Robert J. Eidlitz correspondence and photographic plates, 1925 - 1935

Descriptive Summary

American Numismatic Society
1.5 cubic feet (3 boxes)
ANS Rare Book Room
Correspondence mostly pertaining to Eidlitz’s efforts to add to his collection of medals and plaques relating to architects, as well as photographic plates and other materials having to do with his book on the topic.


Eidlitz, Robert J. (Robert James), 1864-1935
Huntington medalist, collector of architectural medals and renown builder, Robert J. Eidlitz served on the ANS Council for almost twenty years and was responsible for the construction of much of the Society's Audubon Terrace headquarters.

Administrative Information


Collection open to all researchers.

Preferred Citation

Robert J. Eidlitz correspondence and photographic plates, 1925-1935, Archives, American Numismatic Society.


Copyright restrictions may apply. Permission to publish or reproduce must be secured from the American Numismatic Society.

Biographical Note

Robert J. Eidlitz was born in New York City on March 25, 1864. He was educated at both Cornell University, from which he graduated in 1885, and later at the Berlin Polytechnic, where he studied architecture. After completing his schooling, Eidlitz went to work for his father in the latter's building firm, Marc Eidlitz & Son, Inc. In 1928 Eidlitz was named president of the company, following the death of his older brother. Many of New York City's most prominent buildings—including the ANS's expanded Audubon Terrace facility—were built by Eidlitz's company. These buildings include the Federal Reserve Bank, Cloisters museum, New York Academy of Medicine, Yale Club, Astor Library, AT&T building, and New York Stock Exchange. Eidlitz joined the ANS as an associate member in 1910 and served on the Council from 1916 until his death in 1935. He collected architectural medals, about which he wrote the standard text, Medals and Medallions Relating to Architects, in 1927. That same year the ANS awarded Eidlitz its prestigious Archer M. Huntington Medal Award for this publication. While on the Council, much of Eidlitz's efforts involved his love of medals. For instance, he assisted with the publication of a number of the Society's commemorative medals, including the St. Bartholomew Church, 4th of July, and Red Cross medals. In addition, Eidlitz served on the original 1919 committee which established the standards for conferring the Society's new J. Sanford Saltus Medal Award. In addition to his work with the Society's medallic program, Eidlitz also was deeply involved in the construction and maintenance of the Society's Audubon Terrace facility. His firm built the expanded wing (later known as the "west hall") in the 1920s. And after his death, the ANS established the Eidlitz Building Maintenance Fund to help support ongoing building maintenance using a bequest from Eidlitz's estate. In eulogizing Eidlitz, Newell would opine that he was "one of the most valuable members" of the ANS Council, in no small part because of the "constant supervision and the version personal interest in which he devoted to the erection" of the Society's headquarters. After Eidlitz's death the ANS received, in addition to the maintenance fund endowment, Eidlitz's collection of architectural medals—a collection which later was described as "probably the largest collection of medals relating to architecture and architects." Robert Eidlitz died in New York City on May 18, 1935. He was 71.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence mostly relates to Eidlitz’s efforts to add to his collection of medals and plaques pertaining to architects (1925-1935). Includes informational and purchase requests sent to dealers and others in the U.S., England, Italy, France, and Germany, along with replies, some of which are in Italian, French, and German. Also includes correspondence and statements pertaining to bank accounts held with Guaranty Trust Company (London) and Deutche Bank Und Disconto-Gesellschaft (Germany), the latter referring in one 1932 letter to operating under “present emergency regulations.” There are a few scattered rubbings included. Correspondence with the American Numismatic Society (ANS) relates both to his work with architect medals and on routine membership matters. Also present are a set of letters from various organizations and individuals thanking Eidlitz for sending a copy of his book Medals and Medallions Relating to Architects (1927-1933), publications and clippings from several countries announcing the book (1927), and two clippings and a signed announcement regarding Eidlitz’s winning of the ANS’s Archer M. Huntington Medal Award. Photographic plates mounted on boards of medals used in the book make up about half of the collection.

Corporate correspondents include: American Numismatic Association, 1932-1934; American Numismatic Society (date range varies by correspondent listed below); Les Amis de la Médaille d'Art, 1934; A.H. Baldwin & Son, Ltd., 1934; Ball (Robert) Nachfolger (Muenzenhandlung und Medaillen-Verlag), 1932-1935; Berliner Muenzblaetter, 1933; Boston Medical Library, 1932-1933; Brueder Egger (Muenzen und Antiqitaeten), 1930, 1932; Cincinnati Numismatic Association, 1932; Credito Italiano, 1931-1932, 1934-1935; Deutsche Bank und Disconto-Gesellschaft, 1932-1935; The Envo Company, 1932; Guaranty Trust Company of New York (London & Paris offices), 1931-1934; D. Holmberg's Mynthandel, 1932; Helbing (Otto) Nachfolger, 1932; Hess (Adolph) Nachfolger, 1932-1935; Lenz & Janssen, 1932-1933; Mayer (Wilhelm) & Frz. Wilhelm (Stuttgarter Metallwaren-Fabrik), 1932; Musee d'Art et D'Histoire (Geneva, Switzerland), 1933; New York Academy of Medicine, 1932; Numismatische Gesellschaft in Wien, 1932-1933, 1935; Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (date range varies by correspondent listed below); Royal Numismatic Society (date range varies by correspondent listed below); Santamaria (P. & P.), 1932-1935; Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932; B.A. Seaby, Ltd., 1933-1934; Société des Architectes Diplomés par le Gouvernement, 1934; Société Francaise des Amis de la Médaille (date range varies by correspondent listed below); Société Industrielle des Métaux Précieux (date range varies by correspondent listed below); Société Royale Les Amis de la Médaille d'Art (date range varies by correspondent listed below); Société Royalé de Numismatique de Belgique (date range varies by correspondent listed below); Society of Medalists, 1932-1934; Spink & Son, Ltd., 1933-1934; Treasury Department, U.S., 1934; Witzig (John) & Company, 1931-1933.

Personal correspondents include: Adams, H. C. (Miss), 1934; Bach, Oscar B., 1932; Bainbridge, William Seaman, 1932; Blomm, Adrien, 1925; Burgess, A.H., 1932; Cahn, Adolph E. (Muenzhandlung), 1932, 1934; Canale, Victor S. (Graveur en Médailles), 1930-1933; Chantrenne, Jules (Société Royale Les Amis de la Médaille d'Art), 1932-1933; Chapman, Henry, 1932, 1934; Collins, William (Walter Kidde Constructors), 1933-1934; Dautert, Karl, 1930; de Lagerberg, J., 1933; Delmonte, A. (Monnaies et Médailles Anciennes), 1932; Dillen, J., 1935; Elder, Thomas L., 1932, 1934; Fejer, Josef, 1933; Florange, Charles (Société Industrielle des Métaux Précieux), 1932-1935; Florange, Jules (Monnaies & Médailles), 1932-1933, 1935; Frick, Helen, 1933; Gillingham, Harrold E., 1934; Grabow, Ludwig, 1934; Haines, G. C. (Royal Numismatic Society), 1932-1935; Halle, J., 1932; Hamburger, Leo (Muenzenhandlung), 1932, 1934; Hansen, Harvey L., 1932; Hiersemann, Karl W., 1932; Higgins, Daniel P., 1932; Iselin, O'Donnell, 1934; Kiehn, Max, 1934; Koch, ______ (Hauptmuenzamts, Wien), 1932; Lagarde, H. (Société Francaise des Amis de la Médaille), 1932, 1934; Levin, D. S., 1932; Mabbott, Thomas O., 1933; Majer, Giovannina, 1932; Margraf & Co., 1933; Mellinger, Elisabeth, 1925; Merzbacher, Erwin (Muenzhandlung), 1932; Mosser, Sawyer McArthur (American Numismatic Society), 1932; Mueller & Sohn, 1932; Murchison, Kenneth M., 1932-1933; Newell, Edward (American Numismatic Society), 1933-1934; Noe, Sydney P. (American Numismatic Society), 1932-1935; Nussbaum, Hans, 1933; Page, Alfred (Monnaies & Médailles), 1932-1933; Paris, W. Francklyn (New York University), 1933-1934; Rappaport, Edmund, 1932; Richardson, A. Madeley, 1933; Rosenberg, Sally (Muenzenhandlung), 1931-1934; Sargent, Allston, 1932; Schlessinger, Felix, 1933; Schnelling, L.W., 1934; Schulman, J., 1932-1935; Seheur, Marcel, 1933; Smith, Edric B. (Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research), 1933-1934; Stephan, Theodore M., 1932; Tinchant, P., 1935; Trask, Lillia M.D. (Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research), 1932, 1934; Van Deventer, Mrs., 1933; Whiting, Giles, 1933; Willems, Maurice (Société Royalé de Numismatique de Belgique), 1933; Wood, Howland (American Numismatic Society), 1932-1935; Zacher, L. Edmund (The Travelers), 1934.


Likely misfiled: A signed note with the following description attached. "Autograph of King Kalakaua. First king of the Sandwich Islands, or Hawaii, 1875. Have an Hawaiian decoration." Found in Box 2, Architectural Medals file.

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