6 March 2007

Tuesday, March 6
University Series
Speaker: Robert Wallace

Tuesday, March 20
Informal Smoker
Tower Club Bar

Tuesday, April 3
University Series
Speaker: Jack Zimmerman

Tuesday, April 17
Informal Smoker
Tower Club Bar

Tuesday, May 8
University Series
Speaker: Charles Wheelan

Tuesday, May 22
Informal Smoker
Tower Club Bar

Tuesday, June 4
University Series
Speaker: Ted Foss

About the Cigar Society

ONE OF THE OLDEST AND greatest traditions of the University Club is the discussion of intellectual, social, legal, artistic, historical, scientific, musical, theatrical, and philosophical issues in the company of educated, bright, and appropriately provocative individuals, all under the beneficent influence of substantial amounts of tobacco and spirits. 

The University Club Cigar Society embraces this tradition and extends it with its fortnightly Informal Smokers, monthly University Series lectures, and quarterly Cigar Society Dinners, in which cigars, and from time to time pipes and cigarettes, appear as an important component of our version of the classical symposium.

The Informal Smokers meet at the round table in the Tower Club bar.  There are no reservations or cover charges, and each member signs his own chit for drinks a lá carte.  Sometimes a theme is published in advance, but the table talk always strays. 

The format of the Cigar Society University Series includes cocktails at 5:15pm, a lecture or reading starting at 5:30 sharp for about thirty minutes, and discussion and more cocktails to follow.  Premium open bar and light snacks are included in University Series events; members sign a chit for $30 and guests may pay $40 (inclusive) in cash.

All University Club and Tower Club members and their guests are invited to all Cigar Society events.

To be included in the Cigar Society's mailing list, write to the Secretary, Curtis Tuckey, at tuckey@post.com.

With my cigar, I'm sage and wise;
without, I'm dull as cloudy skies.
When smoking, all my ideas soar;
when not, they sink upon the floor.
The greatest men have all been smokers.
And so were all the greatest jokers.
University Club Cigar Society
Officers for 2007

David O'Connor, King.
Gerald I. Bauman, Treasurer.
Curtis Tuckey, Secretary.
J. Douglas Johnson, Liaison to Chicago Croquet Club (Honorary).
Jeffrey Dean, Chair of the Subcommittee concerning Pipe Smoking.
Alexander Sherman, Metropolitan Philosopher.
Thomas O'Brien, Stentorian.
John H. Nelson, Herald.
University Series, Tuesday, March 6, Tower Club, 5:15

Robert Wallace, professor of classics at Northwestern University and cigar club regular, will present A Whirlwind Tour through Greek and Roman Coins, from the world's first issues struck in western Asia Minor in the sixth century BC, to the silver-washed masterpieces of ancient art that marked the fall of Rome. A bit of economic history, a bit of politics, a slide-show of lots of smashing images, and plenty of glittering silver and gold.  Cocktails at 5:15; lecture at 5:30; discussion to follow at 6:00.  $30 includes premium open bar and light hors d'oeuvres.  RSVP to Laura Herold, Tower Club Manager.

Professor Wallace (BA Columbia '72, MA Oxford '77, PhD Harvard '84) has an ongoing project with the American Numismatic Society to analyze the metallic composition of early electrum coinage.  He is recently co-editor of Poet, Public, and Performance in Ancient Greece (Hopkins, 1997), and is currently writing a book about Damon, the Greek music theorist and teacher of Pericles.

from All that Glitters, Cigar Aficionado

It was billed as the "Rendezvous with Destiny" sale, and as the world's preeminent coin collectors streamed into the St. Moritz Hotel in New York City last spring, euphoria reigned. No one was thinking of the pall that had settled over their world earlier this decade, the "crash" that sent the values of super-grade coins plummeting 50, 60, even 70 percent from their stratospheric levels of 1989. Instead, as the CNN cameras focused on the glittering Draped Busts and Liberty Seated coins and other fabled items from the Louis E. Eliasberg Collection, the giddy talk among dealers and investment consultants was only of anticipated record prices--the "bounce" that would spur a long-overdue turn in this bearish market. [continued]


from  Introduction to Greek Coins, University of Saskatchewan Museum of Antiquities

Cattle were the prized commodity on which the Greek monetary system was based. The Greek islands of Cyprus and Crete during the 16th to 10th centuries B. C. were international trading ports where Assyrians, Mesopotamians, and Egyptians met to trade their goods.  With each territory having its own unique currency (Egypt traded in gold, Greece in silver and copper), it was necessary to find a monetary common denominator on which to base trade.  The value of an ox was universal in antiquity and became the basis on which all currency was evaluated.  A 25.5 g copper ingot, 8.5 g grams of gold were of equal value to a whole ox.  This association of monetary values with cattle is well illustrated by the appearance of copper and bronze tablets cut into the shape of ox hides.  Coins eventually replaced bars and ingots as currency because they were easier to transport.  The Greek historian Herodotus informs us that the Lydians first invented coinage:

The Lydians...so far as we have knowledge...were the first nation to introduce the use of gold and silver coin, and the first who sold goods by retail.  (Herodotus 1.94, trans. Rawlinson)

Familial coats of arms were the first patterns imprinted on coins.  Later, when rulers of the city-states had taken control of minting, the arms of monarchs became the symbol of the city-state itself.  Very often a coat of arms was  determined by a particular deity for which the city-state had an affinity.  For example, periodically, throughout its history the city-state of Athens minted owl coinage which was decorated on the obverse with the head of Athena, the patron goddess of Athens, and on the reverse with the owl, associated with her worship.  Other symbols might be animals or plants which typified a certain region.   Until the Hellenistic period the images of monarchs and great men were never depicted on Greek coinage. [continued]

from Fleur de Coin ("Flower of the Die"), Yiannis Androulakis

"Fleur de Coin: A perfect or virtually perfect coin. Fully struck up. No Contact- or other Detracting Marks visible with the naked eye, and only minute superficial imperfections, relating to the manufacturing process rather than any other cause, may be visible under magnification. Fully Lustre or Mint Bloom is present. Toning on Silver coins (if present) must be attractive. Brilliance (Color) on Bronze Coins should be 90% plus. Eye Appeal is outstanding. To reiterate, it is a completely flawless mint state coin with nothing forgiven. This grade is very rare, not to be taken lightly or accepted easily."

Ever wonder why our coins today look the way they do? How the basis for the decoration of coins developed? Today, most bills and coins alike share the common pattern of depicting the profile or bust of a ruler on the obverse, while the reverse bears the image of an important civic symbol - be it a building or an animal. This tradition began with the ancient Greeks.

The historical portraits on early Greek coins are a significant contribution to the history of art. Within them they reflect the highest ideals of the traditional art of the day, as well as provide exact replicas of images of many sacred and important buildings and temples, making their historical importance incalculable. From their very beginnings, coins were not merely chunks of metal to be used in commerce, but important tools for the expression of art and the communication of religious devotion and civic pride.  [continued]

More links from esty.ancients.info

Answers to frequently asked questions (mostly for beginners), associated pages about buying, selling, and moving up from "beginner" to "intermediate" collector (including book recommendations), Septimius SeverusAnnotated Roman coin educational links (with some Greek coin links too), information about rarity and its importance for cost (for intermediate collectors), and information about avoiding fakes.  A Guide to Late Roman AE Coin Types, AD 364-450. A complete list of types of emperors Valentinian I through Theodosius II and Valentinian III.  A resource for collectors of Late Roman AE coins.  An educational site about genuinely ancient coins that were imitations or counterfeits in their day.   An educational site for ancient coin collectors about sale catalogs.  Byzantine types from the city of Cherson in the Crimea in Ukraine.  An illustrated list of all the coin types of the Tripolis mint. The unusual "quarter-follis" denomination struck 305-306 AD under the tetrarchy. An illustrated list of all the varieties. Officina mintmarks of the Roman emperors Diocletian and Maximian at Siscia (289-290 AD).  The unique use of the Jovian and Herculian titles to indicate officina numbers [continued]

University Series, Tuesday, April 3, Tower Club, 5:15 pm
Chicago author Jack Zimmerman will join the Cigar Society to open the spring baseball season with readings from his southside-Chicago baseball novel, Gods of the Andes. Cocktails at 5:15, reading at 5:30, discussion to follow at 6:00.  $30 includes open bar and light hors d'oeuvres.  Bring your own cigars.  RSVP to Laura Herold, Tower Club Manager.

Jack Zimmerman grew up on the southwest side of Chicago and graduated from the Chicago Conservatory of Music.  He spent four years in the Navy during the Vietnam War and worked as a college instructor, freelance trombone player, piano tuner, newspaper columnist, and PR man.  Presently, he works in the public relations department of Lyric Opera of Chicago and writes newspaper columns for Liberty Suburban Newspapers and the Chicago Journal.  His novel, Gods of the Andes, was published by New Leaf Books in September 2006, and a collection of his short writings, 10,000 Years in the Suburbs, was published in 1994 by Lake View Press.  He lives in Chicago with his wife, Charlene.

Jack Zimmerman writes like the guy next door—if you happen to live next door to Richard Russo, Studs Terkel, or Mark Twain. Gods of the Andes is funny, touching, compassionate, the story of all of us who grew up on pavement in the city with the big shoulders. Harold Ramis

University Series, Tuesday, May 8, Tower Club, 5:15 pm
Charles Wheelan, club member and lecturer in public policy at the University of Chicago, will talk about his forthcoming book, An Introduction to Public Policy.  Cocktails at 5:15, lecture at 5:30, discussion to follow at 6:00.  $30 includes open bar and light hors d'oeuvres.  Bring your own cigars.  RSVP to Laura Herold, Tower Club Manager.

Professor Wheelan has a PhD in public policy from the University of Chicago's Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies and a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton.  He is the author of Naked Economics, a book that the Chicago Tribune described as "clear, concise, informative, and (gasp) witty."   He also wrote a series of essays to accompany Terry Evans's photographs for their recent book, Revealing Chicago.  He is currently the author of a regular Yahoo! column, The Naked Economist, and a frequent contributor to the Motley Fool on National Public Radio and to 848 on WBEZ.  He lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.


Respectfully submitted by

 Curtis Tuckey, Secretary