Roger deWardt Lane writes:
Reading last week's E-Sylum, which as usual was great, reminded me of a page posted on my web site - The Clarke Story.
I wish KP Publications would find the old 1970's columns of Bob Clarke and republish them or even make a CD of them. With all the interest on Iran they may be timely again. I have over thirty of Clarke's small Persian (Iran) silver coins in my collection. Some of them are scanned, but most are not, which is why only three are posted.
Between 1970 and his retirement in1977, Robert L. Clarke was the Vice President and Resident Manager of the Union Oil Company assigned to Tehran, Iran. During much of this period, he wrote a weekly coin newspaper column for the Krause Publications' Numismatic News.
As a coin collector of world numismatics, I looked forward each week to his travels during vacations to countries in the Near East or to his discussions of weekly visits to the Tehran bazaar to look for coins.
Bob Clarke was the author of several numismatic books including "Minted Coins of Iran", "Swiss Coinage" and "Coins and Tokens of British Oceania," and "India’s 1862 Rupee" and "Modern Coinage of Iran" with Dr. Mohabat-Avin and wrote a regular column published in Numismatic News in the early ‘70’s.
There's more to Roger's story, but I'll skip ahead to where he encounters a coin collection for sale.
The dealer said, “I have a whole collection of Iranian coins”. He quickly produced a three-ring notebook with the usual plastic pages of coins in 2x2s. Since they were arranged in the usual manor of crowns first, followed by the smaller denominations in order of size, I turned to near the back of the book, to look for 500 dinars,1 rials and white shari pieces. There were several pages of very interesting coins.
At this point I learned that the dealer did not wish to break up the collection, rather sell the whole book as a lot. Very disappointed, I thanked him and walked away. The dealer who had a table next to him was a very steady dealer and good friend; I knew him, through both the Hollywood and Ft. Lauderdale Coin Clubs. Since he had overheard my inquiry about the collection and being a full time dealer in world coins himself, I later learned he bought the whole collection.
At the next show, the new owner of the Persian collection let me cherry pick most of the coins I could afford and needed to add to my own dime-size date collection. I was very grateful for this. One group of these small size coins, however, I passed up, as they had been mounted or holed.
Years later, I did acquire this group of holed coins from him, as I still did not have an example by date of them , so the coins shown must be very rare. They were the only specimens available to Bob Clarke in Tehran in the 70’s for his collection. I have collected this series for forty years, visiting large shows and ordering by mail at times. Next to China, the Persian/Iran series is the most difficulty to complete by date.
To read the complete article, see:
The Bob Clarke Story
Wayne Homren, Editor
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