The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 37, September 13, 2015, Article 9

DR. LAWRENCE A. ADAMS (1935-2015)

Kerry Wetterstrom forwarded this obituary of Dr. Lawrence Adams. Thanks. -Editor

Dr, Lawrence Adams Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Alexander Adams was born on May 31, 1935 in Los Angeles, California, the son of Alexander and Lucille (née Spiker) Adams. His father was a salesman in the Wholesale Market and Restaurant business. Dr. Adams died unexpectedly on March 24, 2015, just a couple of months short of what would have been his 80th birthday. Larry is survived by his wife, Meredith (née Nieboer) Adams, his wife of 54 years. A prominent Dermatologist specializing in Dermatologic Surgery (Mohs-Micrographic Surgery), Larry worked his entire professional career for Kaiser Permanente in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Larry received both his undergraduate degree and then his medical education at Loyola University of Chicago, the Stritch School of Medicine, graduating with his M.D. in 1960. He did his internship through the Veterans Administration Los Angeles Healthcare System in 1960-1; his residency in General Surgery at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1961-2; and his residency in Dermatology at the McGaw Medical School of Northwestern University from 1964-7. Larry practiced medicine in California from 1965 right up until his death in March of 2015, primarily at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Panorama City Medical Center.

Besides medicine and his family, Larry’s third passion in life was numismatics, which he began pursuing in the 1960s. A friend of Larry’s, Don Corrigan (the son of Douglas “Wrong-way” Corrigan), advised Larry to purchase only gold coins, and Larry heeded this advice throughout his collecting career. He purchased gold coinage from ancient to modern, with an emphasis on the Middle East, the Early Middle Ages, and the Ptolemies of Egypt. He had specialized collections of Kushan, Kushano-Sasanian, Indian (an extensive collection), and Bosporan gold coinage. He liked Dutch gold coinage, as his wife is of Dutch ancestry, and he collected French gold pattern coinage. Over the last few years, he had started to collect gold medals, particularly those from Latin America. In short, if it was gold, and numismatically related, Larry probably collected it! He had a “good eye” for coins, and rarity was more important to Larry than quality, the mark of a "true" collector and numismatist.

Larry belonged to many numismatic clubs and organizations, both locally and nationally, but he was especially proud of his membership in the “Sunday Morning Get Together” numismatic breakfast group founded by Richard “Dick” Lissner, Irving “Irv” Goodman, and M. Louis “Mark” Teller. Larry joined the group within the first year of its organization. Composed of serious, committed numismatists, other members of this “club” would include Dr. Osmund Chan, Dr. Robert Hesselgesser, Paul Covey from San Antonio, Texas, and Dr. Vladimir Golovchinsky. Literally, a “who’s who” of prominent collectors in the greater Los Angeles area. Victor England sometimes would join the group when traveling through the area, and wives, children, and grandchildren were always welcomed as guests.

Another organization that Larry was quite active in was the Society of Ancient Numismatics (or SAN). Larry contributed several articles to the SAN Journal, and eventually became the publisher of the Journal in 1995. Larry, along with the assistance of David Vagi and Victor England, continued to publish the SAN Journal until 2002. Larry was also active in the American Numismatic Society (ANS), which he joined in 1982. He became a Fellow of the ANS in 1997, and a Trustee in 2001. He served on the Finance and Collections committees, and was a member of the Augustus B. Sage Society, an exclusive group for the most serious, dedicated members of the ANS.

Professionally, Larry was the West Coast Representative for the Classical Numismatic Group from 1995 until his death. Larry was a fixture at the CNG bourse table at the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Chicago International Coin Fair, and the annual summer convention of the American Numismatic Association. He represented CNG at most of the numismatic bourses in the San Francisco area. If CNG did not have a table at a numismatic convention, Larry was often behind the table of Mark Teller and Company.

Larry purchased coins from most of the leading dealers throughout his numismatic career, but relied primarily on CNG (Victor England and Eric McFadden), Mark Teller, and Stephen Album for the majority of his purchases. Larry loved to talk coins, and interacted at shows and club meetings with collectors and dealers that shared his passion. If a dealer (or collector) was visiting the Los Angeles area, Larry and Meredith would often meet them for dinner and numismatic conversation.

The collection of Dr. Lawrence A. Adams will be sold by Classical Numismatic Group in a series of sales: several of the firm’s electronic online auctions; CNG 100, an Internet and Mail Bid Sale scheduled for 7 October 2015; and Triton XIX, to be sold in conjunction with the 44th Annual New York International Numismatic Convention on Tuesday and Wednesday, 5-6 January 2016. Some of Larry’s favorite numismatic auction catalogs were the sales of the Virgil M. Brand Collection, sold by Sotheby’s in Zurich, Switzerland in ten parts from July of 1982 to October of 1985. As a tribute to Larry and the significance of his collection, CNG is following in the tradition of the Brand sales and presenting the Dr. Lawrence A. Adams Collection in four separate catalogs using the Brand catalog format.

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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