An article in the September 2013 issue of Chopmark News, the newsletter of the Chopmark Collectors Club, profiles collector Harvey Fryer of Claremont, CA. Here's an excerpt dealing with his meeting with author Arthur Braden Coole,
I attended Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. Then, I was much too involved with studying to have any time to collect or to even think about coins. I was living with a group of students who were of Chinese origin and who came from countries that became known as Malaysia.
In those days I became very interested in learning Chinese but had little time to do so. One day I was walking downtown and I looked in the window of a TV repair shop and saw a string of Chinese cash. I went in and asked him about the coins. He had taken the coins in exchange for a TV repair. I bought the coins and started to stack them by reign titles. I knew next to nothing about them. One day I dropped by the TV shop and the guy told me he was going to retire and that he was willing to tell me where he got the coins.
When I told my roommates the name of the person, they all told me that they knew him. He had met them when they came from abroad. He would always meet the Chinese speakers when they came to the school. This was Arthur Braden Coole. He and his father had both been missionaries in China. Authur Braden Coole’s father had in fact donated his Chinese collection to the school I was going to.
Eventually I got the courage to go see Mr. Coole. I really do not remember much of what was said but, I ended by buying one of his books (he autographed it with his Chinese name) and several coins. The ones I remember best were a couple of circulated coins with a peacock on them, a very large 50 cash coin from the Xienfeng (Hsien Feng—咸豐) ) emperor, several one yen pieces from the Meiji era that looked as if they were in circulation for a short time only, an 8 Reales piece that was chopped so badly it was cupped, and two 50 sen pieces from the Meiji era that were also cupped because of the numerous chops. Prior to the time Mr. Coole sold me these coins he had sold most of his Chinese collection.
One day I met someone at a coin show who was selling chopped coins. He told me most collectors thought chopped coins were dam-aged and they did not want to buy them. I bought 7 or 8 chopped coins from him. I primarily picked coins with a few chops in the fields and from different countries. I liked ones with the Chinese characters the most.
Later I discovered the existence of the Chopmark News and started to look at the chopped coins and some of the Chinese coins I had previously purchased. I found that I had several interesting chopped coins that I had purchased from Authur Bradden Coole many years before. I also, eventually, checked a purchase I made at one of the Long Beach shows- a 50 Cash copper Xien-feng cast coin that I finally realized had chops.
Below is an illustration of one of Harvey's coins from the newsletter.
Does anyone else have a reminiscence to share about Coole?
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