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NNP Blog

May 07 2024

Stan Kesselman Papers on Newman Portal

In between the mass of public advertisements and named auction catalogs, a few dealers operate quietly, facilitating the placement of important numismatic items into equally important collections. One of these dealers was the New York numismatist Stan Kesselman. Among others, Kesselman worked with Harry W. Bass, Jr. to build a historic collection of U.S. gold coinage, which was ultimately featured in auction sales by Bowers & Merena (1999-2000) and Heritage Auctions (2022-2023). Other clients included the large cent collector Roy Naftzger.

Business records of Kesselman, primarily invoices with an emphasis on gold coins, are currently being digitized by Newman Portal. Occasional correspondence is also present, such as a letter from Bass to Kesselman, January 19, 1968, which alludes to the never-ending negotiation between dealer and client: “I agree - once you pay too much, it sets you up for life. With you by now I must have set myself up for a hundred lifetimes. Since I have paid you too much so many times in the past, why shouldn't I continue so doing in the future? My problem with you is that you now know how much you can get away with. I don't need salt for my wounds but rather balm as well as a solution to my problem.”

Newman Portal acknowledges Stan Kesselman for making this material available, and Julian Leidman for coordinating delivery to Newman Portal. Following digitization, the material will be presented to the ANA Library.

Link to Stan Kesselman papers on Newman Portal:
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