Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers will present the library Mark and Lottie Salton, in collaboration with Fritz Rudolf Kunker of Osnabruck (Germany)

Salton Library has a wealth of works dedicated to ancient coins and metals. Its extensive holdings of European auction catalogs are particularly rich, with many heavily annotated.

A 43-volume set of Royal Collection of Coins and Medals from the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen published between 1942 and 1979 is one of the most valuable lots. The Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum books include 584 photographicly printed plates that depict 23,339 coins, along with introductory text and descriptive text.

The key series of the SNG publications was described by Kolbe & Fanning as “the largest, most complete of all SNGs” and is valued at $7,000.

The introduction to the auction house shares the fascinating story of the couple. It says that Mark and Lottie were both born in Germany in 1914 and Lottie was in 1924. Joel Felix Schlessinger was Mark’s father. He had originally trained as a banker. However, he was a nephew to Leo Hamburger who was the principal of a prestigious Frankfurt numismatic company. Felix joined the firm in 1911. He founded his own numismatic firm in 1928 and moved it to Berlin, where it became a well-known auction house. Hedwig was Mark’s mother. She was a descendant of the famous Feuchtwanger family from Munich. Lewis Feuchtwanger is well-known to American numismatists as having developed ‘Feuchtwanger’s composition’, an alloy in which he produced tokens during the 1830s.

Lottie and Mark were married in 1948. They shared an interest in numismatics, with Lottie focusing primarily on Renaissance and Baroque-inspired medallic art. Ira Rezak, a medal collector, said that Mark and Lottie Salton were sophisticated representatives from an older culture, which is now gone. Their friendship was important to me as well as many others and their generosity continues to live on. They are referred to as ‘of blessed memory’ in the traditional Jewish expression of remembrance.

Keep in mind the firm

Among the rich archives included in the Salton library are 14 catalogs bound in five volumes of the bid books of the Felix Schlessinger firm in Berlin-Charlottenburg and Amsterdam from 1928 to 1937. “Annotations vary from catalog to catalogue, but generally record absentee bidding on interleaves. The printed catalogue pages are hand-priced with buyers’ names, and sometimes live bids are also recorded on interleaves. Most sales include handwritten lists of absentee biddingders on a blank leaf at front of the catalogue.”

Kolbe & Fanning referred to the archive as the “heart & soul of the library”, since Mark Salton was responsible for preserving the records of the family business, which operated up to May 1940 when Germany invaded the Netherlands and forced the Dutch to surrender. Felix and Hedwig were sent to Theresienstadt, then to Auschwitz.

Kolbe & Fanning concludes with a description of the archive. It is estimated that it costs $5,000. Mark Salton did a lot to save and reconstruct his family’s library. This is the most important part.


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