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    Eric P. Newman Correspondence Files:
    F.C.C. Boyd

    Newman, Eric P. Correspondence with F.C.C. Boyd. Nearly 500 pages, consisting of original letters to Eric P. Newman from Boyd, carbon copies of Newman's letters in return, and much additional material, 1948-1962 (with some related printed material from later). Overall condition is generally fine.

    Frederick Charles Cogswell Boyd (1886-1958) was a towering figure in American numismatics during the first half of the twentieth century. A voracious collector with broad interests, his numismatic curiosity was virtually without limit. As a highly successful and effective businessman, Boyd developed the means to collect aggressively and widely. He did not do so in the shadows, however. Rather than quietly employ a trusted agent to make occasional and discreet purchases on his behalf, as many wealthy collectors did, Boyd was an active participant in the hobby and a great promoter of collecting. He organized coins shows, published reference works, and served a term as the President of the New York Numismatic Club. When Lyman H. Low passed away before his final sale had been held, F.C.C. Boyd stepped in and administered the sale; when no one wanted to conduct the 1922 ANA sale, Boyd took charge of the Arrangement Committee and wrote the catalogue himself. He was a whirlwind of numismatic activity.

    Numismatic Gallery sold most of Boyd's U.S. federal coins in 1945 and 1946, in a series of sales anonymously billed as the "World's Greatest Collection." However, he retained his extensive collection of early American coins, tokens, medals, and paper money. Eric P. Newman was introduced to Boyd in early 1948 through Wayte Raymond, to whom Newman had been speaking about the lack of a definitive work on the Fugio coppers. Raymond took it upon himself to introduce the two, with Newman writing Boyd for the first time on March 5, 1948:

    "Dear Mr. Boyd:

    "I just returned from a visit to New York, and while there I had a very pleasant chat with Mr. Wayte Raymond. I asked him if there had been any publication of the die varieties of the 1787 Fugio Cent and he told me that you had approximately thirty different die varieties in your collection but that so far as he knew they had never been identified by proper numbering arrangement and published. He would like very much to publish this type of thing in the Coin Collectors' Journal, and I told him that although I had the major varieties in my collection and Mr. Norman Bryant, of North Haven, Connecticut, had a substantial number of minor varieties, it would not be possible to do a proper job in this field without your assistance. ... I feel that it is very strange that die variety work has been done in almost every field except the first United States Cent."

    Boyd surprised Newman by sending him his entire collection of Fugios so they could be used in Newman's work in progress. Thus began a fine numismatic friendship that lasted until Boyd's death on September 7, 1958. The two clicked quickly, with the formal salutation "Dear Mr. Boyd" quickly being replaced in Newman's letters with "Dear Freddie." They fell into a mutually satisfying routine in which "Boyd loaned the coins, Newman did the research and writing and Raymond did the publishing" (Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman, by Leonard Augsburger, Roger W. Burdette, and Joel J. Orosz, page 119).

    In addition to research inquiries, Newman and Boyd traded want lists and collection inventories, both of them being agreeable to the occasional trade while shying away from involving money in their exchanges. Indeed, many of the hundreds of letters here present were originally accompanied by coins or paper money being exchanged in an effort to assist in building each other's collection. They also exchanged information. Boyd was of the previous generation of collectors and had known collectors Newman never knew, such as Hillyer Ryder, writer of the standard works on Vermont and Massachusetts coppers, who died when Newman was only 16. Boyd's recollections of the hobby in the early years of the twentieth century make for fascinating reading, as do his descriptions of his collections.

    A final, and sadder, section of the correspondence relates to Boyd's death and the subsequent difficulties over his estate. The two frequently lent coins to each other and had agreements concerning various coins in their collections in the event of death, and sorting everything out with the estate while maintaining good relationships could at times be difficult. Newman stayed in friendly touch with Helen Boyd, Fred's widow, for several years, as well as with other members of the family. The present lot constitutes an extraordinary archive of original material documenting one of the most fruitful friendships in the history of numismatics.
    Estimate $10,000.
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.

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

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
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    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.
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