Sunday 20 July 2008

An Example of US Numismophilic Erudition

"The two ninja dwarfs of cultural property Wonderland are marching off on a new crusade .." This is the tone of the recent reply of Missouri ancient coin dealer, Wayne Sayles intellectual doyen of US 'heap of loose coins on a table' numismophiles to Nathan Elkins' perfectly reasonable comment on the means by which the Ancient Coin Collecting Guild is raising cash to sue (sic) its own government over measures put in place to aid the protection of the world's archaeological heritage from exploitation by artefact hunting and illegal export.
No comment is needed to his use of personal attack, abuse and four-letter words instead of addressing the actual issues raised.
Sayles urges archaeologists to disown those individuals who criticise the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (of which he is founder and executive director), but I say, let them do so only after taking a good hard look at what the ACCG actually stands for. To ACCG members and numismatists in general, I would say, is this really the level of discussion which represents the interests of proper numismatics and the proper appreciation of the numismatic evidence in the study of the past? Is this really the way US collectors wish their interests to be represented? Is this the best that milieu can offer?


Nathan Elkins said...

In my opinion, Wayne is simply incapable of participating in the discussion; he prefers his brand clownish buffoonery to a real informed and level-headed discussion. It seems a character trait more than anything else, as he has established himself as an "authority" on coin collecting and founded a collector magazine and the guild and so perhaps he allows the ego comes into play more than anything else. I think it is unfortunate that he is perceived as the voice of coin collectors and dealers and that he does them some disservice.

In fact, many coin collectors and dealers are unhappy with the way that certain ACCG leaders, such as Wayne Sayles, behave in their discourses and the tactics they use. A few important members of the collecting community (some of them ACCG members and leaders) have commented to me privately, and in confidence, that Wayne detracts from the debate and the real issues.

On public lists, some collectors and dealers have called out another ACCG leader for the tone and [lack of] substance of his attacks: David Gill recorded the criticism of one collector
. It is also worth reading about alarmist tactics
. Finally, read my
(the 7th one), which records another instance of collector dissatisfaction with the nature of an ACCG leaders tactics, tone, and discourse.

You are right, it is unfortunate that people who are supposedly some of the most respected of the collecting and dealing community are behaving in such a fashion. This sort of obfuscation, however, may be the point and serve a purpose: it certainly foils any constructive construction or dialogue, the status quo remains, and nothing gets accomplished.

Nathan Elkins said...

Please excuse some of the typos in the previous comment. Sometimes I type too fast and don't proof what I write in these comments well enough.

"Constructive construction," should have read "constructive progress."

By the way, it appears that Wayne has removed the post in question.


Paul Barford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Barford said...

It certainly is frustrating that there seems so few in that milieu of the mental and moral calibre required to have a proper dialogue on the conservation issues raised by portable artefact collecting and who are prepared to speak out without arousing the wrath of the dealer naysayers and their supporters.

So, the post has gone? Mr Sayles perhaps has not the courage of his convictions to allow the original posting to speak for itself. Anyhow, Google cached it before he did so, and all can see the position he represents:

22 July 2008 01:03

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