Many people have the idea that the “Numismatic Fraternity” is vast. Howevetr, in my 36 years of membership in the American Numismatic Association, and 31 years involvelemnt in the American Numismatic Society and a mear 29 as a dues paying member of the New York Numismatic Club, I can observe with humor that it is a very close knit, and at times inbred group.
In the first three decades of the last century, numismatics was very much a “gentleman’s” diversion. The men who had the time to be collectors were industrial tycoons or at the very least men of leasure.
The young American Numismatic Association was starting to expand its base from just a monthy publication to holding annual conventions.
The philantropist Archer M. Huntington built the ANS a building in NYC within his expanding 155th St. Terrace complex. It concentrated the numismatic likes of Edward T. Newell, J. Sanford Saltus, Howland Wood and Albert Frey.
In a huff over some ANA politics, in 1908 the New York Numismatic Club was formed.
That began monthy meetings in December of 1908 which continue uninterpted to this day. They also have a tradition of honoroing their presidents with a portrait medal.
The sculptor of the first group of medals as well as the seal was Victor D. Brenner. The second club sculptor was Johnathan Swanson, and as he was also a president, his medal is at left. In the 1950-1970s the club used Karl Gruppe, then a brief appearance of Joseph DeLorenzo, Eugene Daub has been the sculptor since 1994.
The ANS Assocaiton continued with Curators Henry Grunthal, Alan Stahl and Jerimiah Brady, and ANS editor Marie Martin all serving two year stints as NYNC presidents. Stack’s has been represented with the recent presidency of cataloger David T. Alexander. New York numismatics is a small world of very big numismatic names.
The September 10th, 2008 Coin Galleries sale will be offering about 15 lots of NYNC presidential medals, including those which are in this posting.
December 2008 will see the club members of today gather in the same resturant in NYC at which the club was founded. It should be a nice event. In addition the ANS will be hosting the first exhibition in their new space on Varrick Street, an exhibition of selected items from NYNC member’s collections as a tribute to the close ties between the ANS and NYNC members.