The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 52, December 18, 2011, Article 6


Greg Heim writes:

Lisa and I were saddened to hear of the passing of John Eshbach. It was a pleasure working with him when we were judging exhibits actively at the summer ANA Conventions from 1994-2004. I am sure that is Pennsylvania-area friends and his family are going to miss him as well

Howard A. Daniel III writes:

I was greatly saddened to read about the passing of John Eshbach. He was one of my many mentors in numismatics.

It was often after I posed a numismatic question in The E-Sylum or elsewhere that I would be contacted by John with an answer or someone else to talk to for the answer. He was a strong silent type of man, so when he spoke, he had something of importance to say and was not just talking to hear himself. He was the ultimate gentleman and I will miss talking with him at future shows, but I think he will be there with us in spirit.

David Lange submitted this remembrance of John Eshbach. Thanks! -Editor

I was saddened to learn of the death of John Eshbach, though not too surprised. He looked frail when I saw him at the Pittsburgh ANA Convention. John was the very definition of someone who contributed endlessly to the hobby, and his passing is a real loss.

Among the many tributes to John that I've seen there's been no mention of one particularly interesting facet of his hobby activity. For a time he manufactured and sold superb coin display holders under the brand name Showcase by Eshbach. I was a customer for these holders during the few years in which they were available, and I grew to admire them for both their attractiveness and numismatic accuracy.

Showcase P-1801

The Showcase is a rigid display consisting of a screw-assembly stainless steel frame and two panels of glass. Underneath the glass is a foam plastic mounting with pre-punched openings for coins, and between this insert and the glass is a clear, printed sheet. The plugs for the openings were left in place until a coin was acquired, at which time it lifted out easily. This feature eliminated glaring holes in the collection while it was growing. The Showcase line included many holders for date-and-mint sets of most USA and Canadian coins, as well as type sets for some other countries. These made every collection look like a museum exhibit, and they also provided pretty good protection for the coins.

Showcase Certificate In 1980 I bought the three Showcase holders which comprised a complete USA type collection, less the gold issues. These made such a beautiful display that I was asked by the Director of the Old San Francisco Mint Museum to loan my type set for display there, and we were in the midst of making these arrangements when the museum abruptly closed in 1993. I'm attaching a scan of the first holder, Plate 1. The foam plugs remain in place for the few coins I was lacking, though it's hard to see them in the scan. I'm also attaching a scan of the certificate which accompanied each holder. Somewhere I have the Showcase printed catalog, but I couldn't find it without tearing up half the house.

When I attempted to order more Showcase holders from John in the late 1980s, he said that the whole enterprise had been discontinued. I pressed him as to why he would stop selling such a fine product, and he muttered something about a lawsuit. I gathered that someone had been injured, perhaps by broken glass, but I could see that it was a sore subject he didn't want to discuss. I brought up the matter again a few years later, but it still rankled him, and he never did give me the whole story.

My Showcase type set holders are retired now, but I still consider them an important, albeit peripheral, part of my coin album collection. They also stand as a fine tribute to a remarkable individual.

I don't recall seeing these holders before. Do any other readers have one of them? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: JOHN R. ESHBACH: 1921-2011 (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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