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Guttag, Julius

Born in New York City. He began to collect coins at the age of 15. Married to (1) Albina Brand in 1915 and (2) Blanche Heim on November 2, 1920.

At the 1921 ANA convention he exhibited a complete set of $2.50 gold, a complete set of $10 gold and foreign gold coins. in 1922 he exhibited Civil War tokens.

Founder and first president of the Westchester Coin Club. He was life member number 24 of the ANA. He served on the board of governors in 1923 and is considered the founder of National Coin Week in 1924. In 1957 he received the ANA gold member as a 50 year member.

Author with George Hetrich of Civil War Tokens and Tradesmen's Store Cards in 1924. Twenty-five deluxe interleaved copies were sold at $25. The standard cloth bound edition sold for $7.50. The book was reprinted in 1968. In 2002 he was inducted into the CWTS Hall of Fame.

Coins included in 10 auctions conducted by Abe Kosoff 1940 to 1942. The library was sold in 1940. In that sale the first six volumes of The Numismatist realized $130.00.

He conducted business with Guttag Brothers in New York. They were a foreign exchange brokerage firm. They put their imprint on a standard fixed price list in 1927. Guttag Brothers conducted one auction October 21, 1927. The Guttag Bros ad ran on the back page of The Numismatist for some time. Kosoff reported that Julius lost $9 million in the Wall Street crash of 1929. They discontinued their ad with the September 1930 issue. They stated that they were no longer doing business with the general collector but were catering now to specialists. The Guttag Brothers are listed as consignors to four auctions conducted by Thomas Elder in 1929 and 1930. Julius was the consignor to ten sales conducted by Abe Kosoff in 1940 to 1942.

Julius retired in 1948. He died in New York City. His brother, Henry, was not important in numismatics and is rarely mentioned.

Laura Frank (interview with Len Augsburger, September 30, 2023), a grandaughter, offered personal recollections. She recalled Guttag as a warm, loving man with a ready stash of candy and gum for the grandchildren. Guttag was a polio victim, frail by the time Frank knew him, who lost some control over his facial muscles, and frequently chewed gum to mimimize drooling. Guttag was wealthy prior to the Depression, living in a house in New Rochelle today recognized as a historic structure. He had a chaffeur who drove him to his office in New York City. Guttag remained solvent following the 1929 market crash but did not maintain the same standard of living. None of his children or granchildren became collectors. Laura retains a few of the Guttag numismatic publications. The proununcation of Guttag is derived from the German gut tag ("good day"), with equal emphasis on both syllables.

obit: NN 5/21/62; NUM 75 June 1962 page 756


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