The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 38, September 23, 2007, Article 14


Peter Mosiondz, Jr. writes: "I was saddened to hear of the passing
of Robert Batchelder, truly a gentleman in every regard.

"I recall his small office on South Penn Square in Philadelphia,
opposite City Hall on the southwest corner. I was just getting
interested in coins during the mid-to-late 50s and fondly remember
visiting him almost every Saturday. Yes, the coin shops all were
open on Saturdays back then. As a young lad not yet in his teens
and with a limited amount of funds, he showed an extraordinary mount
of patience. Most times I just looked because most of his coins were
of a better caliber than I could afford. He was very instrumental
in mentoring me and my friends as well.

"Years later, after the office was closed and he moved to Ambler,
I had occasion to visit him. And I also encountered him at many
shows up until sometime in the 1990s.

"I do not recall when he gave up coins for autographs but he was
well respected in both fields."

George Kolbe writes: "I did not know Robert Batchelder well but
I thought some E-Sylum readers might find it interesting that he
was the source of the Joseph Mickley Diary now residing, through
the good graces of Harry W. Bass, Jr., in the American Numismatic
Society Library. I bought it from him in New York City at an
Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America Book Fair circa 1981
and sold it to Armand Champa at a very small profit; then bought
it again, on behalf of Harry Bass, at the relevant Bowers and Merena
Champa library sale. About a dozen years ago, I travelled to West
Ambler and bought Batchelder's remaining numismatic books. He had
a nice downtown location but his business appeared to be winding
down at the time."

I knew Bob Batchelder in the days of Herb Tobias, Ed Shapiro,
Foxy Steinberg, Max Kaplan, Dan Messer, Bob Jenove, Charles Wormser,
Cathy Bullowa, Ed Hipps and other then-prominent East Coast coin

Alan V. Weinberg writes: "Bob was a well-respected, clean shaven,
handsome, crew-cutted dealer who always seemed to handle what were
then really nice quality mid-range coins like Gem toned Proof Barber
halves at $50 and large cents and other rare but affordable coins.
At the time there was no differentiation  by grading point and not
much difference in price between mediocre proofs and Gem Proofs.
I don't recall him handling any of the great multi-thousand dollar
rarities like some of his contemporaries - he catered to the
sophisticated, knowledgeable mid-range collectors who could afford
to spend a few hundred or even a thousand dollars or so.

"Bob was personable and never talked down to this then-young collector.
I distinctly recall him sitting around the periphery of Manhattan's
Park Sheraton Hotel ballroom bourse floor at the then - 2nd biggest
coin show in the country, the March-April Metropolitan New York Coin
Show put on by the NY Numismatic Club under the then-leadership of
Martin Kortjohn - who strictly enforced rules against any dealing
on the bourse floor other than by bourse dealers.

"All of a sudden, Bob disappeared from the numismatic scene,
without warning, and took up autographs. I never heard a bad thing
said about him and so presume he just got tired of coins and their
seemingly 'high prices'. I recall going through the same stage in
1962 when I thought prices were getting ridiculous and sold my
numismatic library with a complete set of large plated Chapmans
through Aaron Feldman, at his apartment on Manhattan's West End
Ave, to a then just-beginning Harry Bass. I was there."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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