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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 9, February 26, 2006, Article 8

ART RUBINO REMEMBERED

Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I was very saddened to read about
Art Rubino passing away.  He was one of the early sellers of my
books, and he contacted me whenever he obtained a book about
Southeast Asia.  I cannot remember the first time we met, but it
was probably in the Western USA.  His setup of books and
periodicals was HUGE!  I could not believe how much inventory he
carried to a show.

After talking with him for awhile, I searched through everything
and found five or six books and periodicals to purchase that had
something for me well hidden inside them.  Whenever I met him at
another show, I would do the same thing and always find one or two
items.  And I often found something he had priced too low and I
would tell him about it.  He would thank me but rarely would he
raise the price.  Art will be missed and I hope his son, David,
continues the business, even if it is on a website."

[Like Howard, I've forgotten the details of my own first meeting
with Art, but it was probably also at a west coast show such as
Long Beach.  I too spent a long while looking through Art's stock
and managed to find several catalogs or items of ephemera to add
to my library, which was already fairly advanced by that time.
The only book I recall purchasing was one I'd been seeking for
quite a while - Claud E. Fuller's 1949 "Confederate Currency and
Stamps"  I still have this copy in my library.  -Editor]

W. David Perkins writes: "Count me among those who knew and will
miss literature dealer Art Rubino.  I first met him at a local
Denver coin show in the early 1990s.  I had quickly visited all
the dealers at the show looking for Half Cents and early U.S.
Silver Dollars by die variety.  As usual (and not unexpectedly)
I did not have any luck locating any new coins for my specialized
collection.

I glanced around the floor and noted some tall bookshelves "way
in the back."  I wandered over to what turned out to be Art
Rubino and his "mobile bookshop" as you termed it in last week's
issue of The E-Sylum.  After looking around I introduced myself
to Art and asked if he had brought any U.S. coin auction catalogs.
Art said they were in boxes under the tables.  The first box I
pulled out had a run of Lester Merkin sale catalogs.  I quickly
located two copies of Merkin's Public Auction Sale - September 18,
1968. This sale included part of the extensive Ostheimer silver
dollar collection (Early U.S. Silver Dollars 1794-1803 through
Peace Dollars, including Pattern Dollars and Lesher Dollars).

The first copy was priced at $20.00. This was a "normal copy"
with prices realized included.

The next copy of the Merkin September 18, 1968 sale was a
"special one," a "GEM" in numismatic terms.  On the cover above
the words "Auction Sale-" was written "Mrs. Ostheimer!"  Arrows
pointed to two of the silver dollars that were plated on the
cover  the Ostheimer 1870-S Dollar and a 1795 Bolender-3 Dollar.
In the lower right quadrant of the cover was "My Estimate" written
in red ink and "Realized" in blue ink.  Inside on the first page
was "OSTHEIMER OWN COPY ANNOTATED." Needless to say that at this
point my heart was beating quite rapidly.

Inside I found a three page auction settlement on Lester Merkin's
stationery.  The settlement had Lot #, Percent Paid for selling
the Lot and Price (Realized).   To the left of the Lot # field
written in red ink and underlined was "Cost."  The third page of
the auction settlement had total of lots with a seller's fee of 20%,
15% and 10% (varied by price realized).  There was a dollar total
for lots not sold and lots reserved (at $25.00 each!).  In pencil
was noted "Baldenhofer," which turns out to be important as the
Baldenhofer pedigree was not included where relevant on any of the
lots for early silver dollars 1795-1803.

Accompanying the auction settlement was an adding machine tape
with "Cost Baldenhofer" written on it in pencil. Thus from this
I was able to determine which lots were linked to W. G. Baldenhofer.
As it turns out [later research by this author] M. H. Bolender
acquired the W. G. Baldenhofer silver dollar collection en bloc.
He sold it privately to the Ostheimers [I later acquired from Mrs.
Ostheimer Bolender's bill of sale and a complete listing of the
Baldenhofer silver dollar collection.] Also written in pencil on
the third page of the auction settlement were the Ostheimer's capital
gains tax calculations.  Needless to say they did quite well on
their investment.

After this, I would always stop by and visit with Art when he was
set up at a show that I was attending. In my experience Art was both
a gentleman and a knowledgeable dealer. I always enjoyed my time with
him.

For those who are interested, see Stack's public auction sale of
the Farish Baldenhofer Collection of U. S. Coins November 11-12,
1955.  There was a small run of early U.S. silver dollars 1794-1803,
lots 964-982. This appears to be a small "date / major type set" of
early dollars.  I'm not sure if these dollars were Baldenhofer's or
the property of Stack's or another consignor.  If any readers know
the answer I would love to learn who consigned the early dollar lots
in this sale. I asked Vicken Yegparian of Stack's this question in
September 2005.  He replied, "It was actually Harvey Stack who went
to Columbus to pick up the "Farish Baldenhofer Collection and that
Harvey did not recall whether the Silver Dollars offered in the
Farish Baldenhofer Catalogue belong to the Baldenhofer Collection."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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