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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 47, November 19, 2006, Article 15

JOE LASSER ON HIS NUMISMATIC MENTOR, JULIUS GUTTAG

In response to Robert Rightmire's quest for information on the Guttag
Brothers, Joseph R. Lasser of White Plains, NY wrote to me via "snail
mail" in a letter dated October 7, 2006.   Sorry for the delay - the
letter was forwarded by the post office from my old address and
arrived shortly before our recent vacation.  I forwarded a copy of
the letter to Robert and will publish some excerpts here.  Joe grew
up near Julius Guttag's home in New Rochelle, NY.  He writes:

"Julius was the numismatist and he was my first teacher in the field
of coins... If I had been a 'satisfactory' child during the week, I
was privileged to visit Julius at his home on Sunday and carry the
trays of coins Julius was studying from the second floor tower and
safe to Julius' first floor study. It necessarily was a slow and
precise trip.

Notes would be taken; coins would be described and I, the 11-12
year old student, would be enriched by Mr. Guttag's knowledge.
He was extremely strong in Latin American material and the catalogue
of his collection still is a worthwhile resource."

"I bought American commemorative halves and Latin American cobs
from them in forming my first collection (which was liquidated to
partially cover my college tuition)."

"Julius was very active in the Westchester Coin Club which included
Bill Dewey, Harry Stein, Martin Kortjohn, Otto Sghia and other
significant numismatists of the 1920s and 1930s.  I was too young
to join, so my father became a member."

[Many thanks to Joe for sharing his reminiscences.  Joe also responded
to Phil Mernick's earlier request for data on coins found on the British
navy ship Feversham, which sunk off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1711.
I've put the two in touch.

We've discussed former ANA librarian Bill Dewey before; can any of
our readers provide more background on the Westchester club and its
other members? -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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