Gallery Mint Museum ScrapBook  
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Gallery Mint Museum Box706 EurekaSprings AR 72632 
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I absolutely LOVE your idea of creating this scrapbook.
This is a great way of answering questions that come up a lot. 
Ron Landis ...Sun, 30 Jul 2000 11:59:06
ScrapBook Subjects
Link: Treasures From The Past
Link: [ Augustin Dupr Medal Sought! ]
Link: The Two Decades Before Gallery Mint Museum
Link: [ Variations On A Theme ]
Link: 1996 Gallery Mint TAMS Article Found
Link: 1915 Panama-Pacific Inspiration
Link: Another Miracle From Joe's Workshop
Link: Dragon Blood In Con$ept Family Tree
Link: [ Another Nickel Carver's Silver Signature Round ]
Link: Skulls And Steam Engines
Enlargement scans available on WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM. 
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1995 Landis Carving #111
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Augustin Dupr Medal Sought!
   All right... all right... so I probably couldn't afford a Libertas Americana medal even if I managed to find one. A guy can dream can't he? Maybe we can talk Ron into making up a few for us! Last year at this precise time, right down to the very day, I was looking for a Frank Gasparro medal and I found it... "them" actually. Link:Frank Gasparro Medal Sought! Of course, this COOL medal is a couple hundred years older than the Gasparro creations so it could be a "bit" more difficult.   ;-)
   The American concept of Liberty hearkened back to classical imagery of an allegorical figure of the Greeks and Romans. This Libertas was invariably represented as holding a workman's cap, the pileus, which symbolized freedom from slavery. But American freedom was more than this; it meant "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," and was often epitomized by a portrayal as a child of nature, such as the a beautiful, unkempt young woman first envisioned on the medal of the Frenchman Augustin Dupr. Link:Selections from "Drachmas, Doubloons, and Dollars: The History of Money" - Adapted from the exhibition materials by Sebastian Heath, Robert Hoge, and Jennifer Mazurkie - (C)2002 The American Numismatic Society.
   For those of you who may be interested in more of the history of the Libertas Americana medal, here is some super material I captured from The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection - Part I, 9 May 1999 catalogue, Link:Lot 2084. (This COOL research is NOT mine but was done by the firm who sold the Bass collection. I can't put my finger on which firm that was at this moment as the mainpage for the online catalogue is no longer posted.) EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
   Clifford Bolling just pointed me to Link:Jewels of the Bass Collection by Cathy L. Clark, assistant editor of THE NUMISMATIST, which says (in part): Upon his death in 1998, the collection was willed to the Harry Bass Jr. Research Foundation, a nonprofit charitable trust, which retained a care collection representative of its founder's numismatic interests and activities. (The remainder was sold in a series of four public sales conducted by Auctions by Bowers and Merena of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, that generated funding for the Foundation's various charitable programs.)
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"King's Coin Hammer" at the Texas Renaissance Festival

The Token and Medal Society
  • The Two Decades Before Gallery Mint Museum
       Ron Landis recently attended the 30th year reunion of his 1972 high school graduation class. (See: LinkAbraham Lincoln High School 30th Reunion.) So his fans all want to know what happened to Ron after his graduation and Dave Schenkman tells us:
       Ron Landis' path to his present occupation and avocation was rather circuitous. As a musician he performed extensively with a bluegrass band during the 1970s. Unfortunately, one can starve playing this kind of music, so Landis gravitated towards a line of work which involved building furniture and restoring antiques. During that period he also built musical instruments. This led him to take a course in jewelry, so he could learn a method of hand designing mother of pearl inlays to decorate the instruments.
       During the late 1970s Landis attended Gem City College in Quincy, Illinois, where he studied watch making, diamond setting, and hand engraving. Following this he apprenticed under master engraver George Bickley of Denver, Colorado. In 1980 Landis opened a small shop in Denver, offering all types of hand engraving; monograms, inscriptions, and ornamental designs on such items as guns, jewelry, musical instruments, silver flatware, belt buckles, etc. He also did contract work for many of the jewelry shops in Denver.
       Two years later Landis forsake his business to travel around the country demonstrating the art of engraving and "coin" making at art shows and renaissance festivals. He developed and marketed a series of souvenir medals which were struck on an antique screw press, utilizing hand engraved dies. Over the next several years his small demonstration grew into a comprehensive, working exhibition of early coin making procedures. Landis devised and engineered many of the machines utilized in the exhibit.
       The exhibit came of necessity, as Landis described it in an interview published in the May 1995 issue of COINage Magazine, "
    it just started out as a way to sell souvenir medals of the Renaissance festivals. I had been given an antique screw press and I started demonstrating engraving and striking medals. People started asking questions about coin making, and, well, I didn't know, so I went to the library. Come to find out, I was using the same style of press actually used in the 16th century."
    Click for 91Obv, 91Rev, 92Obv or 92Rev enlargement on CD-ROM
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       In 1990 Landis and his partner, machinist Joe Rust, designed and built the "Royal Mint" at the Texas Renaissance Festival, near Houston. During the fall of 1991 and 1992 they gave demonstrations of engraving, hammered coining, and sixteenth century style milled coining - from raw material to the final product - at this water wheel powered "mint." Featured in the exhibit was a forty ton drop hammer press which was operated by the public as a hands-on demonstration. Another demonstration was of roller-milled coinage, during which give-away tokens were produced for the spectators.

       Typical of the medals produced by Landis for the Renaissance Festival is a copper piece depicting Columbus's ship, the Santa Maria, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The date, 1992, appears in Roman numerals (MCMXCII). Queen Isabella's family crest and the shield of Spain appear on the reverse, along with the inscription TEXAS RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL CELEBRATING THE DISCOVERY 1492-1992. An interesting feature of the medal is the lettered edge which reads STRUCK ON THE KING'S COIN HAMMER." - The Gallery Mint and the Genius of Ron Landis" - by David E. Schenkman - TAMS Journal, Vol.36 No.2, April 1996.
       Not only did I find the tracing of Ron's professional development particularly interesting but I am pleased to see information about the King's Coin Hammer included in Dave's article. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! We visited the King's Coin Hammer previously in LinkPay Attention To The Edges Of Ron's Medals. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

    The King's Coin Hammer SBsubjects
    Link:Pay Attention To The Edges Of Ron's Medals
    Link:"In God We Trust" On Santa Maria's Bow
    Link:The Two Decades Before Gallery Mint Museum
    Link:Found Among eBay's Coins:Exonumia:Medals
    Link:Is The King's Coin Hammer Still Operational?
    Link:The King's Coin Hammer Copper Medals
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Variations On A Theme
   Bill (Jameson) Zach is always full of surprises. He carved the SUPER 1913 nickel carving (above left) of the FatMan, AKA Verne, and he really captured my countenance... even my wife could tell it was me.
   Then the Muse struck Bill while he was carving Civil War soldiers and he just had to enlist me in the Confederate Army. The first I knew that the Press Gang was in the vicinity was when Bill sent me the in-process scan (above center.) My only comment, that can be printed in a public forum, is that the final carving (above right) looks entirely too happy to be a true reflection of how I would have felt being drafted into any army.
   None-the-less I am naturally quite pleased with this wonderful pair of Bill Zach carvings. Portrait carvings are definitely Bill's niche in the nickel carving art form. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
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The Token and Medal Society
  • 1996 Gallery Mint TAMS Article Found
       I just won twelve back issues of the TAMS Journal for years 1995 and 1996 on eBay. Among them I found a copy of TAMS Journal, Vol.36 No.2, April 1996 with a wonderful nine page article entitled "The Gallery Mint and the Genius of Ron Landis" - by David E. Schenkman. Mr. Schenkman and the other great folks at TAMS have given me permission to excerpt portions of this article for your information and enjoyment. There are a number of Ron's earlier creations covered. I am very pleased to find so much information from the beginning of GMM's history.
       Speaking of Ron's earlier creations... it was in this superb article that I found Ron's 1995 Eagle carved nickel, #114, which allowed me to correct/expand my previous LinkDragon Blood In Con$ept Family Tree ScrapBook subject below on this webpage.
       I have captured all the article pages with my scanner but this creates HUGE graphics files so they will be available ONLY on the CD-ROM version of the GMM ScrapBook... LinksCover pages 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51 or 52. This isn't helpful to 99% of the ScrapBook's readers because I have only had demand for a very limited number of CD-ROMs and I expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. So... I will extract interesting portions of David's superb article to build a few SBsubjects as time permits. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

       Postscript: I am using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 as my Browser. When I click on the full page graphic file links for the CD-ROM, that I just provided above, my Browser "helps" me by reducing the size of the display to fit on my screen. This makes the text unreadable and voids the whole purpose of storing such HUGE graphics files in the first place. BUT... if I point to the reduced size display with my mouse an odd little button pops up on the lower right of the display and I can click on that button to see the graphics file in its original full size. Hope this works the same for you! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

( These images NOT shown to scale. )

Minerva - by Ron Landis
  • 1915 Panama-Pacific Inspiration
       I have always admired Ron Landis' Minerva medal and token creations and have visited them in a number of previous ScrapBook subjects; LinkANA Convention, Exhibitor And Seminar Medals, Link1999 ANA Chicago Medals, LinkToo Massive For The Technology and LinkGMM ANA Exhibition Medal Set Completed! Naturally I am also definitely impressed with the two $50 Panama-Pacific gold slugs which were Ron's inspiration when he created his Minerva dies. When I saw this commemorative set being offered for sale I just wanted to share it with all y'all. Obviously I'll never own these gold pieces since they are priced in the general range of my house's value but I get to enjoy Ron's Minerva creations for considerably less than that amount.
       For those of you who might be interested in learning more about the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition I suggest you visit the Museum of the City of San Francisco's LinkSan Francisco -- Fairs-Expositions which provides six links to various 1915 Panama-Pacific related websites. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
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Ron Landis photographs.

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  • Another Miracle From Joe's Workshop
       Ron just sent me a photograph of his Denver Mint coining press in it's current stage of refurbishment. We watched Joe start with LinkA Pantograph For The Guys? and end up with the LinkReducing Machine On The Road To Restoration so we are NOT surprised to see this wonderful coining press come out of his workshop. I don't have any "before" pictures of this press but I saw it right after TheGuys purchased it and you wouldn't believe what it looked like before Joe worked his magic. This press will be a fantastic addition to the future GMM museum building. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
       I can't provide much info on the Denver press. They've since destroyed the old files from that period, but a few researchers have mentioned this information is still stored somewhere. Possibly the national archive. I have a feeling it was used around the forties and fifties to make quarters and/or half dollars. I have a book on Ferracute, but it doesn't go into enough detail to find anything.
       One thing I can say for certain about the press is that it's a direct descendant of the original steam powered coin presses first installed at the U.S. Mint in 1836. Except for the base, every mechanical element is exactly the same as the one shown on the ScrapBook home page.
    ( In the header on the upper right with Joe Rust standing beside it. ) The feed fingers, the feed mechanism, the knuckle action, and other components are set up exactly like 1836 press, with one big improvement in the feed mechanism which is not seen. It's a two-way dog that makes it so it only pushes the die up on the back stroke. Without this dog, the bottom die goes into ejection mode just before loading the coining chamber, which causes lots of "train wrecks", or "snakes" (errors, errors, errors) in the automatic feed system. Ron Landis...Thursday, October 24, 2002 11:59AM

A Ron Landis photograph.
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1994 Landis Carving #72
  • Dragon Blood In Con$ept Family Tree
       When I saw a nickel carving of a Rampant Dragon in Ron's personal collection I asked him if he might consider selling it to me. He replied that it was not for sale because it held special significance for him. It was the precursor to his design for his Concept Dollars! Being a big fan of both Ron's carvings and his Con$epts I was naturally quite disappointed but I definitely understood his position... I wouldn't have sold it either!
       I've never forgotten my encounter with Ron's Dragon so, when the opportunity arose, I asked Ron for a scan of it to share with all of you Landis fans. It arrived just in time for my 62nd birthday and I couldn't have asked for a nicer present. There is no cake left but I am pleased to share this carving with all you ScrapBook readers. Check out the COOL progression of Ron's Con$ept reverse die designs provided for you below. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
Click for Dragon, Eagle, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000 or Design enlargements on CD-ROM
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( These images NOT shown to scale. )
Top:   1994 Dragon   1995 Eagle   1995 Con$ept   1997 HoboToken
Bottom:   1998 Con$ept   2000 Con$ept   Small$ Design Submittal

   Postscript: Mike Wallace wrote me to say that the caption on the above photograph was really messed up. I thought perhaps my response to him might be of interest to other ScrapBook readers: The problem with captions wrapping on the screen is a common one. Every user has two main things that effect the screen layout... one is the resolution they are set at and the other is the font size they use as default. In Microsoft Internet Explorer, if you use {View}{TextSize} and pick among {Largest}{Larger}{Medium}{Smaller}{Smallest} you will see how it changes things. I am running at 1024x768 and {Smaller}. I fiddled with my settings and I am guessing you must be running at 800x600 and {Larger} or {Largest} to get the precise text alignments you told me about. Try the {Smaller} text size unless you are vision impaired and I think you will like it. In the meantime I'll try your suggested change and see how it looks. I used Mike's suggestion and it improves things tremendously. As usual... I appreciate input from ANY ScrapBook reader on ANY subject. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
Click for Bill Zach enlargement on CD-ROM
Another Nickel Carver's Silver Signature Round
Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM    This summer (pre-SunRoom) I posted the Link:Nickel Carver's Silver Signature Rounds showing Alfano, Adams and Kraft signature rounds. Several additional rounds have arrived since then but Bill sent a scan along with his so you get to see it before the others. I know Bill had difficulties carving this wonderful creation because the silver was soft. He even purchased additional rounds in order to complete this project for me... THANKS Bill!
   While I am on the subject of Bill Zach I want to share my most recent nickel carving acquisition from the bench of this great Kentucky carver. Bill is one of my favorite carvers and one look at Louie `Le Chapeau', here on the right, should make it clear why this is true. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
Ron Landis photographs.
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2002 Landis Carving #201           2002 Landis Carving #200
  • Skulls And Steam Engines
       Here are the images of my latest hobo carvings. They belong to Carollee Allen, a member of OHNS. She as given us permission to show the nickels on your website, and you can mention she is the proud owner of both pieces. Ron Landis...Monday, October 21, 2002 9:37AM
       I've known for a long time that Carollee "CeeBo" Allen has a wonderful collection of nickel carvings. These two new Landis carvings certainly make a significant addition to her midden heap. There are other long time Ron Landis fans out there... Gail Baker comes to mind as I write this ...who have Ron Landis originals and we all would appreciate it if they would share their treasures with the rest of us. Hint Hint!!!
       Thank you for your generosity and congratulations on your acquisitions CeeBo. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
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Bill (Jameson) Zach
Bill's Photo Album available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM Bill's Photo Album available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
 Nickel Carving Photo Album 

Only available on CD-ROM
 Recent Sales 

 of  Nickel Carvings

Enlargement scans are now available on both WWW and the CD-ROM version of the GMM ScrapBook

Back to: WalraFen WebSite
Coming to you from Verne R. Walrafen at GMMnut
BS'63-CivilEngineering MS'76-ComputerScience ANA-LM553 NI-LM7 MEPSI-LM1154 SNdeM-C246 USMexNA-4
 Check out the U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association
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