Thursday, 3 September 2009

ACCG Sells More Decontextualised Ancient Coins

It has just been announced that the second "Annual ACCG Benefit Auction" has started on ACCG President Bill Puetz's V-Coins auction portal. Between now and 24th September, coin collectors will be fighting over 190 or so ancient coins and assorted other objects donated mostly by US dealers to the cause of supporting the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild "in its legal challenge of the recent import restrictions on ancient coins". Sayles stresses "please remember that this is a Benefit Auction and somebody donated these coins and books for the purpose of supporting our hobby. Let's not let them down by letting anything walk out the door too cheaply". Well, actually the donations were not made by US dealers and others to support the hobby of COLLECTING coins, but the business of dealing in them. The purpose of the ACCG is not to establish new standards in the ethical collecting of ancient dugups but to challenge import restrictions on certain groups of coins from countries whose archaeological sites are threatened by looting to provide collectables. What ethical collector would want to buy from a dealer who wants the dubious freedom of disregarding such restrictions? What ethical collector would want to buy from a dealer who supports the ACCG action and their coin stunt?

I have no doubt truly ethical portable antiquity collectors will boycot this year's ACCG "annual (sic) benefit (sic) auction", on the grounds that it couldn't be for a worse cause, just as I have no doubts that its authors will find many all too eager to put their dollars into "the ACCG legal fund" in pursuit of the benefits that acrue to them of buying coins of unknown provenance.
Vignette: Norman Rockwell, 'The Auctioneer' (1922)


Marcus Preen said...

Great stuff. But I've looked through the s

ite and notice that although there are a number of categoric assurances from suppliers that the items are guaranteed genuine,there are no guarrantees or even suggestions that none of the items is stolen, looted or unethically sourced. Have I missed something?

Is this a highly professional and respectable auction or is it entirely equivalent to the back-of-a-lorry operation of Daren the Dirty Digger from Dundee (who, by the way, also sells stuff to the States) ?

Paul Barford said...

Well, it makes you wonder. Their only claim to respectability (freedom from Daren’s dugups) is the phrase of the V-Coins code of ethics “9. I will not knowingly deal in stolen numismatic items.” But then since the whole point of the ACCG lawsuit which this auction is to finance is to define “I didn’t ask where they came from” as “definitely not stolen goods, that rather begs the question just what that means. Anyway the owner of the V-coins site is the ACCG President.

I imagine there’s a good chance that there’s a whole load of Daren’s dugups, and Looting Luigi’s, Site-Trashing Todors;’, Creepy Costa’s, Robbing Rashid’s and Metal-detecting Mohammed’s too.

But who is to know the difference between the back-of-a-lorry stuff in this auction and the material from Petrarch’s old coin collection, eh?

Who, among their clientele actually gives a damn anyway in their haste to fill a hole in their coin cabinet?

Self-evidently NOBODY who is a member of the ACCG or one of its supporters who condones their recent activities.

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