By Fredy Bühler jun.
Fredy Bühler-Zimmermann (5 March 1938 – 4 May 2021) was a passionate coin collector with many interests and an unconventional wit. He worked in his own trust office since the 1970s. One of his main collecting interests were coins, medals and securities from the Swiss canton of Glarus, a topic on which we also wrote several numismatic books. His great interest in regional history was particularly evident in his 10-year presidency of the Historical Society of the Canton of Glarus (HVG).
Fredy Bühler-Zimmermann was born in March 1938 in Zurich. According to MeteoSwiss, it was “the warmest and brightest March ever observed in Switzerland since the station network was established (1864).” Perhaps it was this very sunshine that accompanied Fredy throughout his life. He had a sunny disposition, laughed a lot, and could also enjoy unconventional jokes, which sometimes earned him a wry look. He graduated from the business school in Zurich, then he worked for the then Swiss Credit Institution (Schweizerische Kreditanstalt SKA). In the 1970s, he opened his own trust office.
Fredy Bühler-Zimmermann was a passionate collector. Besides coins and medals, he also collected historical shares, stamps, books on the Glarus region and, above all, jazz records and jazz books. Jazz was his great passion. Due to family connections, he moved to Glarus in the late 1950s. He quickly made friends there and felt at home thanks to jazz. This is also how he met Ruth Zimmermann. The two married in May 1962 and had two sons and two daughters.
Fredy invested a lot of time into his collections. At first, he made a list of his coins with a typewriter: long tables on individual pages. Later, he created these lists on a laptop. His lists became longer and longer, although he increasingly focused on Glarus coins as time went on. Cataloguing them on his computer was a lot of fun for him. When the software could no longer be adapted to the new operating system, he had grown so fond of it that he did not want to buy and install a new one. He hired someone to manipulate the software and make it work on his new laptop.
He stored his extensive coin collection in an orderly fashion in various folders and boxes. The disadvantage of this system was that the medals and coins were difficult to access. When he got the opportunity to purchase a cabinet with a display case and numerous drawers from a store, he did not hesitate. A lot of strength and logistical effort was needed to get the bulky and heavy, yet unique wooden piece of furniture with thick glass panes to the second floor of his house. But it was perfect for his coin collection. Now he could organise the coins, medals, dies and jetons according to his system, store them and still look at them whenever he wanted to.
Through the coins, Fredy also became interested in the history of the valley between Tödi and Lake Walen. At the age of 42, he became a member of the Historical Society of the Canton of Glarus (HVG), where he was elected president in 2002. He held the office for ten years with great effort and commitment. Among other things, he sorted and catalogued the large coin collection of the HVG.
Due to his membership in associations and organisations, his manifold interests became known beyond the canton of Glarus. Therefore, there were many people who had him appraise the coin collections they inherited. At the age of 70, Fredy began to write books on his coin collection, sometimes as co-author.
Numismatic books by Fredy Bühler-Zimmermann:
- “Glarner Münzen aus dem 17. Jahrhundert” (2008)
- “Glarner Schulprämien anfangs 17. bis Mitte 19. Jahrhundert” (2013)
- “Gedenkmedaille zum Brand von Glarus 1861” (2014)
- “Die eidgenössischen Schützenfest in Glarus zwischen 1847 und 1892” (2017)
Fredy Bühler-Zimmermann passed away on 4 May 2021. The Bühler-Zimmermann Collection of coins from the canton of Glarus will be on sale on 19 May 2022 in SINCONA AG’s auction 77.
This article was first published in a catalogue by the SINCONA AG auction house.