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The E-Sylum (6/6/2010)

Book Content

Last week ANA Collections Manager Robin Sisler wrote:

I have a great "Mystery Numismatist" for you and the other readers.

Mystery Numismatist: YN of the Century

Gar Travis writes:

The word Century tipped me in this direction and he came to the United States in 1890 as a child: "Victoras Barnauskaus," or Victor David Brenner. ...and my second guess would be again based on the word Century: Eric P. Newman.

Larry Koblenz guessed Eric Newman as well. It's neither him nor Brenner.

Martin Purdy writes:

I'll take a totally wild punt and say Farran Zerbe. The age of the picture looks about right, but I have nothing else to go on!

These are good guesses too, but it's not Zerbe, either. The first correct answer came from Dave Bowers, who writes:

I had not seen this picture of the youthful Benjamin Max Mehl before.

Charlie Davis also had the correct answer within minutes of Dave's response. So did Pete Mosiondz, Jr. and Ed Reiter, who writes:

Facially, that old-time young numismatist in this week's mystery photo is a perfect match (as in matchbook) for B. Max Mehl.

Dave Lange agrees:

I haven't seen that photo before, but the subject bears a notable resemblance to the mature B. Max Mehl.

B. Max Mehl B. Max Mehl

Robin Sisler adds this information about the photo:

"It's B. Max Mehl in 1896 at the age of twelve taken soon after his family moved to Ft. Worth, Texas. Mehl was already dealing at this age, having begun collecting at ten. This image (only the head) was used in some of Mehl's advertising. Ex Mehl estate, Kosoff, Stocker. If anyone is aware of an earlier image of Mehl, please let me know."

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