TUTHILL, LUTHER BROWN

TUTHILL, LUTHER BROWN

Copyright © 2011-2017 John N. Lupia III

Tuthill, Luther Brown (1859-1930). Numismatist, paper money, coin and stamp collector and dealer. He was a charter member of the ANA 
being given the member No. 32. The March 1892 issue of The Numismatist  however, lists him as member no. 90. He was an active member of the
 ANS since May 21, 1900. He was a specialist in paper money, especially CSA notes. As a charter member he wrote for The Numismatist  “I think 
your Numismatic Headlight feature a good one. Collectors like to see how men they read about, and deal with look.” (October 1892)

    He was the first-born of five children of Effingham Tuthill (1834-1917) and Clarissa C. Brown (1836-1876). Luther was born on the 24th of August,
 1834 at Wading River, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. His father was a member of the Suffolk County Agricultural Society since 1864. 
Between 1872 and 1876, before the death of his 40 year-old mother, the family moved from New York and settled in South Creek, North Carolina. 
His mother died there when he was 17 years old. Around the 6th anniversary of his mother’s death his father remarried a younger woman by 20 
years. His stepmother was named Margaret Hill (1854-1886), who was only five years older than Luther. She died four years later at age 32 in 1886 
when Luther was 27 years old. His father was one of the founders of the South Creek Baptist Church built in 1884 while married to Margaret Hill. 
Seven years after the death of his second wife his father married his 3rd wife Augusta Fowler (1848-1915). 
    His second stepmother died a few months prior to the publication cited: Price List No. 27 (1916), when Luther was 57 years old. Evidently the 
numbers of his Price Lists are irregular chronologically. Price List No. 13 is on Fractional Currency and was distributed with his letterhead and 
letter dated March 24, 1898. His price list No. 24, for example, issued for 1911 was released for circulation in January 1910.


 
[Fig. 1] The reference to the iconic obverse device of the 1860 New York "store card" of George Hampden Lovett bearing the left profile image 
of a crony witch with a protruding chin wearing a tall pointed hat riding a broomstick and carrying a crutch in her right hand below, the initials 
of the die engraver GHL was adopted by Tuthill and used as his logo in advertisements and on his business stationery. Above and around her is 
the legend : WE ALL HAVE OUR HOBBIES. A color photograph of this store card also appears on the cover of Russell Rulau, U. S. Merchant 
Tokens 1845-1860. First Edition. (Krausse, 1982).

 
[Fig. 2] Luther B. Tuthill advertisement in The Numismatist, Vol. VII, No. 1, January  (1894) : end paper ad after page 16

A photograph of the Lovett store card of the witch with legend : WE ALL HAVE OUR HOBBIES, is also in Tuthill’s advertisement published in The
 Numismatist, February, November, December (1894), August (1895) : verso of the second leaf; May (1896) He published an article “Confederate 
Treasury Notes,” The Numismatist, Vol. 7, No. 6, June (1894) and Vol. VIII, (1895) : 106; July 1896 ad with no coin.


There are two possible links between this Lovett design and Tuthill. First, George Hampden Lovett cut the original seal of the Confederate States of
 America Treasury Department. Tuthill specialized in Confederate currency and therefore he may have acquired Lovett’s store card for his 
numismatic association with the Confederacy. Second, a line drawing of Lovett’s store card first appeared in one of the publications of Ebenezer 
Locke Mason’s (1826-1901), Mason’s Monthly Illustrated Coin Collector’s Magazineand Price Current, Vol. 1, No. 1, June (1884) : 13. 

 
[Fig. 3] Mason’s Monthly Illustrated Coin Collector’s Magazineand Price Current, Vol. 1, No. 1, June (1884) : 13. 
This line drawing is a copy of the store card that additionally appeared in Vol. 1 on pages, 18, 36, 59, 67, 86, 99, 104, and 113. The link 
with Mason’s magazine appears to be compounded by the use of phonetic spellings, which, Mr. Shafer mistakes for misspellings. This 
sort of phonetic spelling gimmick was first used in September 1870 by the innovative and pioneering New York postage stamp dealer and 
publisher William P. Brown (1841/2-1929/30), in his publication, De Kuriositi Kabinet. Mason cites this use of phonetic spelling of some 
of the text in a passage titled: TU OUR RIDURZ, in what he identifies as Old Saxon revived by the American Philological Society in the late 
1867 in: Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collector’s Magazine, Vol. IV, No. 9, September (1870) : 143. (see also “The Saxon language-its eclipse 
and relumination: An address delivered before the American Philological Society,” Dec. 19, 1867). Mason continued to critique this phonetic 
language calling it splintered. Vol. IV, No. 11, November (1870) : 173;

Fig. Luther Brown Tuthill correspondence to the Chapman Brothers postmarked February 7, 1896, South Creek, North Carolina. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. Estimate $300-$400.


There are fifteen pieces of correspondence from Luther B. Tuthill to the Chapman Brothers from 1890 to 1907 in the Lupia Numismatic Library, 
Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive, that have been digitally cataloged so far. When 1909 to 1930 are completed 
an updated count will be provided and some photographs. (Please note a severe data loss occurred in June 2017)

Luther B. Tuthill was included in a list of dealers published in the The Numismatist, Vol. XIII (1900). (cited by Q. David Bowers, who mentions 
Luther Tuthill in a list in: Virgil Brand: The Man and His Era. Profile of a Numismatist.  (Wolfeboro, New Hampshire) : 93.) 
Arnold Numismatic Company correspondence with Luther Brown Tuthill, postmarked October 7, 1901, franked with Daniel
Webster 10c Scott #283-A94 orange brown. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. Estimate $150 -$200

In April 1902 it was reported that he was cheated out of $15.00 by Eduard Frossard, Jr. He was not alone since many well-known dealers 
including the Chapman brothers were swindled out of large sums of money by "Little Eddie".

He was a long-time friend of William P. Titcomb (1839-1910) of Washington, D.C., considered by him to be the best authority in the country on 
Confederate Treasury Notes. He published the death notice of Titcomb in Mehl’s Numismatic Monthly.

Bogert & Durbin, stamp dealers correspondence to Luther Brown Tuthill sent registered mail April 5, 1905, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sent
 on uprated postal stationery with Martha Washington 8c violet-black Scott#306-A121 on Scott #U288-U68 brown. Estimate $175-$200
He also ran paid advertisements in the The Numismatist Vol. XIX, No. 1, (1906) : 32. His ad read as follows: “We All Have Our Hobbies. 
Antiquated Paper Money. The most interesting branch of numismatics, and the connecting link between COINS and STAMPS. I deal in this
 line exclusively and issue occasional PRICE LISTS. Correspondence and applications for prices solicited. LUTHER B. TUTHILL, South Creek, 
N. C. Beaufort Co.” This is a stock ad or boilerplate that ran throughout that year on pages 68, 100, 130, 164, 223, 259, 289, 319, 350, 387, and 
415. He may have corresponded with Dr. T. W. Harris from Littleton, North Carolina who ran a WANTED ad in The Numismatist June and July 
1906 issues (pages 219, 253) seeking to buy Confederate money. Luther died on the 23rd of November 1930 at South Creek, North Carolina. He 
was survived by his brother Gilbert Wilson Tuthill (1864-1933) [d. in Philadelphia, PA], and James Elbert Tuthill (1872-1952) [d. Norfolk, VA].
He exhibited a complete series of C.S.A. notes, The Numismatist, Vol. 7, No. 9, September (1894) : 211.


    
    Works :
“Confederate Treasury Notes,” The Numismatist, Vol. 7, No. 9, September (1894) : 205;
“Noted Authority on Confederate Currency Passes Away,” Mehl’s Numismatic Monthly, Vol. III, No. 11, November (1910) : 173, and inside back cover quarter-page ad

    Bibliography :
    Gnecchi, Ercole and Francesco, eds., Guida Numismatica 4th edition. (Milano : U. Hoepli, 1903. Edition) : 568, No. 5962
    McClean’s Stamp Collectors’ Guide (1889) : 75
    The Numismatist, Vol. 4, No. 3, March (1892) : 38, his name appears in a list of ANA Members as No. 90
    Proceedings of the American Numismatic and Archeological Society (1903) : 27
    The Numismatist, Vol. VII, No. 1, January  (1894) : end paper ad after page 16 
    The Numismatist, Vol. 7, No. 2, February (1894) : ad in end papers.
    The Numismatist, Vol. 8, No. 1, January (1895) : 26; The Numismatist, Vol. 8, No. 1, January (1895) : [31] column two top display ad.
    The Numismatist, Vol. XV, No. 1, January (1902): 31 (quarter-page advertisement); No. 3, March (1902) : 96 [quarter-page advertisement]; No. 4, April (1902) : 109, 128 (quarter-page ad); No. 5, May         (1902) : 160 (ad); No. 6, June (1902) : 188 (ad); No. 7 July (1902) : 221 (ad); No. 8, August (1902) : 255; No. 9, September (1902) : 285; Vol. XVIII, No. 1, January (1905) : 33 ad
    Mehl’s Numismatic Monthly, Volume 4, Number 1, January (1911) : back cover ad.
    ANA Membership List and Directory (1927) : 62, 80 

Comments