The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 13, March 31, 2019, Article 14


John Kleeberg writes:

In February 1976 Stack's auctioned the TAD Collection, which had wonderful large cents. Many of these coins had been purchased by Doris Nelson (some sources [e.g., Breen] give her first name as Dorothy, but a Bland pedigree that I have seen gives her first name as Doris). I have long wondered what those initials, TAD, stood for. The same Bland pedigree says that the Ms. Nelson married Toby Szymanski, so the consignors were Toby and Doris Szymanski. That may be the answer - does TAD stand for "Toby And Doris"? Perhaps Harvey Stack could confirm this?

Here's the pedigree I saw - it's for an 1809/6 1/2 cent, Cohen 5:

Doris E. Nelson - Toby and Doris E. (Nelson) Szymanski (the "TAD" collection) - Stack's 3/1975:842, $500 - R. Tettenhorst Collection - Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society - Missouri Cabinet (Mocab 09.5.2) - Goldbergs 1/2014:96, $55,200 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack's/Bowers & Sotheby's 3/2017:5062

I reached out to Harvey Stack, and here is his response. Thanks! -Editor

Does TAD stand for "Toby And Doris"? No. Now that so many years have passed since we served the lady with the initials "D.N." I can reveal her name, which was Dora Nelson. She worked for a collector in the Mid West who wanted to remain anonymous, and I cannot, after keeping it secret for all this time, reveal his true name. The initials were the ones suggested to me, T A D, which does reflect the name of the collector, but I seemed to remember that the collector had a son, whose "nickname" was given as "TAD", so the father used those initials to identify the collection.

Bland and Breen never met or talked to D.N., as we always kept her identity confidential, as asked by the collector she represented, but like all good "guessers" they may have heard someone on my staff mention a name, and projected her identity in conversations with others.

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that the original collector wants to remain anonymous, just like in 1949, for example, when we sold the H.R. LEE COLLECTION, for Louis Eliasberg. He wanted to sell his duplicates and felt it best not to reveal his name. In that case, the H.R. were the initials of his wife, before marriage, and the L E E was for LOUIS E. ELIASBERG.

We have used noms de plume a number of times, when the owner, or even the Estate of the collection, did not want it known how much a collection was worth, because as many told me, "Once they know you have made money, everyone wants a "Piece of the Pie" for themselves. So as loyal auctioneers, we abided by the consignor's wishes, and used an "identifying name" to identity the collection being sold, and at the same time give the coins in the collection a pedigree for the future, if one wants to attach it to his new purchase.

I just finished a story of the year 1981, which was a hectic year for all who were involved with Numismatics. During that year, we sold the famous Harold J. Bareford collection, and the 1804 Silver dollar he owned became known after the sale as the Dexter-Bareford specimen. His estate let us disclose the name.

However, later in 1981 we sold the "WESTERN COLLECTION OF U. S. GOLD COINS, " which had many great rarities in it. The bank, who was the executor of the WESTERN COLLECTOR estate, requested not to use the name of the collector in order to avoid spreading the information about to relatives and friends who knew of the collection, but had no idea of value. Here again, as with other collections sold, we used a nom de plume to conceal the owner's name.

Thanks! It's fun to explore old mysteries, even if the answers remain shrouded. -Editor

To read the TAD sale catalog on the Newman Portal, see:
United States Gold, Silver & Copper Coins, Paper Money featuring the outstanding Tad Collection of U.S. Large Cents (

Kraljevich E-sylum ad14 coin group

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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