Sunday, 17 July 2011

That's Where I got my Tets From

There is a desultory (moderator-censored) discussion going on about the allegations involved in the "Windsor Antiquities" bust on the Forum Ancient Coins discussion forum which has nothing to hide and so is accessible to the general public (unlike Moneta-L ). Comment however is restricted to the fact that two V-coins dealers were implicated and both shops were now offline. One member says he is surprised, because he'd been corresponding with one of them (as if people accused of misdemeanours would be illiterate?), while another adds "I have a few coins from one of them but nothing extravagant, just a few lepton's " (sic). Of more interest to me is a comment by collector "cicerokid":
I can only mourn the loss of the purveyors of practically half of my collection of New Style [Athenian] tetradrachms.
Now let us recall that the gist of this case is that the two V-coins dealers were allegedly getting their coins from Ayman Ramadan in Dubai, and one of them (Holyland) was offering at one time about a year ago sizeable "dealers' lots" of these Athenian tetradrachms (I did not notice what style these particular coins were). Now, while these coins were somewhat more widely circulated in the Greek world than many other types, it is pretty unlikely that they were being found by metal detecting in Dubai, the coins Ramadan reportedly sent to Alshdaifat were being brought there from somewhere else (how, when, and from where?). How they got from there to Alshdaifat is equally unclear. Had they come from Greece? We may note that "Cicerokid" expresses absolutely no concern that if the allegations are proven, this may mean he had bought illegally obtained artefacts, he seems merely worried that he might not be able to get any more from the same source.

UPDATE 18th July 2011: If you follow the above link, you will probably now find access blocked. It seems they feel they do have something to hide after all, now you need to be registered and have a password to look at what these guys are writing in this thread about their noble hobby now too. Now what was all that ACE stuff about spreading the knowledge of the heritage of the classical world by getting coins out there among the public? They certainly seem to be getting more, not less, elitist don't they? Still, register and log on and have a peek at the introvert world of the ancient coin collector and its ways and attitudes and ask yourselves how long this is sustainable.

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