Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cancel for July 29: Lazard Freres

JUL 29 '98

Lazard Freres
Founded in my home town of New Orleans in 1848, Lazard Freres was created by 3 French immigrants as a dry goods business. It was moved out to California with the Gold Rush and over time became one of the more important financial service and banking companies in the world with headquarters in New York.

For those with an interest in stamp collecting and New Orleans, Louisiana (a small group, I know), a stamp and coin shop run by a Mr. Lazard called "Lazard's" (go figure) was located in uptown New Orleans on Calhoun Street near Claiborne Avenue until sometime in the late 1970s or early 80s. I was a frequent customer of the shop as a young boy. They sold something uniquely New Orleans: the Mardi Gras doubloon. These are the aluminum coins thrown from the floats of the carnival parades. Mr. Lazard published an annual list that morphed into a small bound catalog over the years. It created the market for New Orleans doubloons, which are still very collectible but which seem to have little market today.

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