The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 21, May 23, 2021, Article 7


Dale Seppa submitted this obituary of author Michael Anderson. Thank you. -Editor

Michael John Anderson, Dec 1, 1938 - Apr 9, 2021

Michael Anderson Michael was interested in coins from a very early age and studied them intensively for virtually his entire life. He was a member of many numismatic organizations and was also a life member of the Essex Numismatic Society. During his lifetime he served on the Council of the British Numismatic Society, as Secretary and President of the London Numismatic Club and as Treasurer of the British Association of Numismatic Societies.

He contributed dozens of articles to the numismatic press; from "The Coins of the Grand Princes of Kiev" in Seaby's Coin and Medal Bulletin in 1963 to his article "Aristobulos of Chalcis and Salome" in Coins & Antiquities in 1999 the final year that periodical was published. After that his writing was curtailed due to failing vision and other health problems but he still managed to finish one major work and several articles in Caesaromagus.

His final article The Mint at Corbridge was not published prior to his death but I believe it will appear posthumously in Caesaromagus the official publication of the Essex Numismatic Society. He had also continued to work on the update of the Standard Catalog of Ecuadorian Coins until his death. Due to his death a new edition may not be published.

Michael was a meticulous researcher of historical and numismatic subjects. He held a Bachelor's degree in Languages, specializing in Russian, Spanish, German and French and also held a Master's degree from Cambridge. Those studies naturally pointed him to a career where his multi-lingual abilities would be of use.

He joined the Foreign and Colonial Office in 1958 and served as British Vice-Consul in Ecuador from 1965 to 1968, whence his interest in the coinage of Ecuador. His principal work, A Numismatic History of Ecuador, was a detailed, scholarly masterpiece with 394 pages that included dozens of official Ecuadorian documents translated into English. Previously he had co-authored the second edition of "The Coins of Ecuador";, published by Almanzar's Coins of the World in 1973. His own extensive collection of Ecuadorian coins, sold by Glendenning's in February of 1977 is generally recognized as one of the more important reference works for the serious collector of Ecuadorian coins.

As mentioned above his first major posting at the FCO was to Quito as the British Vice-Consul which was followed by similar postings to Beirut and Athens. Subsequently he was posted as the British Consul to the Philippines and later to Spain and also served as Relieving Consul in Zimbabwe, Venezuela and France at various times. Throughout his decades of service he also spent time in various positions at the FCO in London.

His step siblings, Keith and Shirley, knew Michael all their lives as the families were neighbors and close friends. After the sibling's father died followed by the death of Michael's mother, the surviving parents eventually married. Michael enjoyed having a new combined family.

He visited his step brother Keith in Australia on several occasions and his travels took him to various countries visiting relatives and friends where he was much welcomed and respected. In Australia Michael accompanied Keith and other family to various places including New South Wales and the Great Dividing Range, Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. He also revisited Ecuador on several occasions including at least one trip to the Galapagos Islands where he took great pleasure in visiting with Margret Wittmer the author of Floreana: A Woman's Pilgrimage to the Galapagos.

After his foreign service Michael lived in Westminster for many years and enjoyed the advantages of living in London. After his retirement, when his health became a problem, he moved from his flat in Westminster to The Hawthorns Residential Home in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Due to various infirmities his ability to travel was greatly reduced but he continued to meet family and friends in Eastbourne as well as in London when his health permitted.

He lived at The Hawthorns for several years until he died, keeping busy with various societies, including the Anglo-Ecuadorian Society, as well as several Numismatic and Philatelic Societies.

Michael is sorely missed by his many friends and correspondents as well as by the residents and management of The Hawthorns in Eastbourne.

Archives International Sale 67 cover front

Wayne Homren, Editor

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