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V14 2011 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 24, June 12, 2011, Article 19

JOE FOSTER RECALLS FRANK KATEN

Joe Foster submitted these thoughts on numismatic literature dealer Frank Katen. -Editor

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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