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XXI

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Alex G. Malloy

Alex G. Malloy has joined the Forum Ancient Coins Staff as a consultant for antiquities authentication and attribution.

Alex Malloy was an avid collector since his childhood. Early on he collected postage stamps, developing a splendid album. When this treasure was lost in a cross-country move, his curiosity took on new interests. His wonderful love of art was fueled via precious outings with the painter, Russell Brownell McGrew in the Mojave Desert of California. After relocating to Arizona for studies, Alex embraced the art of the Hohokam and Anastasi Indians. Lucky he was to meet some elderly people who had found sherds during the depression to sell to the wealthy in order to survive. Alex started making miniatures of the Indian pottery and decorated them with the art of these Indian peoples. He traded them with his newly found friends and sold them to the Denver Museum of Natural History and Goldwater’s Department Store in Arizona. He worked at the Heard Museum categorizing Indian pottery.

Collecting table and card games has had the greatest longevity in Alex’s life. He has amassed ancient gaming pieces, early European games, endless varieties of Monopoly and games about history, geography, Disney, Hollywood, travel, politics, and every subject imaginable. He holds one of the most important game collections in the world. He authored ‘American Games’ in 2000; including all color photographs of his individual games.

A move to Colorado provided opportunity for Alex to kick a piece of metal in the gutter when crossing a Denver street adjacent to the Brown Palace Hotel. It looked like a pipe top. It moved so he picked it up. It was round and it had some sort of impression on both sides, he hurried to the Denver Library to investigate what on earth he had! His discovery was destined to be a Byzantine coin of Justinian. This curiosity expanded Alex’s interest to Ancient coins their study. 

At the time of the opening of the American Numismatic Association in Colorado Springs, Alex entered a competition with the coins of The Twelve Caesars. It won Best in Show, but he realized he could ill afford to continue collecting. With the coins from the display, Alex decided he could enjoy handling, researching and selling Ancient coins. Early on, coins were purchased from Leonard Forrer at Jacques Schulman in The Netherlands, Peter Minns and B.A. Seaby in London. Joel Malter stopped in Denver to meet with Alex and encourage him in the new business they went to a Denver Broncos Game. On one occasion the postman handed us a bulging packet of coins, and a Caligula sestertius fell out on the doorstep. The lot was counted and not a single coin was lost!

After sending out his first coin catalogue from Colorado, in 1968 Alex moved to New York City. In the city in 1969 he met Jerry Eisenberg who was closing his gallery, and with Eisenberg’s suggestion Alex opened a small gallery, a block away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with a large consignment of antiquities from Jerry himself. Later the gallery was moved to The Fuller Building at 57th and Madison Avenue. Arthur J. Seltman (1972) became an associate, and later Carl Sandler Berkowitz, Irene Fraley Preston, Allison James, David Leibert, Torkam Dimergian, and Alan M. Stahl, Ph.D. worked there. Alex’s philosophy in the Ancient coin and Antiquity business was to add the special research be it to history or special attributions to each object. Alex‘s first Medieval Coin Catalogue, premiere in the industry, was produced in 1970. Thirty-one Medieval Coin Catalogues were dated from 1970-1995. Many leading numismatist wrote articles for the issues. He has produced over 210 printed sales coin and antiquity catalogues. He also saw the need for special numismatic book and started a publishing company Attic Books.

By 1980 Alex closed the galley to be relieved of the commute and be available to his growing children. While maintaining fixed price coin lists, mail bid sales, and attending some coin shows, ‘Yesteryear’s Collectibles’ was opened in Ridgefield, Connecticut. At this new location Allen Berman, DeAnne Komlo and Camden Percival helped along with David Sorenson, Ph.D. and they added help in attributing coins and the business. There coins, antiquities, sports cards and comics were sold. Alex published ‘Comics Values Monthly’ and ‘Malloy’s Sports Collectibles’ (Rod Malloy) as well as annual comic price guides called ‘Comics Values Annual’ are produced to this date.

But Alex had even more diverse interests. Alex, the gardener, collected over three thousand hostas (shade growing plants) now landscaped on his property. His own introductions include “Electrum Stater’, and Hosta Society members had no clue to its meaning. The large leaves are gold with a white edge, a new variety of the plant engineered by Alex himself.

Now in retirement, Alex is completing the writing of a book called “Forty Clasped Hands.” It discusses the contributions of forty generations from Jesus Christ to today of Christians for over two thousand years.

By Elaine C. Malloy