The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 21, Number 8, February 25, 2018, Article 9


P. Scott Rubin submitted this remembrance of collector John Whitney Walter, who passed away last month. -Editor

John Whitney Walter On January 5 th 2018 Numismatics lost one of the greatest collectors with diverse numismatic interests, with the passing of John Whitney Walter. He passed away after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was known by many U.S. coin collectors as “Mr. 1796”. This is because of his great collection of United States Coinage of that year which he exhibited at ANA conventions and was sold at auction by Stack’s in May of 1999.

This however, was not his first historically formed collection. In November of 1990 he sold his Gold Roman Collection titled “Unique Complete Series Men of Rome The Golden Military Years Lvcivs Svlla to Severvs Alexander 82 B.C. – 235 A.D. This sale was also sold by Stack’s and like the later 1796 U.S. Coinage Collection the catalogue was filed with much historical background.

Mr. Walter was so involved with how these two collections were presented that each was accompanied by a poster displaying that displayed the coins. The 1796 U.S. Coinage poster was published privately by Mr. Walter. He also asked that Stack’s make available a separate printing of the Gold Coinage offered in the 1999 sale, because he felt that the illustrations as printed in the catalogue were not detailed enough and Stack’s had them available at the auction.

From biographical information offered in three auction catalogues about his life and collecting interests, the third is the Lyn Knight sale of October, 2004, it is known that Mr. Walter started his collecting in this teenage years. To show more diversity in his collecting interests the Knight sale of “United States Federal Currency – Firsts, Lasts, Milestones and Mistakes” was yet another area of Mr. Walter’s collecting and historical interests.

Along the way Mr. Walter won four Personal Choice Exhibit awards at American Numismatic Association Conventions. These where not his only interests, at the last Philadelphia ANA World’s Fair of Money Convention Mr. Walter displayed his extensive collection Numismatic Coinage Errors.

I was saddened to learn of John Whitney Walter’s passing and reminded of how impressed I was of his exhibits at ANA conventions. Especially the coinage of 1796 U.S. Coinage exhibit, I was also honored to be able to able to add historical auction sales information for Stack’s Catalogue of that collection. I was humbled to have my exhibit at the Philadelphia ANA Convention right next to Mr. Walter’s and be able to talk with him about it, since I at one time had a collection of One Cent error Coinage.

Mr. Walter is survived by His wife Joan and three married daughters and their husbands and seven Grand Children.

Stacks 1796 John Whitney Walter catalog cover To view the May 1999 Stack's catalog of the John Whitney Walter 1796 Collection on the Newman Portal, see: Public Auction Sale of \Mr. 1796\: The John Whitney Walter Collection (

I met Mr. Walter at one of the ANA conventions and congratulated him on his breathtaking exhibit. He was quite approachable and clearly very knowledgeable about the material. Here is an excerpt from his obituary. -Editor

John W. Walter of Manhasset passed away on January 5th, 2018 from a year long battle with cancer. Born to William and Elizabeth Walter on April 17, 1934, in Queens, New York, John grew up in Hollis and moved to Manhasset in 1958 where he lived for almost 60 years until the day he died.

As a teenager, John attended St. Paul's High School in Garden City and Admiral Ballard Academy in Connecticut. After high school, John graduated in 1955 from Norwich University in Vermont with a BS in Business Administration and in 1960 from Columbia University with an MBA. In between undergrad and graduate school, John served for 2 years in the army as a second lieutenant and was stationed during non-war time in Heidelberg, Germany.

After graduating, John parlayed his love of engineering and systems into spending a lifetime working in communications, technology, security systems and construction up until a couple of months ago. He began his career working for the Trump Organization where he spent most of his adult life. An inventor and holder of patents, John worked for Teleprompter in the 1970's and then began his own company, National Security Systems, which produced and installed alarm systems using the liquid foil window striping patented by him along with the security panel and system from his design. Throughout the years, while still running National Security Systems, and using his knowledge of systems, John worked with the Trump Organization on a variety of hotels and apartment buildings in New York City, Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

To read the complete article, see:
In Memory of John Whitney Walter 1934 - 2018 (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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