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Louis Edward Eliasberg, Sr.


Born in Selma, Alabama, the son of Adolph Eliasberg and Hortense Rosalinde Schwartz. He attended Baltimore City College and dropped out following the death of his father in 1915. He adttended Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for one semester. Married Hortense Miller-Kahn June 1, 1927. She died in December 1949. Married R. Lucille Jones. He had two sons, Louis Eliasberg, Jr. and Richard. President of the Finance Company of America. He died at home in Baltimore and is buried at Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery.  

Eliasberg attempted to collect an example of every coin listed in Green's Mint Record and Type Table. He purchased via Stacks the John Clapp collection in 1942 for more than $100,000. This was described as the largest single cash transaction in numismatic history. The last coin he needed was the 1873-CC no arrows Liberty Seated dime, acquired in 1950.  He acquired a 1933 $20 Double Eagle but voluntarily surrendered it to the government.

In 1947 duplicates from the Eliasberg collection were sold by Stacks as the H. R. Lee collection. His story and collection were featured in an April 27, 1963, issue of Life maazine.  Another article was in LOOK magazine on December 29, 1964. He served on the Assay Commission for 1962. The Eliasberg collection was exhibited at the Philadelphia Mint in 1976. It was exhibited extensively around the country in cities such as Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and New York.

Eliasberg consigned coins to a Stack's auction in 1947 and a New Netherlands auction in 1957. On October 27-29, 1982, Bowers & Ruddy Galleries auctioned The United States Gold Coin Collection. Although it was not identified as the Eliasberg collection, the history of the collection was well known.

bio: CW 8/21/1985; CW/NM 11/28/94; NUM/NIN 7/93 obit: CW 3/10/1976; The Baltimore Evening Sun 2/21/1976  DOB:SSDI

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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