The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 10, March 9, 2008, Article 8


[Responding to a topic broached earlier by Alan Weinberg,
George Fuld submitted the following account of his acquisition
of U.S. colonial coins from the Garrett collection
deaccessioned by Johns Hopkins University long before the
famed collection was liquidated at auction.  Many thanks
to George for sharing his recollections of this episode
in numismatic history. -Editor]

In the early 1960ís I became acquainted with Dr. Sara
Elizabeth Freeman, curator of the Garrett collections at
the Evergreen House on north Charles Street in Baltimore.
Evergreen House was the home of John Work Garrett and was
willed to the Johns Hopkins University on his death in 1942.
It is a beautiful mansion, still well preserved and used
for many events by the University.  Of course, the house
also housed the fabulous library of the Garretts and the
amazing numismatic collection started by T. Harrison Garrett
at the end of the nineteenth century.

In the early 1960ís I contacted Dr. Freeman and asked if I
could see some of the numismatic holdings at Evergreen.  I
made several visits there and at my request some of the
unusual Washington items were photographed.  Some of these
photos were included in the 1965 revision of William S.
Bakerís Medallic Portraits of Washington published by Krause
Publications.  Dr. Freeman gave me full access to look at
any of the Garrett coins, which I did on several occasions.
This was a mind blowing experience.

Dr. Freeman retired about 1970 after serving as curator at
the Evergreen House for over 20 years.  She was a bachelor
lady with a large standard poodle who spent his days in the
museum.  She maintained the catalog system of the contents
at Evergreen.  The only book published by her, to my knowledge,
is on medically related medals, mostly from the Foundation's

The next curator at Evergreen, starting in the early 70ís
was Carl W. A. Carlson.  I became acquainted with Carlson
but did not have much contact with him in his first years
at Evergreen.  Around 1973, I received a phone call from
Carl, asking if I would like to purchase some coins from
the Garrett holdings.

Frankly, I was incredulous!  At that time, my wife and I
were operating Dorge Approvals, but did not have the capital
to make a major purchase.  I contacted my good friend,
Richard Picker, to see if he was interested in pursuing
the purchase of some Garrett coins.  Of course, he was
delighted to have a chance to buy some Garrett colonials.
Before we made the pilgrimage to Evergreen, I contacted the
treasurer of the university to make sure that Carlson had
the authority to sell any Garrett coins.  If we purchased
coins, the payment was to be made payable to Carl Carlson ó
a process that was okayed by the University treasurer.

Dick Picker was excited by this opportunity and agreed
that he would make the purchase, offering me a finderís
fee on coins purchased.  Of course, Dick was most interested
in the colonial coin holdings.  Carlsonís ground rules were
that we could purchase any coin where there were two or more
of the type, not counting varieties.  Pricing was to be
based on the Redbook values, and basically we paid full
Redbook prices!

To list the colonials purchased at this time, consult Dave
Bowers' book on the Garrett collection.  In the listing of
colonials, there are asterisks indicating items sold before
the full collection was auctioned by Stack's and Bowers &
Ruddy.  The listing of purchased pieces follows:

[George attached a list of about fifty coins, which was
a bit long and repetitive for publication here - see the
Bowers book for details. Included were a NE Shilling.
Willow Tree Shilling, eight Oak Tree coins (sixpence and
shillings), six Pine Tree coin (sixpence and shillings),
a Maryland fourpence die trial and Maryland sixpence,
five Rosa Americana coins (halfpenny, penny, twopence),
a St. Patrickís Silver Farthing, a Higley copper,
Virginia Penny, two Vermont coins, twenty-seven New
Jersey cents, and an Immunis Columbia.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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