Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia III

John Baptist Gardella (1881-1961), was born on February 19, 1881, at Newtown, El Dorado County, California, son of Giovanni Gardella (1845-1936), and Columba Ramazano Gardella (1859-1895), both immigrants from the Ligurian region, Genoa, Italy.

In 1900, while still a youth at Newtown, California, he advertised wanting to exchange minerals and stamps for a 5"x 8" printing press. Evidently, Gardella had aspirations of being a private publisher from his youth. He helped his father worked his gold mine at Diamond Springs, El Dorado County, California, which he began in 1870. He and his father would return to the mines and work them on and off over the next few decades. He collected many mineral specimens while mining and would often trade them for other collectibles.

From 1905 to 1917 he lived in Oakland, California.

In 1905, he lived at 1014 Seventh Street, Oakland, California, and worked as a copyist in the Hall of Records.

Fig. Photo of Miss Mabel Grace Cross (1881-1981), published in the Oakland Tribune, Wednesday, June 28, 1905, page 9.

On June 28, 1905, he married Mabel Grace Cross (1881-1981), at St. Joseph's Church, Alameda, California. She is the daughter of Thomas Edward Cross (1853-1913), and Kate Edna Wright Cross (1855-1925), of Alameda, California.

In 1910, he, his wife, and his father lived at 1840 Chestnut Street, Oakland, California.

Fig. Collectors' Monthly, Volume 1, No. 1, February, 1911. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. For sale. Write

In February 1911, he and his wife began to publish Collectors' Monthly, devoted to general collecting with articles and news about coins, stamps, relics, curios, minerals and so on in each issue. Advertisers included coin dealers : W. F. Greany of San Francisco, Charles K. Warner of Philadelphia, Arthur H. Kraus of Milwaukee, R. L. Dietrick of Lorraine, Virginia, Frank Dodge of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Robert Blakely of Prescott, Arkansas, Lewis Brodstone of Superior, Nebraska, Ben Cohen of Oakland, John P. Pittman of Plymouth, Illinois, and of Winnebgo, Minnesota, P. C. Hartell of Whitestone Landing, New York, H. Landecker & Co., of San Francisco, Fred Michael of Chicago, T. J. Baldwin of New York, Arthur Grote, Woodstock, Illinois, S. Archie Hamilton, of Cresco, Iowa, and so on. Numismatic articles included a survey of prices for Large Cents, the 1853 Half Dollar, and a column by P. C. Hartell discussing coin auction sales in New York each month.

In May 1916, he published his final issue of Collectors' Monthly.

In 1920, he lived in Diamond Springs, El Dorado County, California where he worked a gold mine as a prospector.

In 1930, he owned an orchard at Placerville, El Dorado County, California. He remained there the rest of his life.

He was a member of the Odd Fellows.

In January 1941, he advertised selling precancel postage stamps in Popular Mechanics.

He published four articles in the Placerville Times on the old gold miners of El Dorado County. He intended to publish a book on that subject but he died prior to undertaking that task.

He died on Saturday, August 25, 1961, at his orchard in the Camino area, El Dorado County, California. He was cremated at East Lawn, Sacramento, California.

Bibliography :

U. S. Census 1900 - Diamond Springs

The Philatelic Chronicle, Vol. 3, No. 1, November (1900) : 11

Oakland Tribune, Wednesday, June 28, 1905, page 9

American Philatelist, Vol. XXIX, November, 1915 : 39

U. S. Census 1920 - Diamond Springs

Hobbies (1938) : 149

Popular Mechanics, January (1941) : 38A, 2nd column

The Numismatist, June (1941) : 465

Mountain Democrat, Thursday, August 31, 1961 obit

Chester M. Smith, Jr., American Philatelic Periodicals, 6230