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John Sanford Saltus


Born in New Haven, Connecticut. He studied at the Art Students League. Married to Medora S. Hubbell. She died in 1906. At the time of his death at age 69 he was planning to marry again. His fiance, Mrs. Estelle E. Campbell, received $500,000 from his will. The size of his estate was estimated at $2,000,000.

Corresponding Secretary of the ANS March 15, 1897, to March 21, 1898. Also Corresponding Secretary March 19, 1900, to January 16, 1905. He was president on the New York Numismatic Club and the British Numismatic Society.

In 1913 he established a $5000 fund to award medals for excellence in medallic art. The medal was designed by Adolph A. Weinman. The first recipient of the award in 1919 was James Earl Fraser. He had family wealth that allowed him to make contributions to many institutions. He contributed $35,000 for the erection of the Joan of Arc monument on Riverside Drive in New York City.

Saltus died in his room at the Hotel Metropole in London. He had recently purchased some potassium cyanide for the purpose of cleaning some silver coins. A glass of this solution was found in his room. Also found was a glass of ginger ale. It is believed that he drank from the wrong glass by mistake. The English coroner's verdict was "Death by Misadventure."

Saltus was elected president of the New York Numismatic Club but died before completing his term. The club honored Saltus with a posthumous medal. Dies were by J. M. Swanson. There were two struck in gold, 22 in silver and 75 in bronze.

bio: WWWAmArt; NUM 64 Mar 1951 p. 270; NUM/NIN 9/93

obit: NUM 35 Aug 1922 pages 378-379

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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