The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 21, Number 19, May 13, 2018, Article 17


Dave Hirt of Frederick, MD writes:

I saw you asked for memories of Hans Schulman. I attended one of his sales at the Waldorf Hotel in 1958 or 1959. It was a sale conducted together Abner Kreisberg. Before the sale started Kreisberg was joking around with Schulman, but the serious Hans didn't seem to think it was funny.

After that sale Schulman kept me on his mailing list for auction catalogs and fixed price lists for many years, even though I seldom bid, as he mostly cataloged world coinage, which I usually did not collect. However, his well-plated catalogs were always interesting to read. I still have them in my library today. Schulman never sent out PRLs after the sale. If you wanted one you had to pay for it. I believe today that his sales with prices are much scarcer than unpriced ones.

Schulman held two sales of numismatic literature, one in 1966 and one in 1968. I was a successful bidder in both of these.

Jeffrey S. Zarit writes:

Where do I start ?

In the mid 1970's I was traveling to Europe a couple of times a year, to try and buy coins. I remember one colleague who told me about Jacques Schulman at Keizersgracht 448, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. so I went by train, and took a taxi to his address.

When I walked in, I remember Jacques sitting at a long desk, with a lady sitting opposite him. There was an odor in the air, but as I was a smoker then, it did not bother me. I walked up to Jacques and introduced myself and told him that i was interested in Dutch and world coins. He was very gracious and pointed to the safes around the room, all filled with trays of coins; and he told me to pick out what I was interested in. I did so, and he treated me like a colleague and thus started a long term relationship with the Schulman's of Amsterdam.

Fast forward a couple of years and I made it a point to visit Jacques whenever I was in the area. I remember looking at an obscure coin in one of the trays, and I went home without it. I did the research at home and about six months later when again I was in Amsterdam, the coin had not been sold and I bought it. Always gracious, the cigar smoke hanging over everything, I found out that Jacques liked small cigars and he smoked them often.

A couple of years later, they sent me an auction catalog and it had many things of interest to me, so I went there. I remember it was in a hotel, and the auction room was with a podium up front and a large ā€™Uā€™ with chairs on in the ā€˜Uā€™, and I remember one lot I wanted was a series of antique books on the guild tokens of The Netherlands, by an author, I think his name was Dirks. I was sitting across from Wilfried Albrecht, a dealer from Cologne Germany who owned a firm known as Munz Zentrum. He also wanted the books, but at some point, he put his hand down and I had a nice reference work.

At this point in time, I was handling more and more coins of The Netherlands and I could see that Jacques was getting older and would pass on the business to his two sons, Robert and Laurens. I made it a point to get to know them. They had closed the business on The Keizersgracht and Robert started his business in Narden, and Laurens in Bussum, both cities just outside of Amsterdam. One trip I made I had only enough time to visit one of them, I flipped a coin and went to see Laurens in Bussum.

I remember that his office was in an office building, upon entering, he treated me very well. I remember seeing the card catalog and I asked how was it used. He explained that he could recognize the hand writing of Jacques and the older Schulman's, and thus determine how many times a particular coin came up for auction. As computers were starting to be used for business, I asked him if he would be putting the information there. I believe he said that it was a many years project. After doing some business, I went to dinner with Laurens and his lovely wife, Carla. They were very gracious people and I am glad that I took the time to get to know them.

A number of years later, Robert, moved to Brazil and Laurens continued the Schulman name in The Netherlands. Years later, Robert would pass away, and Laurens had a medical condition that prevented him from being as active as he would have liked. The Schulman coin dealership was sold to Eddy Absil (who was from Johannesburg, South Africa and I remember meeting him years earlier at the COINEX coin fair in London) and another colleague, John Saunders (whom I remember as coming to this country after working for American Express). They continued the Schulman name and set up the dealership, again, in central Amsterdam. I have not been back to Europe in many years, but have been active in Dutch numismatics all the while.

Hans Schulman, came up to my booth at some of the early New York International Coin Fairs, while we in the Sheraton Hotel in Albert Hall. He introduced himself to me and made it a point to try and do some business with me. I never went to his office or attended any of his auctions, however, I have heard stories about him for many years. At this same time frame, I also met Henry Grunthal, and many European coin dealers that I had never seen before. Many of these are now my friends and colleagues.

A common thread about the Schulman's was that I was always treated with dignity and respect. I miss the many conversations that I had with these gentlemen about our industry, that they, myself and others have spent their entire working lives in.

Laurens Schulman adds:

laurens-schulman Thank you very much for your kind words. Carla and I have as well very good memories of your visits to the Netherlands and your friendship. This is what is lacking nowadays amongst dealers/colleagues.

Actually our company is still existing since 1987 and is now supported by our daughter Yvette as a 5th generation of the Schulman's. Although we are not auctioning we still have a flourishing internet business. Actually Absil / Saunders only bought partly things of us and started their own new company in 2006.

For more information on the Schulman firm, see:

George Kolbe writes:

I do not recall that I ever met Hans Schulman in person. He was, however, a participant in a number of my early sales, from 1980 on. We struck up a long distance friendship and engaged in other transactions. Although he maintained a West End Avenue address in New York City, Hans spent much of his time in Alicante, Spain at the time. From there, he started sending me quantities of turn of the century Shulman Amsterdam auction sale catalogues, many of which he had been able to have inexpensively bound locally. These I sold on consignment. Particularly rich in colonial coins of the Americas and of Europe, many of these catalogues were in demand then as now. Hans was a joy to work with. He never complained when a better catalogue sold for a bargain price; there always seemed to be a surplus of good results and his supply of catalogues endless.

Some described Hans as a bit of a charming rogue; most of his colleagues did seem to quite like him and I never heard his initials used for anything other than Moritz Friedrich. His interactions with me were exemplary. Like so many other major numismatic personalities of the day, Hans Schulman went out of his way to help a young numismatic bookseller. The sums involved were surely trivial to them and their patronage meant far more to me. Most, I believe, were motivated by a desire to give back to their chosen field. What a marvelous cast of characters they were, both here in the U.S. and throughout Europe.

Thanks, everyone. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:

Archives International Sale 48 cover front

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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