Volume 6 Issue 7
INTERNET EDITION July
Selected items from the official bi-monthly 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter may have been included in this Internet Edition version that has been provided for 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' members and any other readers who are interested in the hobby of numismatics.
We draw readers attention to our notifications and disclaimers located at the conclusion of this monthly Internet Edition.
We have much pleasure in advising that our internationally known Tasmanian Numismatic Society Member # 112, Jérôme H. Remick III of Canada, has been granted Life Membership of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society for Honourable Service.
A special Executive meeting was held to grant this honour to Jérôme (Jerry) as a member of extreme long standing and one who has always made a positive contribution to the hobby of numismatics and to the Tasmanian Numismatic Society in particular.
An appropriate Certificate will be forwarded, in due course, to confirm his Life Membership and his high standing in the Tasmanian Numismatic Society.
Congratulations are extended from the Committee and fellow members.
(Jerry, you are our first International Life Member as from 1st. July, 2001 - and I would like to add my own personal congratulations for your excellent service to our newsletter over the years. Regards, Graeme Petterwood - Editor.)
JERRY'S BOOK REVIEWS.
Jerry Remick (T.N.S. Life Member) has recently reminded us that Krause Publications have two of their most popular catalogues on the market again and both have been completely upgraded for 2001-2.
The new 880page (7th.) edition of 'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues 1961- 2001, Volume 3' was released in May 2001 and is one of those essential catalogues that all collectors of modern banknotes need for their libraries. Again it features all the most up-to-date information available at time of printing and that enables us to establish current trends.
Aids to identifying banknotes, prices, historical and political facts about the issuing countries or authorities, over 11,000 entries with 7,200 illustrations are part of what is now accepted as usual for this international publication.
(This catalogue's companion, the 1184page 'Standard Catalog of World paper Money, General Issues (1368-1960) Volume 2' published October 2000 is also still available and covers banknotes issued by the governments, or authorities, of all countries during that period.)
The second Krause Publications catalogue reviewed by Jerry, is the '2002 Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901- Present (29th Edition) by Chester L. Krause, Clifford Mishler and edited by Colin Bruce II which was published and issued at the end of May 2001.
This 2048page illustrated (over 48,000 pictures) catalogue is everything a modern coin collector could hope for. The range stretches out to encompass 570 countries and provides us with dates, mints, mintmarks, identifiers, prices in various grades of preservation of almost every circulating and commemorative issue, mint and proof sets, even trial strikes, essai coinages, patterns and medallic coin-like issues. The amount of information supplied is prodigious and again reflects the absolute attention to the needs of the collector that the authors have gone to.
Inquiries may be directed to:
Book Dept. PR01.
P.O. Box 5009, Iola.
Wisconsin. 54945 - 5009
Ph: (715) 445-2214. (Most major international credit cards accepted.)
Articles published in this segment are eligible for the current Editor’s personal Award. The winner will be selected and advised in November and, after any necessary consultation, the name will be announced in the December or early January newsletter. It remains the Editor's choice to make this personal Award which is open to 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' members, sister club members, members of other numismatic clubs and individuals with whom the Editor has an affiliation by way of previous voluntary literary contributions.
The Award features a National and International category which takes the form of a Certificate and, either, a T.N.S. membership subscription (with all rights) for the following year, or, the Editor's choice of a numismatic item of equivalent value to an annual subscription of the "Tasmanian Numismatic Society. The manner of the Award can be determined by the winning contributor.
It is nearly 10 months since our Elgin Coin Club correspondent, Mike Metras (pronounced Metra), advised me that he was going on an 'Odyssey of Discovery' to Sicily. During that time he continued to keep in touch with me by forwarding a colourful report from his diary of some of his observations and his feeling for the historical ambience of this cradle of civilisation. The reports were wonderful reading and re-reading - enough to cause me to contact Mike recently and ask for his permission to publish some of those wonderful memories as they had happened. The following selections, that Mike has now agreed to share with our readers, cannot not fail to give an insight to the man himself and that odyssey. - Graeme Petterwood (Editor).
Messages from Mike Metras.© Mike Metras
September, 2000. Greetings
from Palermo, a city of small trucks, smaller cars, motorcycles, and motor
scooters all contesting for the same narrow spaces in narrower streets, all at
breakneck speed. Crossing a street is a war of wills--you stare down the drivers
who stare you down and you just walk--and it works!
Not only are there modern city streets and stores but open markets with every conceivable food, cloth, or other merchandise line stalls in ancient alleyways that pass for streets while scooters shuffle through people looking at the wares. Buildings are built of older buildings, which are built of older buildings still and so on....
I have been here since the 26th. I have walked many miles and have still only seen a piece of the city. Yesterday I went five kilometres to the southwest to the cathedral of Monreale. Until then I had never seen such a magnificent building, save maybe the Dome on the Rock in Jerusalem. William II, a Norman king of Sicily in the last quarter of the 12th century, built a church so beautiful that one could not dare to capture it on film. It is a grand piece of art that could never be reduced to film. My notes say, "It is not how long it is, it is not how wide it is, it is not how high it is, rather it is how delicately massive it is, how all together perfect a single piece of art it is. It is exactly what it is supposed to be. If there be such a thing as perfect religious art, this is it. I walked, I looked, I stared, I gaped, I gasped in awe at its beauty, at its size, at its unity, and at its silence (until the noisy tourists arrived). Mosaics clearly tell the story of the Bible in golden pictures. A giant Byzantine Christ Pontocrator blesses all from the dome behind the apse. And now having said this, I have really told you nothing of this place.
And how 'bout this? I forgot my film yesterday. So today I return to try and bring back just a tiny bit of this masterpiece.
4th October, 2000.
I left you in Palermo. I returned to Monreale the next day with my film and took
a lot of pictures. It's interesting that I was in a different mode - taking
pictures as opposed to just partaking in the experience - I become some worker
trying to capture the place when I photograph. It was no less a wonder-full
place--it was just a different experience. The next day I went by bus to the top
of Mt. Pelegrino above Palermo to see the site of St. Rosalina, the patron saint
of Sicily. Ok, and I enjoyed my walk down until the half way point when I
realized I had left my guidebook on a post on the top of the mountain. The
surprise was that when I returned to the site the next morning, the book was
still sitting on the same post--Santa Rosalina must have been protecting it!
Tràpani was the next stop, a spit out into the sea, an early Punic port.
With that as a base, I went to Ericé the next day. Ericé is a very medieval town on top of a mountain just to the northeast of Tràpani. What makes it special besides the view (more on that) is that it is also the site where Prometheus, landed after flying away from Minos. It is the site of a very early temple of Aphrodite. But what a site--from its couple of thousand feet or so height you can see all the western third of Sicily on a clear day, and it was clear. Although I spent a good part of the day walking the narrowest and steepest of medieval streets, Ericé's real value was as a lookout to places I had already seen and places I was about to see.
Yesterday, I visited Sageste, an ancient Greek and Roman site in the middle of the western Sicilian mountains. No more than there and the thunderbolts flew--the gods of the Greeks didn't want me there. But I prevailed and after more than an hour of downpour, I was able to take in a very large unfinished temple--its columns and walls were there, but it was abandoned in the early 400s BC when the city was conquered by another city state. What is left is nonetheless impressive.
Today it is Marsalla, the ancient Lilybeaum, for a view of "the only Punic ship ever recovered from the seas." I thought I had something to send to Tim Lyon (a good friend of mine) for his boating enjoyment. Well it was a bit of a let down: there was only the keel board and some supporting spars (beams). That to me a boat does not equal. But they say they have a boat. The peak of the day today was an hour watching the waves at the westernmost point of Sicily this afternoon. I like watching waves. Anyway, that's where I've been the past few days. Take care.
11th. October, 2000.
I've done enough things in the past week, that I know there is no way that I
would ever be able to tell you all the details here. So let me rather present
you with some of the bits.
Since I wrote you the last time, I have visited ancient temples, medieval castles and towns, and stayed on the lake where Hades is supposed to have abducted Persephone into the underworld. I walked up a mountain to visit a city. I passed grape fields (vineyards) as large as the square mile corn fields in Sandwich my hometown in the middle of the mega- farm agricultural land of Illinois. And, believe it or not, I have seen cultivated fields of Prickly Pear cactus (they eat a lot of its fruit here).
I have waited for hours on corners for too many buses. I have walked streets so narrow that a single Fiat 500 (smaller than the smallest Honda Civic for you who don't know it) had a hard time fitting through, but did. And there are the other streets so steep you'd think no car would climb, but they do.
In Enna, the "navel" of Sicily, just before the end of the first half of this Odyssey of mine, I visited the Alissi Museum and its outstanding collection of Greek and Roman bronze coins. That collection was one of the defining reasons for coming to Sicily. I WAS NOT disappointed. I have never seen such a collection of Syracuse bronze coins--and so many beautiful (and others worn) Roman Asses and Dupondii.
I composed this sitting on the Mediterranean Sea in Pozzallo on the southern corner of the triangle of Sicily with the sun in a cloudless sky and the 70s, salty-smelling wind ruffling my shirt and messing my hair. Today is the beginning of the second half of the trip, but there is no way that it is "all downhill from here." Syracuse and Mt. Etna (saw it yesterday) and Taormina are still ahead of me. Great things are still there to see and do. I am relaxed and flowing with the current.
Remind me some day to tell you about the downpour I suffered the other night returning to my hotel and the ten kilometres I walked to view the ruins of a Roman villa and its mosaics. There are a lot of things I could say here but don't have the time now so, some other day. Until then relax and let life flow to and from you. Peace, Ciao, Mike.
26th. October, 2000 This
last Sicily report is brought to you by a weary traveller recently returned to
his homeland. I last left you on the southern tip of the island. When I went
online three days later, I found that my mother of 83 had just had serious
surgery. From then my online time was taken up with communications with family.
So I apologize for leaving most of you at that beautiful seafront town of
After making a quick stop in Ragusa, I spent three days in Syracuse, the home of Archimedes. I stood in a Greek theatre where the likes of Pindar and Aeschylus had some of their plays performed--what a powerful setting, what a well preserved building. Standing above the seating area, looking down into the orchestra, I felt as if I could have been Zeus ready to throw a thunderbolt down on the actors below. In Syracuse I was personally guided (rather watched by guards) through a fabulous collection of ancient Greek and Byzantine coins--many from Syracuse itself, the home the most beautiful coins ever made by anyone.
I took in a traditional tourist stop next. I usually avoid tourist stops, but I had to see what all the hype was about concerning Taormina--it was about a restful, peaceful spot in an absolutely intriguing setting on the top of a mountain. I loved it and walked for miles. It was from Taormina that I had my first distant view of Mt. Etna, miles to the south, the largest and most active volcano in Europe. It continuously belched smoke and steam. Etna was my next destination. I first rode cautiously around it on a railroad that does just that, goes around Etna - but then I went up the south side to 8900 feet to within 6 to 10 miles of its summit. I sat on a pillow of sharp volcanic rubble in an eerie, barren landscape ("moonscape" really) away from most of my fellow tourists. I watched as steam and explosions of dirty debris burst from the peak in absolute silence save for the clinking of tourist shoes in the volcanic rubble and the sound of the wind in my ears and against the plastic bag I was carrying. The peak was too far away for the sound to carry to me. It did not look too far away - it looked menacingly close!
I left Etna behind and headed for the volcanic Eolian Islands north of Sicily. I got about ten miles walking in on the wildly beautiful and rugged Lipari Island. In one location I was able to see six of the seven islands all at one time lined up like soldiers across the Tyrrenian Sea.
I completed the circle of Sicily with a stop at Norman King Roger's cathedral in Cefalú before returning to Palermo and a repeat stop at William II's cathedral at Monreale. Since returning Monday night, I've been readjusting my internal clock and visiting my mother, who is still not out of the woods. Please say a prayer for her.
So now I'll have to watch how I cross roads; prevent myself from edging into the right-of-way; forget gelato (never!) and good espresso (ditto, never!); remember that American trains and buses do not move people around terribly efficiently, that the sea and mountains are not immediately at hand, that a 200-year-old house is a new house, that our culture goes back thousands of years, not just the 250 or 300 we keep track of here; realize that a real "narrow road" will barely let a Fiat 500 through (if that); remember that in places in the world some peoples houses are built on the foundations of 2000-year-old temples, official buildings, or homes. Yes, this month has infused another world into mine. I thank the universe for the opportunity.
Book to be out in 6 to 8 months.... Mike Metras.
TO THOSE WHO GO DOWN IN THE SEA IN SHIPS.
In the last few years we have had our attention drawn to those brave men of the sea - the submariners.
The tragic sinking of the Russian submarine 'Kursk', the naming of the Australian Collins Class submarine H.M.A.S 'Sheehan' and, more recently, the visit to our city of another submersible Collins Class vessel H.M.A.S. 'Dechaineaux' have all brought us insights to the very dangerous and uncomfortable life that these men - who literally go down in the sea in ships - have to endure.
It is interesting to note that two of the six of these Australian vessels have been named after local Tasmanian seamen who made the supreme sacrifice in defence of our nation.
Teddy Sheehan, a young Ordinary Seaman from the small township of Latrobe, died after strapping himself to a gun that was still seen firing out of the sea at Japanese aircraft as the ship sunk beneath him.
Recently a move to get Teddy Sheehan posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross has been mounted and is still ongoing.
The 'Dechaineaux' was named after Capt. Emile F. Dechaineaux, from the city of Launceston, who was mortally wounded, during a Japanese kamikaze attack, while on the bridge of H.M.A.S. 'Australia' on October 21st. 1944.
Last year another event concerning a far older submarine captured the attention of the Americans - in particular those who have an interest in the naval history of that country, and it also intrigued some of our international readers who have an interest in militaria that is connected with the unusual aspects of our hobby of numismatics.
It is appropriate that the following news item, which was brought to my attention by our Texan T.N.S. Member #361, Jerry Adams, should serve a double purpose - firstly, to tell of the fate of the first submarine recorded as actually having sunk an enemy vessel and the sad and ironic tale of the consequences and, secondly, about a 'lucky' US$20.00 gold piece that has a bitter-sweet story to tell.
The CSS 'Hunley' was commissioned by the Confederate States of America during the war between the states and mysteriously disappeared after successfully attacking the USS 'Housatonic' in February 1864.
Now after 137 years the Confederate submarine has been recovered and the mystery may, at last, be solved.
from a briny grave
A pioneering Civil War submarine finally gets its due
BY LEWIS LORD
CHARLESTON, S.C.– At first, the lookout aboard the USS 'Housatonic', the largest ship in the Union Navy's blockade of Charleston, thought the moonlit object in the distance was a porpoise. As it got closer, it resembled a plank, moving toward the ship at a good 3 knots. Finally, he realized that it might be a Confederate submarine, the "infernal machine" his admiral had told him to watch for. The alarm rang out. Union sailors rushed to the deck, firing frantically at the intruder with revolvers and shotguns. But they were too late.
The object was indeed a submarine, the "secret weapon" that for months had lifted the hopes of a besieged and bombarded Charleston. As Union bullets bounced off its hull, the sub rammed a 135-pound torpedo into the 'Housatonic' just below the water line, then backed away. Seconds later, the torpedo exploded. The Union sloop burned for three minutes before collapsing to the bottom of the Atlantic. The victorious rebels opened a hatch and waved a blue light–a "mission accomplished" signal to comrades 4 miles away on the South Carolina shore. The Confederacy's H. L. Hunley, on that chilly February night in 1864, had become the first submarine in naval history to sink an enemy ship, and it was heading home.
But then, unaccountably, the Hunley also vanished. Even after P. T. Barnum, the 19th-century showman, offered a $100,000 reward, the sub's whereabouts remained a mystery. It wasn't until 1995 that a team led by novelist Clive Cussler found it on the ocean floor buried–and, to a remarkable degree, preserved–under 30 feet of water and several feet of silt and sand.
Now, 137 years after it sank, a concerted effort by local, state, and federal governments plus a nonprofit group, "Friends of the Hunley," is underway to bring the submarine and its crew to places of honor in this city where the Civil War began. Money is being gathered and plans are being formed for a raising of the Hunley by the early spring of 2001. The vessel will reside in an $11 million wing envisioned for the 226-year-old Charleston Museum. And the crew will be laid to rest in a re-enacted military funeral at historic Magnolia Cemetery, a few feet from the grave of a 19th-century aristocrat whose father was a Rhett and whose mother was a Butler.
Buried treasure. Until recently, the Hunley's triumph and tragedy were familiar mostly to a few submariners and Civil War buffs. But Robert Neyland, the U.S. Naval Historical Center's chief underwater archaeologist, says the sleekly designed vessel merits much more recognition. "The Hunley is a national treasure," says Neyland, who is directing the vessel's recovery and restoration. "It is like the Wright brothers' aircraft. It is the very first successful military submarine. Not until World War I would another submarine sink an enemy ship."
This summer, the Hunley is starting to get its due. In Washington, D.C., an exhibit at the Navy Museum hails the Hunley as "a symbol of American ingenuity, bravery, and sacrifice." On July 11, a movie account, The Hunley, will premiere on the TNT cable channel. TNT's Ted Turner for years had envisioned a Hunley movie, made with careful attention to historical detail. His filmmakers built life-size, working models that are almost exact copies of the submarine. But replicating the Hunley's crew was a trickier task.
Take the eight actors who cranked the shaft that turned the vessel's propeller. By today's standards, they look like average-size young men. But they would have been too tall for the real Hunley. Squeezed into the model, they could barely sit and turn the crank. Their scenes were shot only after supports for the crank were shifted a few inches, producing more legroom.
On the other hand, the Civil War sailors, while smaller than their imitators, were apparently stronger. A hatch cover made of cast iron to the Hunley's specifications weighed 145 pounds and could be lifted, with the help of a lever, by 70 pounds of force. In the movie model, the 145-pound iron cover is replaced with a lid made of resin weighing barely 20 pounds.
On the real Hunley, men had much weightier problems than heavy hatch covers. Most nights, they pushed and pulled their cranks for several hours as their skipper, at the conning tower, searched for Yankee prey. Their only light came from a candle, which, 25 minutes after the hatch was closed, would flicker out for lack of oxygen–a sign to the crew that they should come up soon.
They all knew that the Hunley could become their tomb. Critics, in fact, dismissed it as "the peripatetic coffin." Twice on training runs in Charleston Harbor in 1863, the Hunley had sunk, each time with the loss of all or most of its crewmen. Five men perished in the first sinking, eight in the second, including the vessel's namesake, Capt. Horace L. Hunley, a New Orleans lawyer and sugar planter who had financed its construction. Both sinkings were apparently caused not by design flaws but by pilot error. Even so, Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard, in charge of Charleston's defense, was plainly exasperated. "I can have nothing more to do with that submarine boat," declared the general, who had been one of its major proponents. "It's more dangerous to those who use it than the enemy."
Only on one condition would Beauregard agree to the recruitment of a third Hunley crew: Its volunteers must be warned of the "desperately hazardous nature of the service required." But the general's who's-hurt-more conclusion remained on target even after the submarine with its nine men sank the big Housatonic. The three times the Hunley sank, 22 Confederates died. When the Housatonic sank, all but five of its 155 men survived.
Abandoned graveyard. This month, a bizarre new chapter in the Hunley story is occurring at Charleston's Johnson-Hagood Stadium, on the campus of the Citadel. When the football arena was built in the 1940s on the site of an old graveyard, the assumption was that the bodies had been relocated. In truth, only the tombstones had been removed. The five men in the first Hunley crew are believed to be among the dead resting under the stands. If they are identified among the score of corpses being exhumed this summer, they will be ceremoniously buried this fall or winter in Magnolia Cemetery, since the Civil War the resting place of Horace Hunley and his crew.
The recovery of the Hunley and the process of conserving it will very likely cost $20 million, most of which will come from private donations. On the ocean floor, the sub will either be secured in a welded frame or enclosed with its sediment in a capsule. The sub then will be lifted by crane onto a barge and taken to Charleston. Once the remains of the crew are removed–a task that may require disassembly of the hull–museum visitors will be allowed to watch the vessel's restoration. That job, involving chemical and electrolytic treatments, will take five to eight years. Otherwise, the iron hull would dry too quickly and become as fragile as paper.
Raising the Hunley will help answer the question that has baffled historians for generations: What caused the submarine's final sinking? Among the possibilities:
The Hunley may have been too close to the Housatonic when the torpedo exploded. Scientists will check for missing rivets, a sign that the blast damaged the submarine as well as the sloop.
The sub may have taken on a crippling surge of water when its hatch was lifted for the waving of the blue light. Union ships were rushing to the stricken Housatonic. Their wakes may have swamped the Hunley. Or one of the Yankee vessels might have struck the sub.
When the Hunley approached the Housatonic, the defenders no doubt directed much of their small-arms fire at a conning tower slightly above the water. The glass in a port on the tower is missing; it possibly was shot out. The commander who was stationed at the window, Army Lt. George Dixon, might have been shot in the head, creating chaos in the crowded hull as water surged through the broken glass.
There also will be a search for a sweetheart's memento.
Early in the war, Dixon received a $20 gold coin from Queenie Bennett, his fiancée in Mobile, Alabama.
At Shiloh, a Union bullet penetrated his trouser pocket and struck the coin. The impact left the gold piece shaped like a bell, with the bullet embedded in it. If not for the coin, which he carried the rest of his life, he probably would have died on the battlefield–and the Hunley might never have made history. It was, after all, George Dixon who persuaded the fed-up Beauregard to let "that submarine boat" have a go at the Union blockade.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans Official CSS 'H.L. Hunley' Project congratulated the Naval Historical Department and Dr. Robert Neylund for the safe recovery of the CSS 'H.L. Hunley' on August 8th, 2000. The Project also paid tribute to the man who spent 23 years searching for the submarine, the man who led the SCV-USC-NUMA search for thirteen days in 1994, and the man who actually found the submarine on September 14th, 1994: author, archaeologist, adventurer, discoverer, Mark M. Newell, Ph.D.
The following Internet sites give an indication of the intensity - and on-going controversy - that accompanied the 'Hunley' search.
At last report, the remains of George Dixon, his crew - and his 'lucky' $20 gold piece - had been recovered from within the silt filled hull of the CSS 'H.L. Hunley'.
"The coin was found by Dixon's remains and in the middle of some textiles, possibly he kept it in his pants pocket." says Dr. Robert Neyland, Project Director. The bent coin that once saved Dixon's leg and probably his life at Shiloh is now in safer keeping.
CHANGE OF INTERNET ADDRESS!
Members of the T.N.S. and other interested readers,
As of 30 June 2001, in a move towards economic rationalisation, I will be cancelling my previous "@home" web email and web hosting and going to alternate sites.
After 30 June you may email me at my business contact address
in Arlington, Texas : firstname.lastname@example.org
The "Token Tales" website is also moving to two new addresses: http://www.geocities.com/captain_america_1943/index.htm
as well as : http://members.nbci.com/tokenkid/
On the theory that belt and suspenders are superior to just one, I decided to put the Token Tales website on the second webspace location. They are already on line there, and they will be the only locations of the web site from this point forward. Thanks and Regards - Jerry Adams. (T.N.S.Member # 363.)-(NACTA Member # 105.)
U.S. STATEHOOD QUARTER DOLLARS.
At time of writing, the Rhode Island Quarter Dollar had been released into circulation and was becoming available to the public.
It is quite an attractive design depicting a sailboat heeling before a stiff breeze and the silhouette of a bridge in the background. Most of the Statehood Quarter Dollar coins coming my way have been produced at Denver mint and have been issued in the southern and south-western states. I have managed to obtain some of the Philadelphia mint coins but they are very scarce even in certain areas of the U.S. Mintage figures show that the percentage of earlier releases during 1999 - 2000 was about 50 - 50 between the two mints for circulating coins, whilst the Proof coins were only made in san Francisco.
It appears that loose circulating coinage that travels via the U.S. west coast to Australia is more liable to be seen with the 'D' mintmark, while Europe will probably end up with the 'P' mintmark via New York travellers.
The last two states to be recognised this year will be Vermont and Kentucky, in that order.
WHEN IS A STAMP NOT A STAMP?
While visiting The Stamp Place's stand at a local coin and stamp show at the Max Fry Memorial Hall in Trevallyn, Launceston I took the opportunity to browse the other stands as I waited to get a spot at the counter.
After eventually picking up a few more banknote bargains - at the usual 'T.N.S. mate's rate' (accompanied with a friendly word) from David and Kim Newell - I went back to look at a few older books on militaria that were on show elsewhere in the Hall.
However, it was brought to my notice that amongst the books and other items on display was a 'betweener' I may be interested in.
My version of a 'betweener' is something that fits that nebulous category somewhere in between one hobby subject and another.
In this case it was a plush boxed collection of 6 'stamps' that had been reproduced as metal replicas of some of the most famous and valuable Australian pre-decimal issues and, whilst not a philatelist, I have collected the odd stamp or two in years gone by and these gold-plated sterling silver replicas appealed to me as something 'different'.
They were not the cheapest bargain I have ever purchased, in fact, I think in hindsight that my apparent eagerness and interest played a part in the rock solid price requested - no amount of haggling budged this seller! He knew I wanted them!
The set was numbered # 0068 of 1000 and contained a Certificate of Authenticity and a typed detail of the contents, plus the then address of the supplier - International Historical Foundation of the Treasury Gate Bldg. Lt. Collins St; Melbourne.
As metal replicas of stamps should they be classified as philatelic - or should we look at them as being medallic, and therefore truly numismatic? The cased set consisted of:
1. Sydney Harbour Bridge. 5/- Green. Issued March 14 1932
2. Sir Charles Kingsford - Smith. 6d Purple. Issued March 19 1931 (Airmail - Service on side panels not Postage)
3. The Yarra River, Melbourne and Yarra Tribe. 1/- Black. issued July 2 1934.
4. The Gallipoli Commemorative (20th Anniversary). 1/- Black. Issued March 18 1935.
5. King George VI "Australian Coat-of-Arms". £2 Green. Issued January 16 1950.
6. Kangaroo of Australia. £2 Black & Rose. Issued March 8 1913.
I would have liked to contact IHF so that I could establish a few relevant facts about the purpose, cost and date of issue of this set, from the horse's mouth as they say!
However, the IHF apparently moved some time ago and, whilst its last address is listed in the phone book as Rhur St; in Dandenong, Victoria, they could not be contacted by phone at their only listed (free call) number. Under these circumstances, any reader who happens to collect metallic stamp replicas of this sort, and who may be able to assist in helping me to establish a provenance on these particular ones, can contact me at either of the postal addresses shown at the end of this newsletter or direct by email: email@example.com
I have just been informed that a long awaited and comprehensive book covering medal issues to the Tasmanian Emergency Services has been completed, and it is planned that it will be released this coming November at an official book launch.
The book deals with all those medals issued from 1860 to date to our Tasmanian Police, Ambulance Service, Fire Services and Prison Services and will give details of recipients, the reasons for the awards and the awards themselves.
It provides an historical time-line that is important in regard to our men and women of these essential services, and promises to be an acquisition for our own numismatic libraries that should not be missed.
Entitled 'Emergency Services Medals of Tasmania' the book has been written by well-known Australian numismatist and numismatic author, Roger V. McNeice O.A.M; F.R.N.S., who has already produced several benchmark volumes on Tasmanian medals, medallions, tokens, promissory notes and club passes.
In addition, Roger has used his own personal experiences, as a volunteer fire services officer, to write several historical books about the development of the Tasmanian Fire Services and some of their most memorable experiences.
Roger was the instigator for the initial formation, in 1963, of the group of coin collectors who ultimately became the Tasmanian Numismatic Society; a winner of a Churchill Scholarship to study numismatics in London he has since acted as honourary numismatist at the Tasmanian Museum for many years, as well as being involved with other national and international numismatic organisations.
For those medal collectors who wish inquire about delivery - or to reserve a copy in advance - please contact:
R. V. McNeice,
8 Orana Place, Taroona.
Phone: (03) 6227 8825 Fax: (03) 6227 9898
The 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' was saddened to learn of the death of well-known South Australian numismatist Ron Greig in mid June. Ron was author of several authoritive books including 'Australian Communion Tokens'.
The Society extends its sincere condolences to Ron's family.
A former T.N.S. member and now Editor of the Perth Numismatic Society journal, Dr. Walter Bloom F.R.N.S. sends his regards to those T.N.S. members with whom he had the pleasure of being a colleague. Walter has advised me that he is still short of 2 copies from completing his collection of the 37 year old publication - the Australian Coin Review.
Has anyone any spare copies or part collections of the magazine that they are prepared to part with?
In particular, Walter would like to obtain:
314 August, 1990 - Cover
illustration: 1923 Miller/Collins (T.S. Harrison - printer) £1- 0- 0 George V
369 March, 1995 - Cover illustration: Sydney Mint under renovation/Sydney Mint Sovereigns
If you have - and can spare - these two issues, please contact Walter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
LATE INTERNET NEWS.
We have just received several hot off the press 'NEWS RELEASES' from Serge Pelletier of Eligi Consultants in regard to Canadian Municipal Tokens.
For further information about all of Eligi Consultants range of current tokens, and if you wish to order and keep up to date, they have invited readers to view their new subsidiary site, Bonavita Ltd. 'e-XONUMIA' at: http://www.eligi.ca/bonavita
Briefly, the new tokens are from:
(1) Marwayne, Alberta - a $3.00 bi-metallic, plus a limited amount of Nickel-silver, commercial Bronze and Gold-plated (check availability from Eligi as these were already going fast);
(2) Gander, Newfoundland - a $1.00 Nickel Bonded Steel, plus a limited amount of Gold-plated;
(3) Kerrobert, Saskatchewan - an Antique commercial Bronze $5.00, plus a limited amount of Gold-plated, bi-metallic and Gold-plated enamelled pieces.
(4) The final Dollar token mentioned in the news releases is a wooden one from Prince George, British Columbia.
Prince George Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 90th anniversary this year and
it is marking the special occasion on their 153rd issue* of their "Spruce
Dollar". (* Occasionally more than one issue is made per year to
coincide with community events.) Known as
the "Western White Spruce Capital of the World", Prince George is
located at the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser Rivers in the centre of
British Columbia. Its location also makes it a very important
transportation hub. The Dollar is printed in red on the obverse and black on the reverse and the limited edition of 500 will be undated. This important series is very old - and very collectable - in the history of Canadian Municipal Tokens.
We have also
been advised that the $20.00 square token, featuring Manitoubin Island, recently
issued by the Little Current Lions Club of Ontario has been sold out
locally but Eligi still have a very limited supply if readers are interested.
Direct orders or inquiries to: email@example.com. or firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTICE TO INTERNET READERS - POSSIBLE DELAYS.
As mentioned below, we have been kindly provided with the use of the appropriate electronic equipment and this Internet space over the last five years courtesy of a T.N.S. member and, of course, we are obligated to abide by his essential maintenance requirements to ensure the continuation of this newsletter. Following our IMPORTANT NOTICE in last month's issue, the Editor advises that there may be some further Internet Edition deadline delays over the next few months - as necessary.
Overdue maintenance of some computer programs and equipment is still being attended to in a periodical sequence.
The member's hard-copy bi-monthly official 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Tasmanian Edition) will not be effected.
The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ newsletter is the only official newsletter of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc. ’and it is published periodically and distributed by post, or hand delivered, directly to members of the Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc. and selected associates and institutions.
Any literary contributions or relevant and constructive comments regarding numismatics are always welcome and can be sent to the T.N.S. or directed to:
The ‘Tasmanian Numismatist’ (Internet Edition) has been provided with space on this privately maintained Internet site and is currently presented on a monthly basis by the member-provider with the aim of promoting the hobby of numismatics in an entertaining and enjoyable way to other national and international readers who may be interested. All matters pertaining to the T.N.S. are re-published with the permission of the current Executive Committee of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc.’ and the Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) abides by the same basic guidelines suggested for the official 'Tasmanian Numismatist' newsletter.
Please note that all opinions expressed in material published in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the ‘Tasmanian Numismatic Society Inc.’ or the Editor.
DISCLAIMER: All details of a commercial nature, organisations, items
or individual arrangement to buy, sell or trade are provided as
information only, and any consequent dealings are between the
parties concerned. The ‘Tasmanian
Numismatist’ (Internet Edition) takes no responsibility for
disagreements between parties, and also reserves the right to only
feature information that it considers suitable in promoting the
hobby to our readers under the guidelines suggested by the Tasmanian
Numismatic Society. Deadline for any literary contributions or
amendment to copy is 7 Days prior to the beginning of the month of
publication. The contents of this Internet newsletter, and all prior
issues, are copyrighted ©, but anything herein can be fairly used
to promote the great hobby of numismatics; however, we do like to be
asked by commercial interests if they wish to use any of our copy.
This permission, however, does not extend to any article specifically
marked as copyrighted © by the author of the article. Explicit
permission from the author or the ‘Tasmanian
Numismatist ’(Internet Edition) is required prior to use of
NUMISMATIC SOCIETY INC.
Members meet at 8.00 p.m. on the 2nd. Thursday of each month (except January) in the social room:
The Masonic Club,
181 Macquarie St., Hobart.
Tasmania. Visitors are always welcome!
Anyone who wishes to apply for membership to the non-profit making organisation, and who is prepared to abide by the rules of the Society and its aim of promoting the study and enjoyment of the hobby of numismatics, should contact the following address for an application form and details of subscriptions:
Tasmanian Numismatic Society.
G.P.O. Box 884J