Volume 1, Issue 3, May 2005
Whole Number 3
This is an electronic publication of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC). The LSCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the attributions of the Liberty Seated Coin series. The LSCC provides the information contained in this email newsletter from various sources as a general service to the membership and others with this numismatic interest. All disclaimers are in effect as the completeness and/or accuracy of the information contained herein cannot be completely verified.
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Many thanks to repeat submitters Len Augsburger and Stephen Crain and first time E-Gobrecht author David Ginsburg
Features in this issue
Noteworthy Collection of
==> Len Augsburger writes about the PHS Christian Gobrecht files.
==> Too much silver in circulation by David Ginsburg.
==> Biography of Daniel Webster Valentine by Stephen Crain.
==> Gobrecht Journal Article Index for 2004.
==> New feature: Recent Finds.
==> New feature: Advertisements for the sale of Liberty Seated Coinage.
Len Augsburger writes about the PHS Christian Gobrecht files. LSCC members Len Augsburger and
Bill Bugert made a trip to the Pennsylvania Historical Society (PHS) on
- "Family Portraits". This file contains portraits of Christian Gobrecht and his wife, Mrs. Mary G. Gobrecht. The portrait of Christian is virtually identical to that used on the Hanover (PA) Numismatic Society Gobrecht medals from the 1960s, and no doubt served as a model for the engraver of these medals.
- "Christian Gobrecht, Engravings". This file contains several self-portraits of Christian Gobrecht and images of portrait engravings that Gobrecht did privately before working for the mint. One early example is a portrait engraving of Alexander I (Russian emperor), dated to 1817.
- "Christian Gobrecht, Engravings
by". This contains a
fascinating little booklet prepared a grandson of Christian Gobrecht in
1902, who at that time attempted to create a comprehensive catalog of
Gobrecht's work as an engraver.
The grandson used mint and
- "Engraved Bank Checks". This file contains about fifty examples of Gobrecht's work as an engraver of checks, with representations from nearly every state in the union.
- "Christian Gobrecht Sketch Books". This file holds sketches in Gobrecht's own hand, the most intriguing of which is a pencil drawing of an eagle with arrows, resembling the reverse of the Liberty Seated coinage. This sketch was, unfortunately, undated but resided with other material predating the advent of Liberty Seated coinage.
- "Christian Gobrecht Appointment as
Engraver of the
- "Christian Gobrecht Papers in Medal Ruling 1830-1842". Christian Gobrecht invented a medal ruling machine and much litigation developed as to who had invented the machine first. We skimmed quickly through this file, as there was little numismatic information.
- "Miscellaneous". This file contain Christian Gobrecht's childhood sketchbook, dated 1794. As a child, Christian seems to have been much inspired by pirates, treasure trove, and tales of derring-do. Some of these images were in color, still incredibly bold after two hundred years. Extracts written in German altschrift (possibly teacher's instructions or copied from art textbooks) are found on several of the pages.
- "Family Letters 1836-1847". Many of these letters were dated after Gobrecht's death in 1844. We found little of numismatic significance here.
- "Miscellaneous Papers
1822-1902". This file
contained much genealogical and biographical information on Christian
Gobrecht, including an extract from the Gobrecht family bible. The file also noted a previously
unknown connection. The
Overall, this is a rich archive, which deserves further study. In particular, the Gobrecht catalog prepared in 1902 may reveal work by Christian Gobrecht, which is currently unattributed. This material is available to the public and may be viewed during open hours at the Society. There is a six dollar charge for admission. (Editor’s comments: Charles Gobrecht Darrach, Christian Gobrecht’s grandson, compiled these files in 1893. A print of Charles’ profile is contained in the “Family Portraits” file.)
Club member David Ginsburg submitted this interesting article about
too much silver coinage in circulation (don’t we wish!). Recently, while reading the
reminiscences of a 19th-century riverboat gambler, [Forty Years a
Gambler on the Mississippi by George Devol (Cincinnati: Devol &
Haines, 1887) reprinted by Applewood Books,
“At one time,
before the war, silver was such a drug in New Orleans that you could get
$105 in silver for $100 in State bank notes; but the commission men
[factors who acted as business agents and informal bankers for planters]
would pay it out to the hucksters dollar for dollar.” Later in the book,
Devol writes: “There was a man in
Although Devol is very casual about his dates, I believe that these two instances would have occurred no earlier than August 1854. As Neil Carothers states in Fractional Money: “Within a month after [Mint Director James Ross] Snowdon’s announcement of July, 1854 [that he would continue to buy all silver bullion offered to the Mint, but that he would pay for it only with subsidiary coin (half dollars or smaller)], it was evident that there were too many new silver pieces in circulation. In the cities, silver coins became a nuisance. Retail stores refused silver except in small payments, and banks even declined to accept deposits in silver coins. Creditors refused payments above the $5 amount required by law.” (The law of February 21, 1853 had reduced the weight of silver half dollars, quarters, dimes and half dimes and declared them legal tender in payment for all sums not exceeding five dollars.) Carothers also states that this over-supply continued up until the beginning of the Civil War.
==> Biography of Dr. Daniel Webster Valentine by Stephen A. Crain. Steve writes…”Here is a short (well, relatively short) article that you may use in the E-Gobrecht Journal. I have always wanted to write an article on Daniel W. Valentine, the author of the 1931 half dime reference, but have been hampered by too little information. Over the years, I have compiled little bits and pieces on him, and finally have at least enough information for a short article on this important figure in American numismatics. As much as the half dimes are the forgotten little sisters, so too are the researchers and numismatists that have written about them. Some version of this same information will ultimately find its way into my pending book on the Liberty Seated half dimes, as a tribute to the man who got me started on the series.”
Dr. Daniel Webster Valentine
Stephen A. Crain
Most collectors of the Liberty Seated design are familiar with The United States Half Dimes by Daniel W. Valentine. Yet very little is known about the man who provided us with this enduring reference, which has resulted, at least for me, in so many years of enjoyment and learning of the series that we both love so much. It would seem a fitting tribute to present to the members of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club what little information on this modest and selfless man that I have been able to uncover after several years of research.
It was in 1980 that I first picked up a copy of The United States Half Dimes and began to read of the fascinating series that would so preoccupy my life for the next quarter century. My journey into the study of these beautiful little silver coins resulted directly from the passionate descriptions that Dr. Valentine provided, yet he was acutely aware of the limitations of his efforts in writing about the half dimes, and admonished “…it would be vain to believe that this list is complete. My hope is that it may stimulate others to ‘carry on’”. Certainly, that torch was passed on to Russell J. Logan and John W. McCloskey, who provided us with the masterful reference The Federal Half Dimes 1792 – 1837. It is my hope to provide a similar reference on the Liberty Seated half dimes as a result of my continuing research on the series.
Daniel W. Valentine was born in
He married Ada Belle Colwell in 1896, with whom he had two daughters, Marion and Margaret Beattie Valentine.
Dr. Valentine became interested in numismatics very
early in life, and although he was a general collector, he confined
himself primarily to
Valentine assembled several notable collections,
including a comprehensive collection of
Dr. Valentine is perhaps best remembered for his
extensive collection of
All of Dr. Valentine’s collections were sold at
public auction prior to his death by Thomas Elder, in three sessions, on
December 8, 9, and 10, 1927, in
Dr. Valentine has certainly left an indelible mark on the collecting fraternity. Despite subsequent new research, renumbering of his variety sequence, countless new die marriage discoveries, and a few disparaging remarks by his critics, it cannot be disputed that if it were not for the impassioned work of this consummate numismatist, countless collectors like me would have been denied the pleasure of discovering this fascinating series.
==> Gobrecht Journal Index for 2004. For your information and use, here is a listing of the articles published in the Gobrecht Journal in 2004 (Issues 89, 90, and 91). – Editor.
Issue Page Number Title
89 32 New Information on the 1840-O With Drapery Half
90 37 The 1854-O V-2 Half Dime
Issue Page Number Title
Website Created for Research on
89 40 The 1875-CC Dime
Issue Page Number Title
89 3 Bruce Burnham Quarter Set Sold
89 43 Recollections of a Seated Quarter Collector
90 38 Of Coins Like This are Dreams Made
An Analysis for No Motto
91 36 On the Cover (1858-S Quarter)
90 28 Warrant Listing 1870-S Seated Quarter Discovered
90 23 Triple Protection for a BU 1877-CC Quarter
Issue Page Number Title
Results of the
90 14 A Study of Two Choice BU 1840 Small letters Half
89 23 An 1842-O Half Dollar with a Reverse Partial
90 20 An 1853 Half Dollar with a Reverse Cud
90 40 An 1874 Half Dollar with a Recut Arrow
89 27 An 1876-S Half Dollar with Repunched Date
Issue Page Number Title
89 22 Gray-Carboneau Theory Used in Red Book
89 30 Measuring the Quality of a Seated Dollar
An Analysis for
90 3 The Legend Business Strike Trade Dollar
An Award Winning Exhibit of
90 27 Assessing the Completeness and Quality of a
Seated Dollar Collection
90 31 Counterfeit Seated Dollars and Trade Dollars on
91 22 Results of Seated Dollar Survey
90 42 My Experiences with the 1836 J-60 Gobrecht
90 12 Undertypes of 1851 Proof Restrike Seated Dollars
89 26 Some Additional Information on the 1851-O Dollar
90 18 Correction to Dannreuther Article on 1851-O
91 11 Rarity Analysis for the 1876-CC DDR Trade Dollar
Issue Page Number Title
89 13 What are the 100 Greatest Coins?
The Mint on
Book Report: The Mint on
89 20 Tracking Down a rare Book about the New
89 29 Photographs for Journal Articles
89 50 Shishmanian & Garstang Win Ahwash Award for
90 10 Have You Checked the Value of Your Collection
90 29 Numismatic Theatre Presentation on Seated
91 49 Numismatic Theatre Presentation on Seated
90 43 Planning for the Future of LSCC
91 3 Riddell’s Plan for the Melting Room at the New
91 15 Changing Perceptions of Rarity for Seated Coinage
91 23 Review of White Book on Coin Chemistry
91 36 The LSCC Email Newsletter: The E-Gobrecht
91 50 Report on 31st Annual Meeting
==> This is a new feature starting with this issue. Anyone wishing to report their recent finds, including rarities, cherry picks, late die states, “neat coins,” etc., are encouraged to share it with others in this column.
- Michael S. Fey, the idea originator for the E-Gobrecht, reports the following great finds:
- An 1875-S "Micro S" half dollar (counterstamped w/unlisted "J.S. Conrad" letters) in F condition
- An 1872 massive Double Die Reverse dime (175-180 degrees) in Fine condition. Michael understands from Tom Delorey that this is the 7th specimen to turn up in all grades.
Advertisements for the
Due to popular demand, on a trial basis, and subject to the following conditions, advertisements for the sale of Liberty Seated Coinage will now be permitted in the E-Gobrecht:
According to the January 2005 issue of The Numismatist, a high grade 1858-O half dollar with the words “1861 / WAR” heavily etched into the obverse fields was among the thousands of coins recovered in the S.S. Republic steamship wreck. A photo was also included.
LSCC meeting at Central States Convention: - May 6
ANA Summer Seminar:
Information on the
The LSCC Pledge. To encourage, promote, and dispense numismatic knowledge of the Liberty Seated coins; to cultivate fraternal relations among its members and all those interested in the science of numismatics.
President: John McCloskey
Vice President: Larry Briggs
Secretary/Treasurer: Mark Sheldon
LSCC Membership Information. Dues are $15 per year and include three issues of the Gobrecht Journal, an award winning numismatic publication. To join the Liberty Seated Collectors Club, for Gobrecht Journal mailing address changes, or for other membership questions, correspond with the LSCC Secretary:
Articles, comments, or advertisements for publication in the Gobrecht Journal may be addressed to the LSCC President:
John W. McCloskey
President, LSCC, and Editor, Gobrecht Journal
Email address: John.McCloskey@notes.udayton.edu
Copyright © 2005, The