The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 34, August 23, 2020, Article 11


Dave Hirt writes:

"While reading of the passing of Donald Groves Partrick it was mentioned that he was a generous man. I can attest to that. During the time that I was Secretary-Treasurer of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society Groves for several years sent a $100 check for his annual dues which at that time were 10 or 15 dollars. The first time that I received that I was quite surprised. No one had ever done that before. I always remembered his generosity."

Jim Neiswinter writes:

"At the 2005 EAC convention in Annapolis, Maryland the featured speaker was ANS curator Robert Hoge. His talk came right after the dinner on Friday night. ANS director Ute Wartenberg also attended. An unplanned visitor showed up just before dinner. It was ANS president Don Partrick. A seat at the head table was quickly added. It was not until the next morning that I had my one and only interaction with Don Partrick.

"I was driving to breakfast with my friend Dan Trollan. We drove down the hotel driveway to the main street outside the Radisson. The hotel is on the outskirts of Annapolis close to highway 301. At the end of the driveway I saw Don standing there, suitcase in hand. I stopped and asked him if he wanted to go to breakfast with us. He said no because he was trying to hail a cab to take him to the airport. This was not New York City where he could easily get a cab on the street. I offered to drive him to BWI about 20 minutes away. (Dan passed on the airport trip and went on to breakfast.)

"I figured that I could talk to Don about his collection. I figured wrong. He was a clam. After several attempts trying to engage him in conversation about coins I gave up. We did talk about Garden City N.Y., a town on Long Island where he once lived and the town where I grew up. Soon we arrived at BWI and Don made his plane back to NYC. When I told this story to people at the ANS, they all got a chuckle out of it, and said: "that's Don"."

Alan V Weinberg provided the following remembrances. Thanks! Image courtesy Pete Smith. -Editor

Donald G. Partrick I knew Don Partrick rather well. He was far from reclusive and eager to discuss, although not show, his numismatic acquisitions. Possibly due to his fear of theft but more likely a fear of switching. Initially, he was using John Ford as his agent until Ford acquired Donald Miller's Hard Times token collection intact for Don. But Ford went thru it first, selected upgrades for his own collection and switched in his lower grade tokens (ala Dr. Sheldon) and then sold Don the collection. Word got back to Don. Big mistake.

Don then used G. Jon Hanson, once a Ford protege and very much like Ford in personality, as his numismatic agent in both private and auction transactions. Don would uniquely sit at auctions in the front of the room, with his back to the auction podium. Hanson would sit opposite Don, but in the extreme rear row and bid for Partrick. Likely for two reasons. Don's opinion of value was often imprecise and Hanson, he believed, knew more about value. Also Don believed if he himself bid, he'd be bid up "for fun". He thought this would not happen using Hanson as his agent who often sat at the rear adjacent to all the other actively bidding prominent dealers, all still active today.

Well, that arrangement didn't work either as I, very often sitting one row in front of Hanson, was privy to whispers like "bid him up" and the like. A lot of laughter and snickering.

Prior to adopting Hanson as an auction agent, Don used to execute bids on his own, most notably on historic head to head auction floor battles with John Roper, a shipbuilder from Norfolk, Va. Both gentlemen had substantial war chests and an interest in rare colonial coins. Roper was 10-15 years older than Don so Don often finally yielded his bids to Roper. When Roper passed and his collection was sold by Stacks in NYC in December 1983, Don was able to acquire the great colonial rarities at the Roper sale. I was there and won some myself.

As an example of Don's predilection vs exhibiting what he owned, while Don was ANS President, curator John Kleeberg organized an ANS conference exhibit and plated book of Massachusetts colonial silver to which were loaned coins from my collection, Terranova, Hain, etc. Partrick refused to loan or picture his significant Massachusetts silver for this ANS conference. To my knowledge, not once did he ever exhibit anything. And his unease with showing his CWTs to the CWT maven Steve Tanenbaum, as mentioned in another article recently, attests to that.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
DONALD G. PARTRICK (1926-2020) (

Davisson E-Sylum ad E-Auction-36 2020-08-02

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster