As I expected, Pete Smith's article on women coin dealers of the U.S. generated some interesting and useful follow-up submissions from readers.
Bob Steinberg writes:
"Here are a few more names of women of numismatics:
Margaret Amstell, London, England - I think she worked for B.A. Seaby (not sure of that), specialized in British
Sylvia Hurter, Zurich, Switzerland - worked for Bank Leu, specialized in ancients
Ruth Bauer, Philadelphia, PA - partner with Harry Forman; she might have been a member of PNG, not sure
Elvira Kurth, Redhead Coins, Detroit, MI - used to have tables at midwest shows back in the 70s-80s (I think)
Frank Sternberg's daughter (can't remember her first name) - she dealt in ancients in Zurich, Switzerland after Frank's death
Sabine Bourgey, Paris, France - still active today, specializes in ancients and French coinage"
Mark Borckardt writes:
Elizabeth Coggan: "The list of Women coin dealers should include Elizabeth Coggan who entered the coin business as a staff member for Bowers and Merena, later operated J.J. Teaparty, and now operates Elizabeth Coggan Numismatics."
Ralph Langham writes:
"Helen Carmody was more a collector than a dealer but her contributions outshine all those listed."
Cindy Wibker writes:
Micky Shipley : "If paper money dealers count, you can add Micky Shipley? She's a paper money dealer out of Minnesota.
I enjoyed reading that article!"
Alan V. Weinberg writes:
Yvette Haas : "The list of female coin dealers, past and present, did not include a prominent 1950-60's NYC
dealer Yvette Haas of Haas Coin Company. She both advertised in the Numismatic Scrapbook and Numismatist and set up bourse tables in the NY area, and possibly at national conventions. I visited her office where she ran the firm with her son. She was an attractive blond lady in her 40-50's when I dealt with her.
"Yvette was active around era of Isadore Snyderman, Herb Tobias, FK Saab, Bob Batchelder,
Hawk Shapiro, Dan Messer, and early QDB, the latter about the only living coin dealer who'd remember her. But I do.
"There was a really old lady who worked with a really old man who ran a 2nd floor dark eerie coin shop in Newark NJ which I visited just once around 1958. I never learned their names and only visited once."
CORRECTION: In last week's article the last name of dealer Ingrid O'Neil was misspelled. Sorry - we've corrected our archive.
Ingrid O'Neil writes:
"I also had auctions and price lists of Historical Medals in the 1980's and 1990's, my last medal auction was Daniel Friedenberg's Jewish medal collection.
"I used to share a table , or being next to her, with Catherine Bullowa since the early 90's at the NY International Show, and sometimes at the ANA. I still attend the New York International Show in January every year with my historical medals!"
Steve Hill of Sovereign Rarities submitted these thoughts on the topic.
I read with interest in The E-Sylum the discussion about women dealers in numismatics and of course it has concentrated on USA based dealers so far like Cathy Bullowa who we all knew well.
Of course there have been other women dealers active around the world in all of this time including the UK and I wanted to send you the link below, where I was pleased to see online at the Newman Numismatic Portal the 1976 anniversary edition of the Seaby Coin and Medal Bulletin which celebrated Seabys 50 years as a London coin dealer.
Listed here are H. A. Seaby's memories of the story of Seaby and mentions his sister Mildred Seaby helping him start up from 1926. The joining of Margaret Eccles in 1933 who later dealt war medals and was with him till 1968. His own daughter Pat Seaby joining to deal coins at the family firm from 1943 till marriage took her overseas in 1949. Mrs Emmy Cahn joining to help on ancients from 1945. Monica Bussell who I know some of the older English trade remember as the lady who dealt in English copper who joined in 1952 but later died in a house fire in 1972. The most senior lady dealer in the English trade at this time of the 1976 publication though was Margaret Amstell who joined Seaby in 1956 and was in charge of gold by the time of this anniversary and she was a board director of the firm since 1973 – she carried on dealing independently later in life once Seaby was over and I still remember dealing with her not long before she died in 1997.
You will see at the link below names of other lady dealers at the firm in 1976: Jennifer Loosely since 1970, Donna Hills since 1969, Judith Marks since 1973, Linda Dillon (accessories) since 1965, Barbara Burns since 1974 as well as Muriel Seaby wife of Peter Seaby.
Other independent lady dealers I have known of were Eva Hardy who was based in London dealing from 1960s till emigration to Australia in 1970s, and was still going down there until the 1990s – she came into Spink London once around 1998. There was also
Neddy Allen who died not long before covid who dealt in medallions for many years and was the widow of Peter
maundy Allen, such a nice lady.
There was also a dealer in the 1960s called Valerie coins but only older people in the UK trade will be able to tell you about her and her business partner.
Thinking of Spink where I used to work there was a lady in the gold department there called Judith Spear who I believe got married and moved to Canada in the late 1970s – I met her once when she visited Spink in the 1990s. We of course had May Sinclair who worked at Spink 1972 – 2004 before a consultancy for many years after and is now happily retired in Scotland who dealt in British tokens and English hammered coins. I worked happily with her for 15 years. Also when I started at Spink in 1990 I worked with Julie Franklin who became bona fide specialist in world coins from around 1994 and stepped back from it around 2000. There was also a lady called Judith Doel who worked on war medals from 1980s to c.2000 and was the daughter of Brian Carter who himself had once worked on ancient coins at Spink. We also had Sandra Ferguson (now Mrs Conway) who worked on gold bullion and who with Linda Ainsworth started ATS Bullion Ltd when Spink let their bullion department go in the early 2000s but both retired in the last ten years. Two ladies running a bullion dealers is/was most unusual though it was backed by another bullion house.
Frances Simmons is an active coin and medal dealer with husband Howard in London still today and can be fond here Home - Simmons Gallery but has been going strong since the 1980s. We also have banknote dealer Pamela West who has been full time since the 1990s and well known to paper money people in the USA www.britishnotes.co.uk
Emily Reid who worked with me at Spink 2001-2005 has since gone on to work with Mark Rasmussen and now with Morton and Eden.
A continental coin firm run by women whom I know well is Hohn in Leipzig Germany – started by their late mother Heidren in 1990 the firm is run by sisters Christina and Saskia Hohn with their Farther Manfred but the girls are the numismatists Homepage - Hoehn - Coin Shop & Auction House Leipzig (leipziger-muenzhandlung.de) Christina did a work placement with me at Spink in 1999.
There have of course been many other ladies who have come into the business since the year 2000 and have current positions in other firms. An excellent example of this is the British Royal Mint where most of the leading people including the Chief Executive Ann Jessop are all women.
I nearly forgot to mention Clare Lobel wife of Richard who you have featured the interview of recently who works at Coincraft running the banknote department ever since the 1980s – possibly late 70s.
Also recently deceased from South Africa was Natalie Jaffe who took over her husbands coin business about 1971 after he was killed in a boating accident and ran
City Coins for decades and latterly a South African representative for Noonans.
Lastly thinking of Australia I know Jill Pearson well since the 1990s who runs the Melbourne office of Noble Numismatics and is the daughter of Ray Jewell who originally ran that office and passed away in the early 1990s when it used to be Spink Australia.
There are also a number of ladies working at Kunker in Germany, Marion Kuenker is wife of founder Fritz Rudolf and Alexandra Elflein has been there since about year 2000 Customer Service of the Highest Quality - Kuenker (kuenker.de)
I am sure there are many more! But will leave it at that.
I am sure there is a lot more scope for further discussion on The E-Sylum and I hope some of the women who work in the industry contribute to you further themselves.
To read the Seaby's Coin and Medal Bulletin article, see:
Seaby's Coin and Medal Bulletin: July 1976
Thanks, everyone! Pete wrote and continually updates American Numismatic Biographies, and his article focused on U.S. dealers. But the international names are welcome additions to the conversation.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
U.S. WOMEN COIN DEALERS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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