Wednesday 16 February 2011

Scotland Lacks Numismatic Expertise?

I was interested in a comment at the end of the article by Chris Watt ('Scotland’s buried heritage looted by treasure hunters', Herald Scotland 17 Feb 2011) which indicates that numismatics is given low academic priority in Scotland:
Most discoveries in Scotland involve small artefacts like coins, but the Treasure Trove report warns that expertise in this area is now lacking due to the retirement of the country’s leading numismatist. The National Museums of Scotland has not replaced its coin expert, the report said, meaning that officials face the prospect of bringing a coin-dealer up from London to handle Scots finds.
Surely if there are no local numismatists capable of doing the job, it's probably easier to send batches down south. Does it have to be a dealer though? Why not knowledgeable collector (we are always being told by the coineys that there are such). Anyway in the majority of cases, can't this be done online these days? So the ACCG could help out too.

I suppose now we'll be hearing the coineys alleging that if the state gathers such finds for the public collections, this hinders the growth of coin collecting in Scotland, which deprives the nation of such expertise. I wonder though how many Scottish collectors are patrons of eBay and V-Coins regardless of what happens to local finds that are reported. And where do the finds that are not reported go? According to the coiney arguments, if the state takes them off finders reporting them, the rest must be melted down to create "tourist trinkets", eh?

Vignette: map for US collectors of dugup ancient coins who have difficulty in distinguishing "England" from "Britain". Scotland is the orangy bit at the top.


Alfredo De La Fe said...

Please see my comments concerning opportunities for collaboration:


Paul Barford said...

Oh, whoopee. I guess you guys don't do irony do you? Have you any idea what the Scottish TTU system needs a numismatist for? By any chance? Thought not.

Paul Barford said...

I am sure as a fully paid up member of the ACCG, Mr De La Fe will say like the rest of the braying sheep in its fold that he fully endorses "the British system" of dealing with "finders" and finds, while in reality not a single one of them has expended even the slightest effort to find out precisely how the system works and how one part of it relates to the others. And they get all offended when I say they are superficial sheep.

Opportunity for WHAT Alfredo?

What has your derivative coiney show-and-tell website got to do with any of this?

Alfredo De La Fe said...

I can read. I have not been in contact with them, but we are willing to open a dialogue and offer help where it is for a good cause. If they have a need we have been working for almost three years on a site designed for such situations.

While the Scottish Treasure Trove system is different and the Treasure Act does not apply, they still have a system that (at least on paper) is equitable:

Paul Barford said...

"we have been working for almost three years on a site designed for such situations".

WHAT situations? What on earth are you talking about? I think you ARE confused here. Read up some more.

Alfredo De La Fe said...

Situations which involve numismatic research and scholarship. Our board of advisors is comprised of advanced collectors, academics and a handful of dealers. CoinProject is a non-commercial effort.

Paul Barford said...

Ah, so not an administrative process.

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