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Edouard Frossard

Biography

Born near Lake Leman, Switzerland. Emigrated in 1858. Professor of languages at the Boursand Academy in Brooklyn in 1861. Married with two children.

During the Civil War Frossard enlisted as sergeant- major with the 31st New York Volunteers. He was promoted to first lieutenant, captain, and acting colonel. He was at West Point, Virginia May 7, 1862. The "Official Records" for that engagement state that Frossard was "badly wounded whilst advancing boldly upon the enemy." He saw detached service as a member of a general court-martial and was appointed Judge Advocate at Fort McHenry, Baltimore. He was honored for bravery.

Frossard was a member of a Masonic Lodge, member of U. S. Grant Post 327, GAR, Brooklyn, member of the New York Numismatic and Archaeological Society and charter member number 14 of the ANA.

He began collecting in 1872. He collected American cents for himself and also for George Merritt, the son of a wealthy gentleman. In 1875 he worked for J. W. Scott as editor of the Coin Collector's Journal. He had an art collection that included the work of John Trumbull as well as exquisite miniatures on ivory.

Frossard published his newsletter Numisma. The entire series was republished by Ramm Communications. Frossard issued a store card about 1881. It had Masonic symbols on the obverse and a "magic square" on the reverse.

In 1880 Frossard began a feud with Woodward over the description of restrike half cents. He also criticized Woodward for incorrectly describing a starred reverse cent. Frossard published his criticism in Numismatic and Woodward responded in his catalogs. The two traded literary blows but tired eventually. Later they would find themselves on the same side attacking the Chapmans.

Frossard conducted 176 auction sales with 122,263 lots 1878 to 1899. He stated that he cataloged the Montayne collection of 1200 lots within 48 hours start to finish. He issued several fixed price lists 1891 to 1894. He died in Brooklyn, New York.

After Frossard's death, his son, also known as Ed Frossard, conducted an additional 15 auction sales from 1899 to 1901. Frossard pere was a man of impeccable character and integrity. Apparently Frossard fils failed to follow his father's example. The Numismatist was distressed to report that Frossard had "gone South" leaving a considerable debt.

bio: NUM 4 Mar 1892 page 30 (photo); CW/NM 6/9/76; NUM/NIN 1/95

obit: AJN 33 Apr 1899 page 130; NUM 12 Apr 1899 page 103; The Daily Standard Union, Brooklyn 4/14/99

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies

 

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