Chicago Coin Club Meeting
Does the eagle have feet of a duck?
St. Eligius -- Patron Saint of Coin Collectors
Index to other ECC Newsletter articles|
During the February Meeting, we will try again to view the video Jim Davis recorded on the History Channel on the Mint and Bureau of Printing and Engraving. I'll try to make it this time.
We still need to discuss our 1999 programs. We have filled all months except March, April, and September. We would like to have presentations from the members in 1999. Please seriously think about what you can give back to the club in the form of a presentation. Maybe two of you can get together and present something.
Bring something you discovered in January for Show and Tell. Or bring in something entirely different. Remember, whatever you have or collect, most of us are interested in hearing about it.
If you haven't paid your 1999 dues, please be prepared to do so during the meeting.
Acting President Jim Davis called the meeting to order around 7:45.
The article in the paper about the Elgin Coin Club was not in the Elgin Herald as written in the December newsletter, it was in the Daily Herald. The minutes were accepted as edited.
Rich also suggested that we offer a prize for perfect attendance.
The Treasurer's Report was accepted.
Apparently there is a conflict with another coin show and the ECC coin show, this issue will be discussed at the board meeting. [Editor's note: This was already discussed at the November board meeting where the board elected not to change the date since we have committments from all 1998 dealers to return in 1999 and since Alsip is on the other side of the metropolitan area.]
Jerry suggested purchasing new business cards that a wheat head penny could somehow be attached to. These cards could be given out to promote the coin club and boost our memberships. It was also suggested that a map be printed somewhere on the business cards.
The video program on the Mint and Bureau of Printing and Engraving, which was scheduled for this month was postponed to the February meeting as the TV monitor was unable to make it to the show because of the bad weather.
Al brought in several elongated pennies. The first penny showed the Dion quintuplets on the back so it must be from the '30s. Another showed the Wisconsin Dells. The third showed Mt. Rushmore and was on the back of an Indian Penny.
He showed a medal from 1887 with a scene from the Centennial of the Constitution.
Al brought in several old ration books from the war which were used to purchase food supplies and other household needs. He found inside the one of the ration books three High School Report Cards from 1927, 28 & 29, from Cicero J. Sterling Morton High.
Jim Davis shared with us what he had found in the last month just by going through loose change. He found 7 wheat cents, a 1981 S proof quarter in change from a coke machine, a 1967 chrome plated quarter, 3 silver dimes and 2 silver quarters. Just a reminder to keep your eyes open.
|Raffle winners:||Jim D., Bruce (twice), Don E. (three times)|
|Door:||Shane R., Al, Jim and Jerry.|
Meeting was adjourned at 8:30pm.
Submitted by Secretary Jennifer Schulze
January 19 winter was resting, so Don, Doug, Jim Davis, and I got together at Don's for the board meeting.
We confirmed that we will have Jim's video for the February program, weather permitting.
Don reported that he had received his first 1999-D cents on the 14th and he showed them to us. His wife reported a collegue at work had a new quarter from a pop machine. Jim also had seen a new quater. A friend at the First National Bank of Chicago also saw one and said that it had a very flat look with little detail.
We talked more about adding a wheat cent to the club card. We will be providing new cards soon.
The Chicago Coin Club will have the second half of its February meeting at the Chicago Paper Money Expo at the Ramada Inn in Rosemont (6600 N. Manheim) at 1pm, Saturday, February 20. Everyone is welcome to attend. Come and enjoy the show and the meeting.
Art Kagin will speak on A 70 Year Retrospective on Collections, Dealers and Numismania and the club will be giving away a souvenir reproduction of Chicago obsolete notes (written by your editor).
Jim Davis has been spinning the reels of the New York Times microfilm archives again. This time he has come up with a May 1928 disagreement about the eagle on the Standing Liberty quarter.
The Times reported that Captain Charles Knight, an English Naturalist and bird photographer, had said the American eagle on the quarter "has the feet of a wading bird, like a duck, and is in the act of taking off instead of in full flight as it should be to symbolize the majeaty and power of a progressive and independent nation."
Knight had been lecturing and showing his film "Filming the Gloden Eagle" to museums and geographic societies for three months. His complaint was that in full flight, it tucks its talons up underneath its body, not stretched back "like a duck's feet. It is the symbol of might and dignity, and yet the designer has given the grand old bird the feet of a duck."
H. A. MacNeil, the quarter's designer, answered Knight a few days later in the Times' Letters to the Editor section. He described Knight's observation as the "perennial question of the position of the feet of the eagle in flight" on the quarter.
As designer he was interested in the question. But he said no ornathologist could prove to him that the eagle's feet were tucked up underneith its body. Moreover, he had a photo showing a high- flying eagle with its feet trailing. He continued, "As a matter of fact this bird could fly with its feet swung either forward or back."
But he said of his depiction of the eagle as a symbol, "I did not place the eagle's feet forward, as it immediately bespeaks a warlikd bird ready to pounce on its prey. The United States is not a warlike country preying on weaker nations."
He ends with, "As Captain Knight truly says, we read into this bird the symbols of might and dignity. Why not also the symbol of peace?"
On the fifteenth, Captain Knight answered that though it was "so pleasing an explanation" he still felt it was "a pity to give that eagle...feet which impart to it an air of purposelessness." He continued, had he seen an eagle "with the drooping legs of the bird on the coin I should have concluded that the unhappy creature could not be in good health."
He concluded, "But let me assure Mr. MacNeil that no one whould be more distressed than I should be to see your eagle in an aggressive mood!"
All this banter in 1928, 12 years after the coin had entered circulation. Dare I say the talons probably are much more forward these days as we more and more attempt to be the policemen of the world.
The Catholic Church has given us coin collectors a patron saint to watch over us. He is Saint Eligius, the patron saint of metalworkers and numismatists. His feast day is December 1. He came to my attention a couple months ago when a coworker was looking for information on St Anthony and fell in on St. Eligius. And then at Decenber's NOISE show, I found the the pictured metal in a dealer's tray. It's now mine.
Last night I wondered the internet looking for more information. The Catholic Online Saints (www.catholic.org/saints/saints/eligius.html) had the same text as my coworker had--must be where she got it. Anyway here is the short story more or less in their words.
Eligius was born around 590 near Limoges in France. He became an extremely skillful metalsmith and was appointed master of the mint under King Clotaire II of Paris. Eligius developed a close friendship with the king. His reputation as an outstanding metalsmith became widespread.
Fortune came with fame. He was very generous to the poor, ransomed many slaves, and built several churches and a monestary at Solignac. He also built a major convent in Paris with property he had received from Clotaire's son, King Dagobert I.
In 629, Eligius was appointed Dagobert's first counselor. On one mission he persuaded the Breton King Judiceal to accept Dagobert's authority.
Wanting to serve God more closely, he was ordained in 640 and became bishop of Noyon and Tournai. Preaching in Flanders, Antwerp, and Courtai, he made many converts.
Eligius died on December 1 in 660 at Noyon.
While seeking information, I fell upon an astounding site
filled with fine art. The painting here is from that site, the
Virtual Art Museum of Carol L. Gerten of Colorado. The first
version of her museum I found was in Warsaw, Poland. But it
pointed to a mirror site at www.metalab.unc.edu/cgfa at the
University of North Carolina. She has literally hundreds of great
images. By all means, if you are in the least interested in fine
art, visit her site. You will not regret the time it takes to
download some of the immages.
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