Joe Foster submitted these thoughts on numismatic literature dealer Frank Katen.
i wanted to share my experiences with Mr. Katen ( he was always Mister to me).
I first met Mr and Mrs. Katen when I moved to Virginia in 1965. I started bidding with him
when I was living in Waukegan, Illinois (where i went to high school and graduated in 1963).
I called him and was invited to his house (on New Hampshire Avenue , I believe) where he was
doing business. I specialized in Canadian literature and US auction catalogs with
Canadian content and collected Canadian tokens by Breton and Leroux numbers.
I remember my first visit well. I was met at the door by Mrs. Katen and was immediately offered
coffee and then the offer to fix me breakfast!!!!!!!!
I went down to the basement to look thru the bookstacks.
If I didn't have enough money, he let me pay him so much a month (it
usually took me only a couple of weeks. I have been in construction all my life and
was working as a union labor foreman for the wonderful sum of $2.10 per hour!!!!
A couple of years later he sold me a collection of Canadian tokens he had purchased, and
let me pay for them over a 3 month period (there were many duplicates,
some of which I sold in one of Frank Rose's coin sales. As i recall the price was
600.00 or thereabouts
I was also a regular visitor to his shop, which he opened up on
Colesville road, i think. I attended both of the Fuld sales, buying the Canadian items
and auction catalogs that Harry Bass wasn't interested in !!!!!!!!!!!!
i bid on the set of the American Journal of Numismatics, but was outbid by Al Hoch, i think,
and he reprinted from it, i think. I later acquired the same set from Cal Wilson.
As for Harry Bass, he was very generous and kind to me , taking me to lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Katen.
I also bid on the Chapman, Frossard and Low sales, but alas was outbid, even though by these
sales i was now an assistant construction supt.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Needless to say Mr. and Mrs. Katen were very kind to a young 20 year old and this continued until the last sales
I did buy most of the Canadian material i needed, as well as some of the medal books.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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