by Ursula Kampmann
January 9, 2014 – On December 11, 2013 Dieter Raab celebrated his 75th birthday. He is one of those who deeply shaped the coin market of the post-war epoch even though nothing in his origin pointed to this future. Because Dieter Raab was born son to a pub owner in Stuttgart, as he himself loves to tell. His first money he earned in his father’s pub. And he spent it right from the beginning on coins which he would collect with great passion since his earliest youth.
By this way he came to the Basel-based company Münzen und Medaillen AG without any academic training but nevertheless full of numismatic knowledge. Under the directorship of Erich Cahn he was responsible of the department of Middle Ages and Modern Times. Rapidly he acquired quite a reputation among the other coin dealers and collectors, especially because he used the week-ends for visiting collectors and coin clubs to buy and sell coins on his own account but by Cahn’s leave.
In 1967 Dr Busso Peus decided to retire from business. He was the owner of the company Dr. Busso Peus & Co. which had emerged from the company Adolph Hess Nachfolger. And therefore Dr Peus was looking for a successor who had to fulfil only one condition: the company’s name had to remain the same. Simply a point of vanity. And since vanity was something Dieter Raab simply did not know he came to terms with Dr Busso Peus. Raising the necessary money was no problem at all because Dieter Raab’s father was very willing to invest a bigger sum – although in Basel they did not like this development at all.
Because they had not prepared themselves for the indispensable employee going into business for himself. Erich Cahn was particularly upset when Dieter Raab took with him the company’s best secretary – as his wife. Together with her he made the Frankfurt-based company Dr. Busso Peus Nachf. well-known all over the world in just a couple of years.
During the first years Peter N. Schulten, an expert in ancient coins, was his associate. But in 1973 Schulten left the company, shortly after they had moved to the new premises in Bornwiesenweg 34.
With high knowledge, friendliness, modesty and a great passion for numismatics Dieter Raab has taken care of many collectors and sold many important collections. The idea of organising German coins like Greek not in alphabetical order but according to their regions goes back to him. Being a member of the Numismatic Committee for many years he has done much in order to ensure that coin dealers and numismatists are not as much at bad terms as dealers of ancient art and archaeologists are.
In 2007 Dieter Raab has passed the company Dr. Busso Peus Nachf. to the next generation, his son Christoph Raab has carried on the business. Nevertheless his father visits the facilities whenever he wants to ‘play with coins’ – and this he does very often.
Dieter Raab has also done much by assisting young numismatists. It has always been taken for granted (and it still is) that students can consult the company’s extensive library. And I must mention too that it was Dieter Raab’s commitment which brought me into the coin business. In 1987 he came to the University of Saarbrücken where I was studying. Full of interest I attended his description of a coin dealer’s daily work – when he mentioned that the coin market was in need for young talents. Three days later I had assured myself a traineeship in an auction house in Munich.
Since then I have often met Dieter Raab for business and private reasons. I value not only his being a fair business man who detests every kind of greed but also his funny way of telling stories you would like to listen to for hours when he speaks of his numismatic past. It is an honour and a joy for me to congratulate him to his 75th birthday. CoinsWeekly wishes him health and many cheery hours with a tray full of coins in front and a magnifying glass in his hand!