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NNP Blog

May 23 2022

Linderman Collection Remnants?

As part of the American Numismatic Society early correspondence scanning, Newman Portal recently processed a 1908 letter from M. H. Linderman to ANS President Archer M. Huntington, asking about disposing of a collection of 275 “one cent U.S. copper coins, of various dates and in various conditions or stages of preservation.” The Linderman name is well known among numismatic historians, as Henry R. Linderman served as U.S. Mint Director from 1873 to 1878. 


Pete Smith notes In American Numismatic Biographies “Linderman was a coin collector. His position gave him the opportunity to have pieces struck to order. He had an 1804 dollar in his collection that came directly from the mint. It sold for $470 to James Ten Eyck. His collection included a number of patterns. It was cataloged for sale by Lyman Low June 28, 1887. A dispute arose over the legality of some of the patterns and the collection was withdrawn from sale. It was finally sold February 28, 1888.”


The 1887 sale included a substantial offering of pattern cents, along with the note “the entire collection is here offered; not a single piece held back.” This entire sale was cancelled and offered again the following year, with a few pieces excepted.  The cataloguer noted “After mature consideration of all the questions of law and equity involved in the sale of trial and experimental pieces formerly classed as ‘pattern’ pieces, made at the United States mint, the government has allowed us to sell the celebrated Linderman collection…” Again, this catalog included a good-sized offering of pattern cents.


Roger Burdette, who brought the Linderman letter to our attention, notes “The writer [of the Linderman correspondence] has the same initials H.R. Linderman’s brother.” If indeed these coins were from the Linderman family, one wonders if they were somehow more special than a random accumulation of pocket change.


Link to Lyman Low June 28, 1887 sale of the Linderman collection: https://archive.org/details/catalogueofvalua00lowl_2
Link to J. W. Scott February 28, 1888 sale of the Linderman collection: https://archive.org/details/catalogueofvalua00scot_1
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