The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 25, June 19, 2005, Article 17


David L. Ganz writes: "Hans and I were friends for 30 years.
We frequently corresponded, me in typescript, he in a magnificent
flowing handwriting When I saw the handwriting on the envelope,
it was unnecessary to check the return address; Hans' handwriting
was as unique as his business practices."

Richard Schaefer writes: "I had been curious why the Thomas
Mabbott collection of ancient coins was catalogued by a non-
numismatist, Hans Holzer, who had some connection to
supernaturalism. Asking Schulman at a coin show, he said the
widow insisted on Holzer. What a dealer must put up with!"

Nick Graver writes: "Our first trip overseas was a five-week
charter flight to Europe in the summer of 1964. We landed in
Zurich, and then spent three weeks in Italy, one week crossing
Europe, and the final week in Great Britain. We are still amazed
at the venture, and how well it all went.

Our “week across Europe” concluded in Holland, with several
hours in the shop of Hans M.F. Schulman. It was on one of the
canal streets, and most traffic was bicycles. I had been collecting
for over ten years and this was my first visit to an international
numismatic shop. Actually, they had a room of antiquities, and
many other departments of ‘fine’ objects besides coins, that we
saw on the tour they kindly gave us.

We just walked in off the street, without introduction, letter or
phone call. When asked how the clerk could help us, we
explained that we had no special ‘business’, that just being in
their famous shop was the highlight of my numismatic career.
They quickly picked up on our inexperience (but genuine interest),
and treated us like royalty! We were introduced to all the
officers and principal clerks, and shown around the whole building.
Of course, their shop was spotless (all of Holland was) and the
displays were of museum grade material.

While we were there, ALL business was conducted in English!
Even the routine conversations between their staff were spoken
in our tongue. What a classy establishment! And I was sure
that they would do the same for visitors speaking other popular
languages. They had little to offer me with my (then) specialty
of Papal States coinage, but they did recognize me as a
serious collector and history buff.

Mr. Schulman chatted with us, but it was his wife, Annie, who
gave us the most time. She described how hard times were
during the war, and how critical it was to make the most of
every scrap of food. Even in 1964, she said she could not
waste anything, and made a great effort to conserve resources
(though they were obviously quite prosperous).

When the Germans came, the Schulmans had enough warning
to hide their very best coins, and all the trays and cabinets
were again arranged with very impressive specimens, making
it impossible for anyone to suspect that the ‘very best’ items
were absent! An important German general was to have
gotten their shop as a prize, so their precautions would have
saved them if that was carried out. Somehow, they were
permitted to continue managing their business, and when the
occupiers left in haste, the Schulman business was intact,
still in family hands. The hidden coins later went back in their
proper places, and the business survived.

It was not clear how much business was actually transacted
during the war, or how they supported themselves through
those difficult years. That was when Mrs. S. had such a
hard time feeding the family.

We bought a few coins, some Roman glass and Coptic
vestment fragments, nice souvenirs, but certainly nothing to
justify all the time she spent with us. She just made it her
business to give us a royal treat, and memories for a lifetime.
(Here I am, recalling it all 41 years later!) As we were
leaving, she mentioned that England was a very special
place for her, and she made us promise (as she did with
many tourists) to write to her, and relate what was the
most impressive experience or favorite memory of Britain.
We did, and I believe it was “how organized” the British were.

We flew off to London, and our final week. There we visited
Seaby and Spink and dealt in the old style sterling coins
(“pounds, shillings, and ounces!”) Stories for another time.

PS: While in Italy (summer 1964), a veteran coin’huckster’
rubbed a coin with his “nose oil,” the technique recently
described in this space

Dick Johnson writes: "It seems every time I started a new
numismatic venture, Hans Schulman was one of the first I
notified – and always got his support. I met Hans at a NYC
convention in 1951. We became friends, I guess you could
say, for life. I was a customer of his when he sold the
Howard Gibbs collection of odd and curious money.

When I started Coin World, Hans was the first columnist,
along with Jim Kelly, while Jim supplied weekly Trends,
Hans wrote from all over the world – wherever he traveled.
His column could be news, or his views on some subject,
or simply an observation on some person or phase of numismatics.

One week, it was early, perhaps the 4th or 5th issue, we
had no lead story. We had to make Hans' column the week’s
top story. His column arrived by airmail, often on thin paper.
We had to edit what he wrote on the fly, often rewriting
the entire essay.

When I was hired by Medallic Art Company in midtown
New York City, the first call I made was to Hans about
seven blocks away in his midtown office. We met often.
Even sharing a Broadway theater date with his wife, Zita,
and daughter and my wife Shirley. Finally when I started
my own medal auction firm, Hans sent consignors my way.
He could have sold their medal collections through his own
auctions, but we needed the consignments and he knew
where some choice collections were.

I do remember Hans M.F. – the initials stand for Maurice
Frederick – I learned that in an article on him in a 1960s
issue of the old Life magazine. (Track down that issue, you

His lifetime chore was compiling what he called his "secret
weapon." It was a 3x5 card file with auction sale prices of a
coin sold anywhere in the world for more than $10,000. Of
course at that time that was an expensive and important coin.
What an amazing numismatic book that would have made!
Any E-Sylum reader know what happened to that card file?"

[Having just reread these accounts, I wonder if we're
discussing different Schulmans or different wives (Annie, Zita).
Can anyone set us straight? -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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