Leo Mildenberg (circa 1960's)
Bank Leu/ LHS
Bank Leu was founded in 1758 by Johann Jacob Leu, who later became the mayor of Zurich. The state-owned bank was subsequently privatized in 1798 after Napoleon’s conquest of Switzerland. The numismatic department of the bank was created in 1949, when the bank hired Leo Mildenberg (1913-2001) at the suggestion of Jacob Hirsch and of Erich von Schulthess-Rechberg. From the 1950s onwards, Bank Leu had co-organised numismatic auctions with Hess and MuM. Leu started to hold sales under its own name in 1971 and overtime, became Europe's most respected numismatic firm. In 1992, the numismatic department was renamed “Leu Numismatik,” In 2005, Leu Numismatik was spun-off from the bank and became “LHS Numismatik”. LHS would hold sales until 2009. The firm shut-down after the death of Sylvia Hurter, a prominent numismatist and powerful force behind Leu/LHS. The Leu name has since been acquired by a new firm based in Winterthur, Switzerland and helmed by Yves Gunzenreiner (who has helped greatly in forming this collection).
Biblio: Hadrien J. Rambach, Provenance Glossary of Coins in the George W. LaBorde Collection (published over three auctions in NAC 91, 99 and 105) (description); https://coinsweekly.com/leo-mildenberg/ (image)