WEBB, WALTER FREEMAN

Copyright 2011-2017 John N. Lupia, III


Walter Freeman Webb (1869-1957), was second generation American born on May 28, 1869 at Lockport, New York, son of Andrew R. Webb (1846-1906), a farmer, and Annie E. Miller Webb (1847-1904). His grandfather Joseph Webb (1804-1893), immigrated to America from England.

A a young boy living at Somerset, Niagara County, New York, Webb was an avid collector of coins and natural history.

In 1882, he began as an oologist selling bird's eggs as a teenager of 13. About this period we find noted coin collectors like Matthew Stickney buying bird's eggs and creating vast collections. This was the old European model of the Curiosities Cabinet that contained various categories of collectibles with coins and medals forming only a part.

In 1888 graduated in June 1888 and was noted in the Democrat and Chronicle, he was an accomplished student of shorthand and typewriting at the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary

In 1893, he had an exhibition at the Worlds Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.

The following year, 1894, he began publishing The Museum, A Journal Devoted to Research in Natural Science.
Webb studied conchology, i.e., sea shells, and began to buy and sell as well as creating lists and descriptions which he eventually compiled and published into one of the best handbooks devised on this subject in America.

ANA Member No. 4414.

Fig. Webb's advertisement in the September 1895 issue of The Numismatist. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.


The John A. Beck Archive, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, contains letters of correspondence with Walter F. Webb when he lived at Albion, New York and published The Museum.

He advertised in the January 1902 issue of The Oologist, seeking to buy or exchange collections of eggs, with his mailing address 416 Grand Avenue, Rochester, New York.


In December 1910, he traveled to Havana, Cuba, on the S. S. Esperanza.

From February 1935 to November 1951 Webb held 80 coin auction sales. From February to October 1935 he held six coin auction sales.

Fig. Webb's advertisement in the February 1936 issue of The Numismatist page 136. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. Webb's coin auction Sale No. $, July 27, 1935. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. 

Webb held no coin auction sales in 1937 and 1938.

Fig. Webb's advertisement in the July 1937 issue of The Numismatist page 693. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

In 1936, he moved to St. Petersburg, Florida.

Fig. Webb's advertisement in the Miami Herald, February 22, 1936, page 38.

From February to December 1939 he held six coin auctions.

Fig. Webb's advertisement in the January 1939 issue of The Numismatist page 81. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

In 1940 and 1941 each year he held ten coin auction sales. These were his two largest sales years.
Fig. Webb's coin auction Sale No. 62. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

In September 1946 he moved to 2736 Fourth Avenue, St. Petersburgh, Florida. He was a contributor to Wayte Raymond's Standard Catalogue of United States Coins.

Fig. Webb's Handbook for Shell Collectors. 1948 Edition. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. Estimate $25.

Fig. Webb's correspondence with Charles J. Rose, Butler, Pennsylvania, sent registered insured mail, franked with Prexies, postmarked April 1, 1949, St. Petersburg, Florida. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. Estimate 

Fig. Webb's advertisement for his final coin auction in the October 1951 issue of The Numismatist page 1148. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

He died at the age of 88 years old in June 1957 at Pinellas County, Florida.



Auctions : (80)

February 16, 1935
November 14, 1951

Natural History Works :

Ornithologists' and oologists' manual: consisting of a complete list of all North American birds, with prices of their eggs and skins, also an exhaustive line of ornithologists', oologists', and taxidermists' supplies, valuable information for the amateur, recipes etc. (1895) 

United States Mollusca: a descriptive manual of many of the marine, land and fresh water shells of North America, north of Mexico. All species covered in the book are fully illustrated (Rochester : 1942)

Handbook for shell collectors: illustrations and descriptions of (over 2000) marine species foreign to the United States of America (Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts : Lee. 1935) Later edition : 1948, revised 15th edition 1960 with photographic illustrations.

Bibliography :

The Numismatist,
The Numismatist,
The Numismatist,
The Numismatist,
Martin Gengerke, American Numismatic Auctions



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