Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III

Fig. 1. Photo of Néstor Ponce de León y La Guardia circa 1875.

Néstor Ponce de León y La Guardia (1837-1899), was born on February 26, 1837, at Habana, Cárdenas region, Matanzas province, Cuba, son of Cirilo Ponce de León Espinosa, and Mercedes de la Guardia.

In 1858, he graduated with a degree in Juisprudence.

He married Antonia Carlota Bachiller y Govin. They had two sons : Néstor José Eusebio Ponce de León y Bachiller; Julio César Augusto Ponce de León y Bachiller; and three daughters Maria Luisa Ponce de León y Bachiller; Carlota Rosabal Ponce de León y Bachiller; and Carlota Ponce de León y Bachiller.

In 1865, he donated a copy of a book on Spanish royal medals : Ensayo de un catálogo descriptivo de las medallas de proclamaciones de los Reyes de España, por Hipólito Pérez Varela. (Habana, imprenta Nacional y Extranjera: 1863). He was unanimously elected as a Foreign Corresponding Member of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia.

He and his family fled the Cuban police who had a warrant for his arrest publishing revolutionary pamphlets defending the Yara Revolution and arrived in New York City, New York, in February 1869.

In New York he practiced law and was a bookseller and publisher. He also was the founder of the Central Revolutionary Board of Cuban Immigrants. He was a great advocate and aid to José Martí.

On January 21, 1875, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America.

On January 16, 1877, he was elected a resident member of the ANS.

In 1877, he published a Fixed Price List, Catalogue of a Large Collection of Roman and Greek Coins.

Fig. 2. Ponce de León correspondence with the Chapman Brothers postmarked September 27, 1878, New York. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. For Sale.

In 1893, he published, The Columbus Gallery: The Discoverer of the New World as Represented in Portraits, Monuments, Statues, Medals, and Paintings (New York : N. Ponce de León, 1893)

Also, in 1893, he published, The Caravels of Columbus : Compiled From Original Documents, translated and revised by Frank I. Pavey.

He died on December 17, 1899, at Habana, Cuba.

For Bibliography see below this advertisement.

Bibliography :

Proceedings of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia, From May 4, 1865 to December 31, 1866 (1867) : 11

American Journal of Numismatics, April (1877) : 97

American Journal of Numismatics, April (1894) : 88

The American Numismatic Society 1858-1958 (1959) : 73