Irregular Postings on Coin Collecting & Numismatics - Both Canonical & Conanical

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Category Archives: Novels

The Master Bird Watcher Badge from Boss McGinty’s Bird Watchers

The Master Bird Watcher Badge from Boss McGinty’s Bird Watchers

“You are an early bird …”

– The Valley of Fear (VALL)

In 1982, two professors at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — Fred Saules and Frank Vacante — organized a group of 18 Sherlockians to form a new BSI scion, Boss McGinty’s Bird Watchers. The group takes its name from the final Sherlock Holmes novel, The Valley of Fear.

In the story, Holmes learns of the Scrowers, a secret society in the Vermissa Valley region of the United States. Boss McGinty, the leader of the Scrowers, is arrested while waiting to ambush Birdie Edwards, a detective from Pinkerton’s investigating the case. Doyle wrote this story after learning the real-life story of the Molly Maguires and their clashes with mine owners and authorities in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Care to guess where Wilkes-Barre is located?

So the group was named Boss McGinty’s Bird Watchers as the members are watching out for Birdie Edwards….

The group met twice a year and seems to have become inactive around 2014 or 2015. According to John Pforr, BSI, the group made these badges to present to members who gave presentations or provided other outstanding services to the group.

OBVERSE: • Boss McGinty’s Bird Watchers • / (right facing profile of Sherlock Holmes, with pipe & wearing deerstalker cap) / Master Bird Watcher

REVERSE: (blank)

Brass, Round, 42 mm, suspended from a red, white & blue ribbon

 

Afghanistan or Iraq? Military Decorations of Captain John H. Watson

Afghanistan or Iraq? Military Decorations of Captain John H. Watson

“Which was it – Afghanistan or Iraq?” – A Study In Pink When the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) premiered their new series of Sherlock in July of 2010, devoted Sherlockians watched to see how the writers would take items from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories and update these items to the modern… Continue Reading

Pope Leo XIII

Pope Leo XIII

“I had observed some newspaper comment at the time, but I was exceedingly preoccupied by that little affair of the Vatican cameos, and in my anxiety to oblige the Pope I lost touch with several interesting English cases.” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) In The Hound of the Baskervilles, there is the tantalizing reference… Continue Reading

The 1997 British Tales of Terror Philatelic Numismatic Cover

The 1997 British Tales of Terror Philatelic Numismatic Cover

“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) On May 13, 1997, Great Britain issued a four stamp series with the theme of Tales of Terror.  The four stamps features designs of the Hound of the Baskervilles, Dracula, Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Many… Continue Reading

London on Eleven Shillings a Day

London on Eleven Shillings a Day

“…  as free as an income of eleven shillings and sixpence a day will permit a man to be.” – A Study in Scarlet (STUD) The canon references a variety of coins and their nicknames, common enough for the Victorian reader, but quite confusing for those in the twenty-first century. Even more perplexing was the… Continue Reading

Faces of Holmes: Stewart Granger

Faces of Holmes: Stewart Granger

“… besides being an incomparable actor.” – A Study in Scarlet (STUD) On February 12, 1972, the American Broadcasting Company televised a new version of The Hound of The Baskervilles, starring Stewart Granger as Sherlock Holmes and Bernard Fox as Doctor Watson. This was the first version to be filmed in color in the United States. The… Continue Reading

The 2007 Cook Islands Hound of the Baskervilles Coin

The 2007 Cook Islands Hound of the Baskervilles Coin

“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN)       In 2007, the Cook Islands contracted with the Perth Mint of Australia to produce a set of four 1 ounce .999 silver $2 coins.  All four coins featured color vignettes from the 1979 – 1986… Continue Reading

Data! Data! Data! – The Hound of the Baskervilles

Data! Data! Data! – The Hound of the Baskervilles

“‘Data! Data! Data!‘ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay.’” – The Adventures of The Copper Beeches (COPP) This column is composed of material (Data!) developed for a short course called Appreciating Sherlock Holmes that I teach twice a year in the Community Education Life Enrichment Program for a local community college. It is composed… Continue Reading