W. David Perkins of Centennial, CO submitted the following item about collector K. P. Austin. -EditorAt the 2008 Baltimore ANA Convention, I learned from Salisbury, Maryland coin dealer Gus Tiso that K. P. Austin had passed away at age 96. K.P. assembled a great collection of early silver dollars 1794-1803, including all of M. H. Bolender's 1795 Flowing Hair silver dollars. He also collected Large Cents and other silver dollars.
I never had the pleasure of meeting K.P. in person, but corresponded with him by mail and phone over the years. It took me years to track him down and first connect on the phone. I appreciate Julian Leidman's help with this.
I first noted K.P. Austin's name associated with the pedigrees on quite a few early silver dollars in Superior Stamp and Coin Co., Inc's. 1975 A.N.A. Sale. I later acquired Mr. and Mrs. Ostheimer's copy of the September 1968 Lester Merkin public auction sale. The Austin name showed up again, but not in the sale catalog. This time it was on the auction settlement laid into this copy of the catalog! I figured K.P. must have had quite a collection of the early dollars by die marriage. It turns out that he did.
K.P. was 96 years old when he passed away. He died of heart failure at his home in Salisbury, Maryland on Wednesday, July 2, 2008. There is a great quote in the obituary, "Many will remember him as the man with the jewelry, the man in the hat, the man in the slow moving purple Mercedes, the man who loved to play bridge and the man who loved to bet the horses." There was no mention of his being a coin collector or dealer.
It took some work to "recreate" K.P.'s early silver dollar die variety collection. Over the years, I managed to do this in three different ways!
I'm working on a more detailed article on K.P. Austin, hopefully to be published in the next issue of the John Reich Journal.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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