John Lupia submitted the following information from his Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies for this
week's installment of his series. Thanks! As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This
week's subject is dealer Ignatz Otto Stornay. -Editor
Ignatz Otto Stornay (1831-1886) Austro-Hungarian traveling art dealer, coin dealer and numismatist. He is sometimes referred to as John
O. Stornay. He was a robust figure 5'-4" with dark brown hair and hazel eyes according to his passport application.
Before coming to America he worked as an art dealer at Paris. He traveled to America as an art agent for Adolphe Braun et Cie, Paris,
France, selling and exhibiting photographs, auto-types, and stereoscopic images in America beginning at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in the
summer of 1870.
From there Stornay visited many cities throughout the United States selling art prints and photographs. The Detroit Museum of Arts, for
example, houses the Balch Collection of Braun's auto-types, as well as the Princeton University, Art History Department, Marquand Art
Library, and The Index of Christian Art at Princeton, which were purchased from Stornay on his trips.
He became a U. S. citizen at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 15, 1871. He is listed in the Philadelphia City Directory of 1871 as a
salesman living at 1125 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.
Stornay is noted for importing, in addition to art works, coins, from his annual trip to Europe. It is not too surprising to discover
that uncirculated or nearly such gem specimens of the early issues from the U. S. Mint were brought by travelers from America to Europe as
souvenirs and over time found their way into curiosity shops, coin dealer shops, jewelry stores and exchange bureaus. As Dave Bowers notes
in his American Numismatics Before the Civil War 1760-1860 " . . . England became a rich source of Early American coins . . .
According to the Chapman Brothers Stornay purportedly purchased an Extra Fine-45 1793 NC-1, Crosby 2-C, Breen 3 or Breen 1634, Chain Cent
in Europe, the only known specimen at that time, which is now in the ANS collection.
He was a very active coin collector and frequently corresponded with the Chapman Brothers purchasing coins. There are twenty-six pieces
of correspondence sent by Stornay to the Chapman Brothers in the Lupia Numismatic Library... Stornay, a perpetual traveler always wrote to
the Chapmans on various hotel stationery in the various cities where he exhibited.
He became ill from a minor flesh wound above the ankle and was hospitalized. He died of erysipelas at St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Louis,
Missouri on February 22, 1886. He is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, Saint Louis, Missouri.
The Stornay 1793 NC-1, Crosby 2-C Large Cent was sold by the Chapman Brothers at auction on June 17, 1889 at the Davis & Harvey Auction
House, Lot No. 471, realized $130, won by Harold P. Newlin. For the complete provenance see Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of Early
United States Cents 1793-1814.
What a sad end. Stornay was a conduit for some great coins, but didn't leave much of a mark in numismatics. A search for his last
name turns up only one reference in the Newman Numismatic Portal, in a Penny-Wise article about the Non-Collectible (NC)
Large Cents. We don't even know what he looked like. Be on the lookout for an image of him, which could be waiting somewhere in an
art world publication. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
STORNAY, IGNATZ OTTO
THE BOOK BAZARRE
SELECTIONS FROM THE JOHN HUFFMAN LIBRARY
: Browse and Shop Approximately 3,000 Numismatic Books from the Respected Library
of John Huffman—All Books Recently Discounted 40%. Click here
or go to
www.SecondStorybooks.com click on “All Subjects” and select “John Huffman Collection”
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: email@example.com
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster