General News

14.03.2018 - J.B. Westerhof Obituary

Curriculum vitea J. B. Westerhof

(07.07.1950 – 08.03.2018)



Geboren 1950 in Friesland uit een middenstanders milieu, zoon van een garagehouder.

Het verzamelen werd hem door zijn vader vroeg aangeleerd. 

Alles wat men in de jeugd verzamelde, postzegels, sigarenbandjes, lucifersmerken en natuurlijk munten. Was op zeer jeugdige leeftijd al op antiekveilingen te vinden.

Zette op 14 jarige leeftijd een postzegelabonnementenservice op. 

Eén van zijn eerste muntveilingen die hij bezocht was die bij de Fa. J.C.A van Loon in 1967. Daar kocht hij in de aftersale een kwartje van 1817 voor Fl. 350,= (recent resultaat € 70.000,=) omdat hij dat eigenlijk niet duur vond, tenslotte kostten een drie Gulden Willem I destijds ook Fl. 300,= .

Nadat hij de middelbare school verliet handelde hij in woningtextiel o.a. Perzische tapijten.

Toen zijn militaire dienstplicht er op zat besloot hij zich in 1972 zelfstandig te vestigen onder de naam “De Sneeker Vlieger”. Was regelmatig op alle beurzen en veilingen te vinden en was bijna wekelijks in Amsterdam te vinden waar hij erg bevriend raakte met Jaap Schulman.

Deze stelde hem ook voor als lid voor het A.I.N.P. zijn specialiteiten waren Provinciale munten met die van Friesland in het bijzonder en wist van deze provincie de grootste  collectie aller tijden bijeen te brengen. Die ging grotendeels over (> 700 ex) naar het Fries Museum te Leeuwarden.

Zijn penningvoorraad bedroeg ruim tienduizenden stuks, op land en thema geordend.

 1e prijslijst 1981

1e veiling in samenwerking met wijlen oud-collega Arie van der Dussen in Maastricht 1984-1986, vervolgens veiling voor eigen rekening sinds 1987.

Lid van het A.I.N.P sinds 1985.

Was mede auteur met D. Purmer van “het Handboek Nederlandse Muntslag 1568-1795.

Initiatiefnemer en mederedactielid van de oeuvrecatalogus “Johannes Cornelis Wienecke 1872-1945, medailleur en stempelsnijder 2017.

Vele ambtstermijnen voorzitter van de N.V.M.H en oprichter van de numismatische kring Mr. Jacob Dirks.

Geruime tijd lid van het Belgisch Genootschap namens de N.V.M.H. afgevaardigde voor de FENAP.

 Jean Luc,

Je moet zelf maar een slotzin verzinnen, want ik leef nog, maar ben wel ernstig ziek (geweest?).

Hartelijk gegroet, 

Preliminary note: 

After Jille’s own will, this will be used as his obituary. As unusual as it might seem, he wrote it himself and sent it to me in September 2017. 

Born 1950 (actually July 7th, 1950 in Woudsend) from a middle-class family, son of a garage owner. The passion for collecting was transmitted soon from his father.

Everything which youngsters collect, stamps, cigar bands, boxes of matches and of course coins. Attended antiquities auctions at a very early age. Created a service of new stamps supply when he was 14. 

One of his First coin auctions he attended was the one of the firm J.C.A van Loon in 1967. There he bought after the sale a quarter gulden piece of 1817 for 350,= NLG (recent result € 70.000,=) because he thought it was cheap; at the same time the price for a piece of 3 Gulden Willem I was also 300,= NLG. 

After he left the middle-class school, he was active in the handling of textile, Persian carpets among others.

After his military service, in 1972, he decided to open his own business under the name “De Sneeker Vlieger” [“the pilot from Sneek”]. He attended regularly coin fairs and auctions, and went almost every week to Amsterdam, where he became a friend of Jaap Schulman.

This one sponsored him for membership to the IAPN. His speciality was the coinage of Dutch provinces, and especially of Friesland. He put together the biggest collection of those ever. Those went mostly (over 700 coins) to the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden.

His offering of medals amounted to about 10,000, classified by country and theme. 

First fixed price list 1981

First auction in co-operation with his old friend and colleague Arie van der Dussen in Maastricht 1984-1986, then auctions for his own name since 1987.

Member of the I.A.P.N. since 1985.

Co-auteur with D. Purmer of the “het Handboek Nederlandse Muntslag 1568-1795” [pocket-book of the coinage of the Netherlands].

Took the initiative and co-redactor of the catalogue  “Johannes Cornelis Wienecke 1872-1945, medailleur en stempelsnijder 2017”.

Many terms as president of the N.V.M.H [Dutch association of coin dealers] and founder of the numismatic club “Mr. Jacob Dirks”.

Member of the Belgian Association [Belgian Society for Numismatics] and representative of the  N.V.M.H. to the FENAP [European federation of national coin trade associations].

Jean Luc,

You have to find yourself a final word, as I am still alive, even if I am (I was?)seriously ill.

Best regards. 

What should I add? Exceptional man, as everybody who had meet him could realize, horse-lover, passionate about art in general, numismatics in particular, gifted artist himself, dandy, very eccentric chap, too-much smoker and drinker, always interesting to listen to: a “rare vogel” [rare bird]as they say in Dutch. Even his obituaries and this note speak better than everything else. We will remember him!


J.B. Westerhof, with the co-operation of J.L. Van der Schueren.


» more

10.12.2017 - Bjarne Ahlstrøm Passed Away

Bjarne Ahlström 1938-2017

Bjarne Ahlström was born in Stockholm, 30th of November 1938.  He passed away the 12th of September 2017 in his apartment on Narvavägen, Stockholm. 

Bjarne Ahlström´s father John was a very important stamp-collector (philatelist). Thus Ahlström had the understanding for collecting, but his career was supposed to be as a Diplomat.

In 1954 Bjarnes Ahlström´s brother, Bernth Ahlström, started the company B. Ahlström Mynthandel AB. In the late 1950´s, Bjarne took over the company. In 1972 B. Ahlström Mynthandel held their first auction. Through the years 1972-2004 the company held 71 auctions. From the very beginning Ahlström´s auction catalogues were highly well-produced, regarding both numismatic information as well as layout and presentation of the marketed items.

Bjarne Ahlström had the privilege to sell several fine collections during his time as an auctioneer. The most remarkable may be The Gunnar Ekström collection. Bjarne decided along with Wera Ekström, the widow of Gunnar Ekström, to start a foundation for numismatic research in the name of Gunnar Ekström, Gunnar Ekströms stiftelse för numismatisk forskning.

In 1967 the first edition of Sveriges besittningsmynt (translated “Coins of the Swedish Possessions”) was released – which was a modern and groundbreaking publication.  The second edition was published the year 1980 and it is still the main reference book regarding these coins. The modern Swedish coins got its reference book in 1976 – Sveriges mynt 1521-1977 (translated “Coins of Sweden 1521-1977”). The same year he also published Norges mynter (translated “The Coinage of Norway”). 

Late in 2004 Bjarne Ahlström sold his auction company to Thomas Høiland (from Denmark). Unfortunately for Ahlström, Høiland liquidated the company only three years later. 

When Bjarne wasn’t at work, he preferred to stay at his beloved country mansion Siggenäs – a much needed contrast to the business life´s hectic speed and seriousness. 

He had been elected member of the IAPN in 1969 and had organized the General Assembly in Stockholm in 1992.

» more

06.06.2017 - Cathy BULLOWA-MOORE passed away - Décès de Cathy BULLOWA-MOORE

Grande Dame of Numismatics Passes Away at 97


(Byline James A. Simek)


          Catherine Bullowa-Moore, a very highly respected Philadelphia coin dealer for six and one-half decades, passed away peacefully May 15, 2017. She was 97 years of age and was originally from Larchmont, New York. She was likable, charming, engaging and very interested in educating people about the joys of numismatics. She was particularly fond of talking to youngsters about coins because she felt they represented the future of the hobby.


          I first met Catherine in 1966, I believe, at a coin show in downtown Chicago. I was a teenager with very little money to spend, and I let her know that. She graciously spent time visiting with me and even let me have a coin on “memo” since I did not have enough money with me to pay for it (at the time I did not even know what “memo” meant!). I was taken aback, since we had just met and did not really know each other, but she said “that’s OK, I trust you.” That left an indelible mark and led to a friendship that has endured for more than half a century. She is one of the reasons I am in this profession today.


          After marrying David Bullowa, one of America’s premier professional numismatists, Catherine was thrust into the rare coin business when David died unexpectedly in October 1953 after only 1-1/2 years of marriage. Although approached by numerous dealers who wanted to purchase the business name and location, Catherine was determined to make a career of it herself. “Determined” is a good word to describe Catherine. She was independent, strong-willed and extremely capable and was admired by many for having these traits.


She had acquired a love of coins from her late husband and, in his memory, decided to continue the business. Keep in mind that, at the time, there were only a handful of female coin dealers in the entire country so this presented quite a challenge for the young lady who had majored in zoology at Connecticut College.


          Catherine loved to read and made good use of David’s extensive numismatic library. She studied not only United States coins and currency, but foreign and ancient coins as well. It was not long before she was a self-taught expert in several aspects of numismatics.


          In 1959, Catherine married Earl E Moore, an autographs and manuscripts specialist. Their union was to last 41 years. They were frequent attendees at coin shows and conventions throughout the country and world and both of them enjoyed the camaraderie and interactions with old friends that these opportunities afforded.


          Through the years, Catherine held membership in numerous professional and hobby-related organizations. Among them were the American Numismatic Society (ANS) of which she was a Life Fellow and to which she contributed generously; the Royal Numismatic Society (RNS) of which she was a Fellow; the International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN) where she was a member of the Executive Committee for many years, as well as an Honorary Member; the American Numismatic Association (ANA) in which she held Life Membership #355; and the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) where she had Senior Member status. She was also a founding member of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG), and one of only a handful of individuals to have been given Life Member status (#3) by the organization.


          Catherine received many awards and accolades throughout her illustrious career, and one she was quite pleased to receive was the PNG’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. She also received their Art Kagin Numismatic Ambassador Award in 2013.


          One achievement of which she was particularly proud was to have been chosen in 1965 as a member of the United States Assay Commission. Names were submitted by the Director of the Mint to the White House where the final choices were made. Members would check random samples of the previous year’s coinage for weight and purity and membership in the Commission carried with it a great deal of prestige. She also was a member of the Old Time Assay Commissioners’ Society and enjoyed that immensely.


          Catherine’s rich legacy and fond memories remain with countless people she has come in contact with throughout her long and illustrious career in numismatics. She will be greatly missed by her family, as well as by numerous friends and associates.

» more

28.04.2017 - Benjamin "Ben" BELL passed away - Benjamin "Ben" BELL est décédé.

Benjamin Bell
March 8, 1976 – April 10, 2017

Memories of a good friend... Ben passed away on Monday, April 10, after a long, hard fought battle with cancer, his loving family at his side. Well educated in traditional historic studies, Ben worked as a numismatist at Classical Numismatic Group and was the co-founder, co-owner and President of Civitas Galleries, Ltd. Ben was loved and respected by everyone, and was duly considered one of the rising stars in professional numismatics. He was snatched far too soon from the coin world, and will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, Rob and Rebecca and his sister Rachel.

» more

01.03.2017 - Article about Ancient Coin Restrictions by American Numismatic Association

Since 2007, the ANA has been involved with the global issue of cultural property, specifically with regard to numismatic artifacts. The hobby community’s interest in this topic began in 1983 when, in response to unlawful looting of archaeological sites abroad, the United States Senate passed the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA). This legislation supports the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the “Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.” The concept behind the UNESCO Convention was to create a framework for governments to enter into agreements to enforce each other's export-control laws on archaeological and ethnological objects.

With some reservations, the Senate agreed to the convention with the intention of preserving the “independent judgment” of the United States as to when and how it would impose import restrictions on cultural artifacts when requested by governments that are in agreement with the Convention. The CPIA set up a panel of experts, the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC), to assist the U.S. president in this decision-making process. The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs was put in charge of the program, while U.S. Customs and Border Protection was tasked with implementing import restrictions.  

Import/export regulations between the United States and other nations are drafted in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which clearly outlines each country’s responsibilities. Accompanying import restrictions then describe which categories of cultural artifacts might be subject to detention, seizure or repatriation. It is important to note that these MOUs affect American citizens only, regardless of whether the objects in question are available on the open market to citizens of other nations, including the country attempting to enforce the restrictions. This is problematic, especially since the State Department routinely disregards conditions requiring the source country to enforce its own laws.     

Initially, import restrictions were imposed on behalf of poor, third-world countries, and on narrow categories of artifacts with high cultural value and rarity. However, since the 1990s, nations such as Italy, Cyprus and China have successfully placed restrictions on an ever-increasing range of artifacts, including ancient coins. The American Numismatic Association first became involved in the MOU process when Cyprus attempted to place such items on its restricted list. To protect the rights of American collectors, the ANA has worked with the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild and other organizations to send representatives to CPAC meetings and to address the attempts of Italy, Greece and other nations to restrict the import of ancient coins into the United States.

A major concern with import restrictions is how they are enforced. The CPIA can authorize such enforcement only on objects of archaeological interest or cultural significance that are first discovered within and subject to export control of a specific UNESCO State Party. Such items can be seized only if they were exported from that UNESCO State Party after the date of restriction. Customs agencies ignore these limitations on their authority and instead draft restrictions based on the place of manufacture in ancient times without regard to the date of manufacture. They also seize artifacts imported into the U.S. after the date designated in the restriction. These practices have changed the CPIA’s focus from targeted restrictions to allowing an embargo on all objects made by a particular culture in ancient times.

The ANA fully supports the idea of protecting cultural property, but has consistently argued that ancient coins should not be included in MOUs for a number of reasons. First, coins are among the most common and durable of artifacts (with a few notable exceptions), and therefore the information they contain is in no danger of being lost to historians or archaeologists in the way unique or rare objects would be if not preserved in cultural institutions. Additionally, there is no shortage of coins in museums in nations that have ancient specimens as part of their history, particularly Europe, the Middle East and China.

Finally, coins are excellent teaching tools. Their durability—and the large number of specimens available—makes them ideal collectors’ items. They encourage interest in the past, which in turn promotes educational programs in museum and universities, many of whose collections were formed or financed by hobbyists.

» more