Thursday 9 February 2012

Issues of Homs on V-Coins

Homs is being shelled to smithereens and thousands of people trapped in the city are either dead and injured or about to become so. Houses and public buildings are being destroyed and their contents scattered. Soon the city will be overrun by its attackers. I was interested to see just how many coins minted in this city are on V-Coins at the moment. The search feature (under "Emesa") revealed 69. Fifty eight are Roman (many Severan) coins, mostly silver issues, nine are Byzantine or Arab/Byzantine issues. Those I looked at were accompanied by zero information on how they left the source country or when and where they had been since. I wonder whether it will dawn on dealers and collectors that in this difficult period for the countries around the south and east shores of the Mediterranean, there really should be information on these topics there. Searching for "Syria" gives 1597 items (603 priced over 100 dollars, 34 of which were priced at over 1000 dollars).

The Barakat Gallery has a whole (?) hoard of 508 6th century Byzantine gold solidi illustrated on their website as spilling out of the top of a narrow-necked jug. The origin is cited as "Syria" and the location as the United States. One would be very interested to know by what route this group of objects left Syria and ended up on sale in a Beverly Hills gallery. If it left the country recently (and no details are given on the website), what links between the gallerista and his middlemen and the Homs-shelling, people-murdering Assad regime might have been activated to get it through Syrian customs?

How many of the coins coming onto the US market in 2012 are there as a result of the current conflicts in the Islamic world? How many dealers are in fact selling "blood antiquities"? Do US dealers and coin buyers have any intention of showing that they even care about the answer to that question?

Illustration: My map from an earlier post, red are US-MOU-countries, brown are countries which have seen serious conflict in recent months. The coloured dots are where coins sold in a recent ACCG auction were originally issued.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Coins did not make it, this time yet:

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