I remember many, many fine collectors who were part of my early days at Stack’s. These numismatists added greatly to my knowledge of coins and to my experiences in the hobby. One such collector was Clifford T. Welhman.
Clifford T. Welhman was the “olive oil king” of America, as he imported and provided olive oil to virtually all the purveyors, including the Palmolive Company for use in their “Natural Soap.” Welhman lived in Westchester County, New York, and traveled daily to New York City to conduct his business. He became a familiar face at Stack’s.
Cliff collected world coins, attractive and historic specimens. With Stack’s acquisition of sections of the Col. E.H.R. Green Collection, sold by private treaty in the mid 1940s by Chase Bank, he was also able to form one of the great collections of U.S. half eagles and eagles ($5 and $10 gold pieces) from 1795 through the last issues.
Col. E.H.R. Green, another legend, amassed a hoard of early U.S. gold, 1795 to the late 1870s, with hundreds of duplicates. Because of this massive accumulation, collectors today have a large variety of early U.S. gold available. If these had all been melted (which actually happened to many gold coins under the 1934 Gold Act), the prices for such pieces would have been very high indeed.
Cliff bought his collection of $5 and $%10 gold coins through Stack’s and his collection of these key denominations became part of the Josiah K. Lilly Collection when Cliff sold them in 1954 (and that’s a story in itself!).
Clifford T. Welhman sold his world coin collection at a Stack’s auction in October 1951, the catalog specially titled “Gold Coins of the World.” Among its world class rarities were a 1629 gold 100 ducats of Bohemia’s Ferdinand II along with an array of ancient Greek, Roman, and Renaissance gold coins, many multiple ducats, Spanish American gold coins and a wonderful sampling of 19th and 20th century coins.
I remember fondly Cliff Welhman and the many other collectors who helped shape my early years at Stack’s and am grateful for the many things I learned.