Julian Leidman supplied these thoughts on Ellis Edlow. -EditorI knew Ellis Edlow pretty well from the late 1960's until his death. He helped me as I was getting started in numismatic dealing. One time, I was displaying coins at a monthly meeting of the Washington Numismatic Society and had some pretty fancy coins for a young guy. All of the sudden, I was missing two of the coins and was quite concerned.
I spoke with a couple of dealers around town and one suggested that I speak with Ellis, who asked me if Mr. X was at the meeting. I told him that he was and he suggested that I call Mr. X, a wealthy collector in the area and demand that he return my two coins. I was nervous but did as suggested. Mr. X denied having the coins, but since I told him that I would call his elderly mother if he did not return them, I had him over a barrel. He came to see me and gave me equal value in other coins. It seems Mr. X was a kleptomaniac.
I began a collection of Washington D.C. currency later and eventually purchased Ellis' fantastic collection of obsolete currency. It also happened that Mr. X had a collection of D.C. obsolete currency also and I purchased that later from an intermediary. Subsequently, I purchased Ellis' collection of D.C. National Bank Notes. He was a true gentleman and I always enjoyed visiting him.
He suffered a stroke during a coronary operation and retired to Florida, which is where I purchased the nationals. I actually traded him a Florida obsolete collection that was assembled by Jerry Tralins, a Florida dealer.
Ellis assembled over the years a beautiful collection of coins, mostly proofs from 1858 on and they are still owned by a family member, whom I speak with from time to time.
Dick Johnson remembers Ellis Edlow as well. He furnished these thoughts. -EditorI knew Ellis Edlow in the early 1950s when I was in the Air Force stationed near Washington, DC. We were both members of the Washington Numismatic Society. I remember one incident we were meeting for some committee or other at Ellis' home in the winter. It snowed that day and the evening meeting was cancelled. Since it was impossible to reach me by phone I was unaware of the cancellation and showed up alone at his door. He invited me in however and I had him all to myself for an evening of conversation.
As I do in every numismatist's home, I look at their library. Ellis had only three numismatic books as I recall in a living room bookcase. His numismatic library certainly must have grown over the years to require a bookplate as illustrated in last week's E-Sylum. Ellis was a great numismatist.
Interestingly, I knew him as Ellis Edlowitz. The family had changed their name -- I do not know what year. I guess they thought "Edlowitz" was too ethnic. I found it rather charming. He wrote me a letter once after I addressed a letter to him under his prior name, he informed me the family had shortened their name. I resisted the temptation to answer him as "Dick John."
Wayne Homren, Editor
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