Last surviving Farouk sale attendee, Pearl Harbor vet, coin dealer Maurice Storck passes
Longtime dealer in Portland ME. Nice short article from the eSylum below. So many of the WWII vets gone in the past few years....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: MAURICE STORCK
Another recent numismatic birthday is a dealer six years Harvey Stack's senior. When Q. David Bowers was a kid, he bought coins from Portland, Maine dealer Maurice Storck. -Editor
On May 20, 2018 dealer Steve Rye of Scottsdale, AZ wrote:
Maurice, now of Tucson, celebrated his 96th birthday today. How? By being a vendor at the Camelback coin show in Chandler, AZ. (He sells stamps only now). There was a little ceremony with cake etc. The show is held at an American Legion Hall and they participated in honoring their fellow veteran.
Dave Bowers kindly shared with me his biographical information on Maurice Storck, compiled from accounts in Numismatic News, 1794largecents.com and elsewhere. I added a photo published earlier in The E-Sylum. -Editor
MAURICE A. STORCK Storck, Arthur Maurice, Sr. - (b. 1922) Of Portland, Maine, Storck, listed his occupation as "stamp and coin" in their 1962 city directory. His parents were both born in Russia and listed their original name as "Stock". He, along with several notable numismatists, (Abe Kosoff, Sol Kaplan, Ambassador and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb, Hans M.F. Schulman, John J. Pittman, James P. Randall, Robert Schermerhorn, Paul Wittlin, George J. Bauer, Gaston DiBello) attended the King Farouk Sale held in Cairo, Egypt. He joined the ANA in 1948 and contributed to the Red Book of 1960 and the Blue Book of 1964.
Maurice A. Storck, Sr. was born and reared in Portland, ME. He was selling newspapers as a boy, and discovered stamps in the local shop. It turned to coins, and he began dealing in coins in grammar school and high school, and eventually in the military in the 1930s and 1940s.
He was the first man to pay $100 for a life membership in the ANA (the price had just been raised). In 1951 he bought out William Rabin’s collection (in Philadelphia). Storck began traveling internationally to purchase coins. His trip to Cairo, Egypt in 1954 was one of the most memorable of his life. Storck is the last surviving dealer who attended the coin and medal segment of The Palace Collections of Egypt auction.
The event was held Feb. 24 - March 6, 1954, commonly known as The Farouk Sale. There were people marching down the streets with guns and swords, but he wouldn’t leave without buying the coins he had come for. Two detectives watched both hands while he looked at the coins. On the last day of the sale, everyone had been so nice to the American dealers they threw a party on the lawn for the guards, finance department men, detectives, etc., which amounted to a big “drunk.” He took his coins with him when he left, but they got lost. He found them in a local airport one week later, where anyone could have taken them.
In 1959 Ken Bressett hired Storck to become a distributor for Whitman Publishing Company’s (now Western Publishing Co.) coin supplies. He did this for several years, retiring from the coin business in 1970. He married his wife, Nancy, in 1943; they moved to Arizona in 1978. They did a lot of traveling, until her death in 1990.
He has two sons and three grandchildren, and he travels around Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He also collects Masonic Chapter pennies, having amassed a collection of 15,000 of them.
As of 1996 when the Numismatic News article by Kimberly Pichler was written, Maurice was president of the Veterans Stamp and Coin Outreach Program, a volunteer organization that distributes philatelic and numismatic material to veterans and shut-ins around the country.
Steve Rye has been a coin dealer in the Phoenix area for over two decades, and became acquainted with Maurice through those circle. He contributed these additional notes. Thanks! -Editor
The monthly bourse in the Phoenix area is held at the American Legion Hall (post 35, Chandler, Az.) and they stepped up to honor him for his 96th birthday. I had a photo from Hawaii when they honored him there a few years ago and the Legion incorporated that into a plaque. In the photo he is flanked by a four-star General and a Colonel. Apparently Maurice as a serviceman was sort of a Radar O'Reilly who brokered supplies.
Maurice told me once that he supplied most of the coins for the senior Sundman of Littleton NH when Sundman decided to incorporate coins into his stamp business.
In the book Illegal Tender about the 1933 double eagle there is an illustration of a page from the Farouk catalog in which there is a handwritten note that Storck had bought something.
I am absolutely stunned by the fact that he is a living survivor of the 1954 Farouk sale. And apparently he has been the only American survivor of the bidders for a long time. He remembers buying a lot of early $5 gold coins.
It is difficult, more often than not, to pry information from Maurice. He continues to be low-key and humble.
He contacts customers ahead of the bourse to tell them what he has. So at 96 he is still an active stamp guy.
Happy belated birthday to Maurice Storck! In the but-wait-there's-more-department, did we mention Maurice survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor? Below is some additional information from the web and an earlier E-Sylum article. -Editor
Maurice Storck then-and-now
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
COIN DEALER MAURICE A. STORCK (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n21a21.html)