Asked where some Parthian coins in his stock had actually come from, let it be noted how Dave Welsh, owner of Classical Coins answered. In a message on the forum he runs called "Barford Attacks Unidroit-L Listowner's Ethics" (actually it is not an attack to ask) posted Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:14 pm he says:
These were received from a Spanish dealer who is among my trusted sources. Spain is not a path through which illicit coins are known to flow to the market, and there was considerable commerce in antiquity between Spain and areas where Parthian coins circulated.Leaving aside the somewhat controversial suggestion of the degree of "commerce in antiquity between Spain and areas where Parthian coins circulated" which might account for these coins being found in Spain (!), one might question now the assessment of this dealer that "Spain is not a path through which illicit coins are known to flow to the market". Well, now it is known, if it had not been before. Under the noses of the dealer trustingly buying coins from Spanish dealers with no-questions-asked, it now transpires that there was a considerable quantity of illicit antiquities coming onto the market. Coins which these dealers have now in their stocks and are intending to pass on to their (trusting) clients who they are counting on to ask-no-questions.
Maybe Mr Welsh would give us a list of the suppliers in Spain who he considers among his "most trusted sources" (in the sense that he has ascertained that they never offer items of illicit provenance) and which of the coins in his stock have come from which of them in the past.
I ask this because when my initial blog post about the beginning of the arrests in Spain was mentioned on some collectors forums and coin collectors began to take notice, it was none other than Dave Welsh who was extremely quick off the mark to attempt [concurrently on several forums including those to which I have no access to reply] to deflect attention away from what the text said to a personal attack on the "qualifications" of its author. Coincidence, or do later reports about the progress in the Spanish investigation hint that some US antiquity dealers have something to hide? If they have not, instead of sniping, let dealers demonstrate it by some transparency about where the artefacts they sell have come from.