The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 31, August 1, 2010, Article 18


W. David Perkins forwarded this note about rarities with a numismatic literature connection from the Ostheimer Collection being offered for sale at the Boston ANA Convention. -Editor

NBS members who attended the NBS annual meeting at the 2000 ANA Convention in Philadelphia may recall a presentation by W. David Perkins titled, "The Ostheimers of Philadelphia and their Extraordinary Collection of Silver Dollars." The Ostheimers assembled one of the largest and most complete collections of early U.S. Silver Dollars 1794-1803 by die marriage (Bolender reference numbers).

The Ostheimers purchased from Freeport, Illinois dealer Milferd H. Bolender the early dollar collections of both K. P. Austin and W. G. Baldenhofer (See The Asylum, Volume 25, Number 2, Spring 2007: “Who was Farish Baldenhofer?”), adding rarities along the way including one of the two Lord St. Oswald 1794 silver dollars, Lot 137 in the 1964 Christie, Manson and Woods auction of the Lord St. Oswald Collection.

The Ostheimers collected in many areas, including art, stamps, (William Jennings) Bryan Political Items and Hawaiian tokens. In 1973 Superior Stamp & Coin (Ira and Larry Goldberg) purchased the Ostheimer collection of Bryan Political Items.

What was not well known is that the Ostheimers had one of the largest collections ever of So-Called Dollars (SCDs), with over 700 different H&K numbers (Hibler & Kappen, So-Called Dollars, 1963). They started collecting the SCDs in 1957 which at this time were classified by Kenney numbers (Richard D. Kenney, So-Called Dollars, Coin Collector's Journal, July-August, 1953).

Ostheimer So-Called Dollar HK 23 obverse Ostheimer So-Called Dollar HK 23 reverse
Hibler-Kappen 23

The Ostheimers were contributors to the first edition of the H&K book. They corresponded heavily with Hibler in the early 1960s, prior to the first edition of the H&K book being published. Over 70 of the plate photos in the first edition of the H&K book are from the Ostheimer Collection. Many of these specimens are extremely rare, with some H&K numbers not having been seen in over 50 years! The majority of the SCDs were stored in old Kraft 2X2 envelopes, wrapped in jeweler's tissue and unopened since the 1960s. Some were in their original holders. Eighty-nine specimens from the Ostheimer Collection are plated in the second edition of the H&K book.

Specimens were acquired from a variety of sources, including Harold "Hal" Hibler, a "young" Q. David Bowers of Empire Coin Company, dealer Louis Werner, the Kagin's, Colorado collector and dealer Al Overton (two rare Lesher Dollars), New Netherlands Coin Company / John Ford, Abner Kreisberg and other dealers from this time. The collection includes a number of specimens from Farran Zerbe's personal collection, including a twelve piece set of Bryan Dollars (including two unique specimens not listed in Bryan Money by Fred Shornstein) stored in Zerbe's original envelopes.

For those readers familiar with Tom DeLorey's classic article, "Thomas L. Elder – A Catalogue of His Tokens and Medals" published in The Numismatist, the Ostheimer Collection includes the Continental Currency issues, Wilson Dollars, the rare Taft Dollars and Dickeson Issues.

Fifty select rarities from the Ostheimer Collection are to be offered by specialist Jeff Shevlin in a sealed bid sale at the 2010 Boston ANA, Table 1530. Twenty-five additional rarities will be offered from the Jeff Shevlin Collection. All NBS members and E-Sylum readers are welcome to stop by and view these historical and rare medals.

Photos and lot descriptions can be viewed online prior to the ANA by clicking on this link:

Lots will be available for viewing at Table 1530 at the ANA all week up until bidding closes at 5:00PM EST Friday, August 13, 2010. Additional details regarding the sale are available on Jeff Shevlin's website (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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