Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    The R.H. Burnie Fraud: Rare Original Catalogue
    & Correspondence Including Letter from Prison

    Burnie, R.H. Mail Bid Auction Sale. Texarkana, May 31, 1956. Six duplicated sheets, stapled in corner as issued; 464 lots. With correspondence relating to the auction, including: carbon copy of Harry X Boosel's letter to Burnie with bids; original June 22, 1956, letter to Boosel from the Post Office Department Inspection Service regarding Boosel's complaint of mail fraud against Burnie; a longer letter from the same Department to Boosel dated June 22, 1956, requesting additional materials; carbon copy letter dated Sept. 5, 1956, from U.S. Attorney William M. Steger to Al C. Overton regarding the case; an unsigned and undated carbon copy report by Overton outlining the facts of the case; an original letter from the Post Office informing Boosel that Burnie had been convicted of mail fraud and sentenced to three years in prison; an original two-page letter, handwritten from prison in pencil, from R.H. Burnie to Boosel; an undated original typewritten letter from Overton to Boosel commenting on the Burnie letter, which Boosel had shared with him; and a handwritten card from Boosel to Eric P. Newman, presenting these materials to him.

    The Burnie auction was a scam, the key to which is found in the terms of sale, which state, "as requested by the owner of this collection, whom I represent in selling his collection, DEPOSITS of 50% of your BIDS MUST ACCOMPANY YOUR BIDS, otherwise the bids cannot be considered bona fide offers to buy, and will not be executed." Burnie was well-known, and many prominent dealers and collectors sent deposits and bids. The resulting influx of cash was used to purchase two cars, send Burnie's family on a vacation to Florida in one of them, and use the other to abscond across the Mexican border with (according to the Overton report) "a girl that was a dancing school instructor." The catalogue is extremely rare.
    Estimate $500.
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 152

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 18 days left to consign to the 2020 June 4 - 8 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The results were astonishing - - Heritage sold my coins for double the most optimistic price that I had dreamed of!
    [ Entire Letter » ]
    Louis Bassano, New Jersey State Senate,
    Union, NJ
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search