Sunday, 22 December 2013

Coineys Slow to Rise to the Occasion

Coineys are slow to rise to the challenge of demonstrating their heap-of-artefacts-on-a-table-interpretation skills on the coin from Acre, Mr Tompa had a bash then attempted to misdirect attention by off-topic praising the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and that's about it. "Maybe Mr. Welsh could help the gentleman from Warsaw?suggests a metal detectorist from Texas, obviously unable to remember my name - and unable to comprehend what this is about (I do not need 'help', I was inviting coineys to demonstrate their prowess), but obviously placing great faith in the abilities of the professional numismatist from California. Meanwhile, in a candid remark, the Distinguished Arthur Houghton has reminded us of the way these things were done in the Cultural Revolution of the Enlightenment, as documented by material held in the encyclopaedic British Museum. For example the fine engraving depicted here in which it seems a coin collector is being chastised and shamed for not being able to properly compare the pictures and writing on the two coins lying on the table.

Eighteenth century gentleman scholar chastised (British Museum)
It is quite clear that there was a deep interest among early collectors in flagellation, the British Museum's own online catalogue has quite extensive coverage of the topic depicted on objects arriving in the Museum from old collections. Sadly for numismatists who might interested in the topic, flagellation scenes are rarely depicted on ancient numismata (not even on Spinitra), so a thematic collection on this would be difficult to compile  - unless animal cruelty is invoked, in which case a number of Archaic Greek coins showing charioteers whipping draught animals is admitted, running through the Syracuse dekas and then a whole Republican series. Possibly some of the "[province] capta" humiliation issues might interest some of these folk, unprovenanced of course. I am not sure if there are collectable ancient coins showing the whipping of curs, maybe the distinguished Arthur Houghton III can enlighten us on that topic.

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