, 1894. (ANS 2007.14.269-270, gift of Dana Linett) 29 mm.

Dr. David Menchell continued to enrich the ANS collection of U.S. Mint congressional medals. His latest gift consisted of issues honoring President Gerald R. and Betty Ford (Act of Congress, 1998), President Ronald W. and Nancy Reagan (Act of Congress 2000), and several famous religious leaders and educators: His Holiness Pope John Paul II (Act of Congress, 2000); the founder of Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Fig. 18) (Act of Congress, 1997); the Rev. Billy & Ruth Graham (Act of Congress, 1996); Father Theodore Hesburgh (Act of Congress, 1999); and Archbishop of New York John Cardinal O‘Connor (Act of Congress, 2000). Another interesting group of medals represents activists of the civil rights movement: the “Little Rock Nine” (Act of Congress, 1998); Rosa Parks (Act of Congress, 1999); Jackie Robinson (Act of Congress, 2003) (Fig. 19); the hero of the Olympic Games of 1936, Jesse Owens (Act of Congress 1988); and the South African civil rights leader President Nelson Mandela (Act of Congress, 1998). Dr. Menchell also donated mint medals dedicated to distinguished U.S. Armed Forces commanders: the “Father of the Nuclear Navy,” Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (Act of Congress, 1982); veteran of World War II and Korean War general Matthew B. Ridgway (Act of Congress, 1999); commander-in-chief of the United States Central Command and of the allied forces in the Persian Gulf during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf (Act of Congress, 1991); and General H. Hugh Shelton (Fig. 20), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and counsel to the president (Act of Congress, 2002).

Fig. 18. United States. Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997). Commemorative medal. U.S. Mint. Act of Congress, 1997. (ANS 2007.20.9, gift of David L. Menchell) 76 mm.

Fig. 19. United States. Jackie Robinson (1919-1972). Commemorative medal. U.S. Mint. Act of Congress, 2003. (ANS 2007.26.16, gift of David L. Menchell) 75.5 mm.

Fig. 20. United States. General H. Hugh Shelton. Commemorative medal. U.S. Mint. Act of Congress, 2002. (ANS 2007.26.14, gift of David L. Menchell) 76 mm.

Among interesting purchases for the medals department is a group (Figs. 21-23) of three well-preserved galvanos from the original, beautiful models of medals designed by the prominent female artist Anie Mouroux (1887-1978), the first woman to win the Grand Prix de Rome for Sculpture, in 1919.

Fig. 21. France. “Mimi Pinson.” AE galvano from the original model, by Annie Mouroux (1887-1978). (ANS 2007.24.1, purchase) 72 mm.

Fig. 22. France. “To save Humanity/Dedicated to the American Soldiers,” AE galvano from the original model, by Annie Mouroux (1887-1978). (ANS 2007.24.2, purchase) 136 mm.

Fig. 23. France. “The Hour has come/America Enters the war/April, 6, 1917/Justice Liberty.” AE galvano from the original model, by Annie Mouroux (1887-1978). (ANS 2007.24.3, purchase) 133 mm.

The collection of modern European currency has been expanded by a new sample of the German 2-euro piece, minted in 2006. This coin, donated by Mr. Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert, bears a beautiful image of the “Holstein Gate” of the town of Lübeck in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The modern holdings have also been expanded by two sets of recent Russian coins, generously donated by Mr. Robert W. Schaaf. One group in this donation is a set of commemorative coins of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, dedicated to the two-hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the principal governmental agencies of Russia (Fig. 24). On September 8, 1802, Tsar Alexander I issued a manifesto according to which new state organs—ministries—were created to replace the collegiums of Peter the Great. Thus, in 2002 the Russian Federation‘s ministries of defense, foreign affairs, justice, internal affairs, finance, economic development and trade, and education—all successors of Alexander I‘s ministries—were able to celebrate their two hundredth anniversary. The Central Bank of Russia issued into circulation a series of commemorative 10 rubles (brass/copper-nickel alloy) bearing images of the modern emblems and symbols of the Russian ministries in honor of the event.

Fig. 24. Russian Federation. “To the 200th anniversary of establishment of ministries in Russia 1802-2002.” Set of commemorative coins of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, 2002. Seven coins (10 rubles) and one jeton. (ANS 2007.27.1-8, gift of Robert W. Schaaf).

Another fine group in Mr. Schaaf‘s donation is a set of 10-ruble bimetallic pieces issued in 2005 by the St. Petersburg Mint of the Russian Federation (Fig. 25). Among these are examples with beautiful images of ancient towns of Russia: Kazan (founded in the first part of the eleventh century, now capital of the Tatarstan Republic), Mcensk (first mentioned in Russian histories in 1147), Kaliningrad (founded in 1255; known as Königsberg until July 4, 1946), and Borovsk (founded in the thirteenth century).

Fig. 25. Russian Federation. Ancient towns of Russia. Set of commemorative coins of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, 2005. Four coins (10 rubles) and one jeton. (ANS 2007.27.9-13, gift of Robert W. Schaaf)


The ANS continues to be a principal lender of numismatic objects to various museum venues. As always, we provide support and help in the preparation of loan material for installation and labeling. We participated significantly in the April 16 opening of the newly remodeled Hellenistic, Etruscan, and Roman galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a truly spectacular event. Over 5,300 objects—in the more than thirty-thousand-square-foot complex of permanent galleries—were reinstalled by the Department of Greek and Roman Art. The material included stunning collections of the art of Hellenistic Greece, southern Italy, and Etruria, culminating in the world of Republican Rome, the golden age of Augustus‘ principate, and the Roman Empire up to the “conversion” of Constantine the Great in 312 AD. Now on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are 112 ANS coins from the newly opened exhibit, which join 179 numismatic objects from the prehistoric and early Greek art galleries, the classical Greek galleries, the suite of Cypriot galleries, and the Byzantine art galleries, which opened between 1996 and 2000. The ANS‘s collection of the legendary images of Alexander the Great and his successors (Fig. 26), as well as the Roman emperors (Fig. 27) and members of the imperial families—in heroic and realistic portrait styles—are an integral part of these prominent displays.

Fig. 26. Seleucus I Nikator (312-280 BC). AR tetradrachm. Susa. After 305/304 BC. (ANS 1977.158.636, bequest of Robert F. Kelley) 27 mm.

Fig. 27. Constantius I/Galerius. AV medallion. Rome. AD 293. (ANS 1944.100.63131, bequest of Edward T. Newell) 38 mm.

Eight medals and plaquettes were selected by Dr. Nora Heimann, associate professor of art history and chair of the department of art at the Catholic University of America, for inclusion in an exhibition entitled “Joan of Arc: Medieval Maiden to Modern Saint,” which will be on display at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Connecticut, from May through September 2007. ANS artifacts illustrate the essential importance of numismatic sources in understanding the canonized image of the epic French peasant girl. Among these objects are such treasures as a gold medal with a magnificent profile image of Joan, produced in 1823 by the leading French medalist Joseph-François Domard (Fig. 28). Another is a beautiful silver-plated plaquette with a depiction of the well-known episode in which Joan is interrupted by the inspiration of an angelic voice; this medal was executed by the well-known French medalist Jean-Baptiste Daniel-Dupuis, winner of the prestigious 1872 Prix de Rome. An Italian souvenir silver plaquette produced in 1920 by the “staff artists” of Stabilimento Stefano Johnson honors the canonization of Joan and portrays her in the likeness of Ingres‘ Joan of Arc at the coronation of Charles VII (1855). Pope Benedict XV, the pontiff who canonized Joan, appears in profile in the left foreground surrounded by lilies—a symbol of purity and the symbolic flower of France (Fig. 29). Another silver-plated and gilded plaquette—one bearing an armored bust of Joan in profile, with a gilt halo and the d‘Arc heraldic blazon of two lilies and a raised sword with a crown on its tip—is a beautiful production of Emile Dropsy, the famous French artist whose works of religious inspiration display both simplicity and ingenuity (Fig. 30).

Fig. 28. France. Joan of Arc (1412-1431). AV medal, by Joseph-François Domard (1792-1858), 1823. (ANS 0000.999.71251) 41 mm.

Fig. 29. Italy. Canonization of Joan of Arc. Souvenir AR plaquette, by the “staff artists” of Stabilimento Stefano Johnson, 1920. (ANS 1920.142.6, gift of J. Sanford Saltus) 56 x 37 mm.

Fig. 30. France. Joan of Arc (1412-1431). AR plated and gilded plaquette, by Emile Dropsy (1843-1923), 1893. (ANS 0000.999.53888) 85 x 111.2 mm.

The ANS is an important lender to the feature entitled “Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, and Mermaids,” on temporary exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Numismatic depictions of these creatures from the ANS collection will be on display through January 2008. Among them are images of the winged horse Pegasus, on ancient Greek coins from Corinth dating to the sixth century BC (Fig. 31), and of the monstrous griffin, on a silver tetradrachm of Abdera (in Thrace) (Fig. 32), a golden stater (Fig. 33) from Panticapaeum (in the Crimea), and a silver stater of Teos (in Ionia), all dating from the fifth to fourth centuries BC. A coin of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius from the mint of Alexandria in Egypt (dating from 138-139 AD) shows the sacred firebird, the Phoenix. An image of the mystical unicorn (Fig. 34) appears on an ANS gold coin of Scotland‘s King James III (1460-1488), and the dragon, a popular beast of medieval heraldry, is represented by an image on an early Anglo-Saxon silver sceatta. The images of the Archangel Michael (Fig. 35) and Saint George slaying a dragon are portrayed, respectively, as a subject on a gold coin of England‘s notorious King Henry VIII (1509-1547) and on a Russian silver medal of Peter the Great (minted in 1709). Objects from the American Numismatic Society join artifacts from Chicago‘s Field Museum, the Fernbank Museum (Atlanta), the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Ottawa), and the Australian National Maritime Museum (Sydney) and are an important part of the American Museum of Natural History‘s wonderful display of these fantastic creatures, which for thousands of years have captivated our imaginations!

Fig. 31. Corinthia. Corinth. AR stater. 584-550 BC. (ANS 1968.34.130, gift of Burton Y. Berry) 21.8 mm.

Fig. 32. Thrace. Abdera. AR tetradrachm. 411-386 BC. (ANS 2002.18.9, gift of Jonathan H. Kagan) 24 mm.

Fig. 33. Tauric Chersonesus. AV stater. Panticapaeum. 370-350 BC. (ANS 1944.100.26248, bequest of Edward T. Newell) 20 mm.

Fig. 34. Scotland. James III (1460-1488). AV coin (Unicorn). (ANS 1966.163.27, gift of A. Carson Simpson) 25 mm.

Fig. 35. England. Henry VIII (1509-1547). AV coin (Angel). (ANS 1966.163.21, gift of A. Carson Simpson) 27 mm.