The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 10, March 6, 2011, Article 2

GORDON FROST 1935 - 2011

On Friday morning I learned of the passing of Gordon Frost of Forest Hills, NY. He was 75. I didn't know Gordon well, but he was a fixture at every NBS function I ever attended. It won't be the same without him around. Gordon would buy multiple copies of new numismatic books, using the extra copies for resale or trade. He told me one time that he had "several rooms" full of numismatic literature.

I got the news via Ray Williams on the Yahoo Colonial Coins group. Below are some comments from Ray and Roger Siboni from Yahoo, followed by comments from other E-Sylum readers. Thanks to George Cuhaj for both photos of Gordon. -Editor
Gordon Frost

Ray Williams wrote:

Although Gordon Frost was not a C4 Member, he was a numismatic literature dealer and many may have built their libraries through purchases from him. While manning the C4 table at ANA, he and I must have talked for 1 1/2 hours (in between helping people that came to the table).

Roger Siboni wrote:

Gordon was the go-to guy for anything American Numismatic Society. He helped me assemble my first set of AJNs. He also had an encyclopedic knowledge about just about every area of numismatics. An active member of the ANS, NY Numismatic Club, a few other clubs and a wry wit.

He will be missed.........So Joe Lasser, Steve Tanenbaum and Gordon Frost. Let's call it three and hope there is no more bad news on the horizon.

George Cuhaj writes:

Gordon Frost was modest and unassuming, almost to a fault. In life he was a trainer, and he put those those techniques of good management and planning to use his hobby - books and numismatics. When he was asked by executives to improve something, advice was given; when executives made really stupid decisions on their own he was able to shrug it off as he had nothing to do with it (the decision, at least). Often he would just exclaim "I just do not understand how these people..."

We probably met at the American Numismatic Society public meetings where he was a regular attendee at the old building at Audubon Terrace, then frequently at educational programs during the New York City shows and then meetings of the Bronx Coin Club (which meets in Manhattan), the New York Numismatic Club or the Westchester Coin Club.

When Gordon got to know what you were interested in, he would often make connections and a book you did not know about, but he knew your would want would come your way. One learned early on that Gordon did not haggle, the price was the price. You took it, as Gordon was confident he would find another home for it. He found me books in all my fields of collecting, scouting, subway, railroads and the Catholic Church.

I could always count on Gordon for a friendly greeting and good conversation on a variety of topics. He had a variety of interests and made those topics an education to you in an interesting way.

Gordon always was in good humor and enjoyed the slight paradoxes of life.

Gordon Frost at Bronx Coin Club
Gordon Frost(front) at the Bronx Coin Club.

George Frederick Kolbe writes:

F. Gordon Frost (always known as Gordon though we shared a common name), was an integral part of the American numismatic literature scene for more years than I care to remember. I would have first met Gordon in the late 1970s, perhaps at an obscure east coast numismatic literature auction that we knew about but hoped that no one else did. Or, more likely perhaps, we first met at a New York International Numismatic Convention. I had a bourse table there for a few years before the series of Kolbe/Spink New York auction sales began in December 1982.

Gordon almost always attended these sales in person. While far more often the best man rather than the groom, over the years Gordon bought some wonderful books there. I would guess that most ended up on his private shelves rather than being offered for sale in his many informal fixed price lists sent to a select clientele. Gordon, you see, loved books, particularly those of a numismatic persuasion.

In the later 1980s, he and his lovely spouse Rosalie trekked up the mountain and spent an enjoyable afternoon with Linda and me in Crestline. Several years later, I visited with the Frosts at their then newly-built home in Forest Hills. During the construction process, Gordon moved a whole lot of dirt and, in effect, carved out an underground bunker; a book bunker, if you will. Then graced with thousands (tens of thousands?) of numismatic publications covering the numismatic spectrum, I gathered from conversations with Gordon over the ensuing years that this was just a beginning.

Gordon was, like so many of us, a unique, unusual man. He was an instrumental, if perhaps under-appreciated, force in the numismatic literature field, both as a bibliopole and a bibliophile. He will be missed.

Myron Xenos writes:

Gordie was, for years, putting together a bibliography of treasure-related works. The last time I saw him, he said he was up to 800 listings. He was a dedicated bibliophile.

Joel Orosz writes:

I knew Gordon only slightly, and beyond a superficial knowledge of his interest in numismatic literature related to shipwrecks and treasure, I know little about his collecting interests. I enjoyed his sense of humor and his never-failing wry grin, and I will miss him. 2011 is shaping up to be a year in which we lose too many stalwarts of our hobby -- as Joan Rivers would say, "make it stop!"

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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