Monday, November 15, 2010

CNG fall book sale

The CNG fall book sale includes many bargains, including Lindgren's European Mints for $15 and Lindgren III for $10.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lambskins may be suitable for Numismatic study, the horse is not

The Wikipedia article “Numismatics&rdquo says “The Kyrgyz people used horses as the principal currency unit and gave small change in lambskins. The lambskins may be suitable for numismatic study, but the horse is not.”

I am not sure of the origin of that phrase; it was added by Wikipedia user “Wragge” in May 2005. (I would be curious to know if Wragge lifted that phrase from an earlier writer.)

The Kyrgyz people now use the Kyrgyzstani Som but in India one may now deposit goats into a local bank.
Women in remote Korawan, 70 km from Allahabad, have come up with a novel bank which exclusively deals with goats — accepting the animal as savings and lending it out as loans.

"Prema and her friends hailing from Afrozi village have establish a bank which deals exclusively in goats," development block coordinator Subedar Singh told PTI.

In tough terrains of Mirzapur district, most of the people are engaged in crushing stone to earn a living.

"Wives of these people help them in crushing stones and breed two-three goats for additional income," Singh said.

"Though the area is best suited for goat breeding, no effort was made to establish it as a full fledged business activity," he said.

"We provide goats to women having interest in taking up breeding as a full-time activity as loan. When a goat gives birth to kids, generally two to three in numbers, one of them is deposited with the bank again," Prema explained.

Goats in the bank are medically examined every week.

"In case a goat dies, then it is either replaced from the market or from the bank depending upon the availability," Prema said.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Full Disclosure

From the catalog of Sotheby's November 1858 auction of the Whittall collection:
Great care has been taken to exclude false coins; but if any coin should be suspected at the time of sale, it is to be withdrawn, as Mr. Whittall will not consent to sell as false what he is confident to be genuine. This observation applies also to Lot 293, in which instance alone the writer differs from his employer as to the authenticity of any coin contained herein.
Lot 293 was a tetradrachm of Tenos similar to this one.

I don't know who served as cateloger for Sothehby's in the 1850s. He must have held a great deal of power. I can't imagine a modern coin dealer allowing an employee or contractor to publicly doubt his counterfeit-spotting eye in the dealer's own catalog!

I do not know what the lot sold for. There is a '1' printed next to it; I assume that is the estimate, £1. The lot description itself repeats the warning, being followed with “⁂The authenticity is left to individual opinion.”