Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Prominent Numismatist Passes Away

Sylvia Hurter, long associated with the numismatic department of Bank Leu, and a well known scholar, has passed away. She began work in the coin trade as Leo Mildenberg's secretary, then became his principal assistant, then took on herself the responsibilities of Leu coins.

Here is a write up about her latest work. It should give some idea about type of work dealer-scholars like Ms. Hurter have produced:

Hurter Sylvia Mani. Die Didrachmenprägung von Segesta mit einem Anhang der Hybriden, Teilstücke und Tetradrachmen sowie mit einem Überblick über die Bronzeprägung. Biel, 2008. 440 pp. (text in German; five page summary in English), 29 plates of coins illustrated. (G322) $135. Segesta was founded by the Elymians, who, along with the Sicani and the Siceli, formed the indigenous pre-Greek population of Sicily. Located in the northwestern part of the island, it became a major city in the area and soon became involved in local trading difficulties with its neighbor, Selinos. These initial difficulties son became more widespread as Segesta began to form alliances, first with the Carthaginians, and then with Athens, who, prompted by Segesta’s pleas for assistance, engaged in the disastrous Sicilian expedition (415-413 BC). Until now, interested collectors and scholars of the silver issues of Segesta have had to rely on several different published collections, which are out-of-print and a challenge to acquire. Now, Sylvia Hurter, a well-known and respected numismatist, has brought together together the silver coinage of this city in Die Didrachmenprägung von Segesta mit einem Anhang der Hybriden, Teilstücke und Tetradrachmen sowie mit einem Überblick über die Bronzeprägung.As the title indicates, this book is primarily a catalog of the didrachms struck by the city of Segesta. Beginning with the first issue in 475/70 BC, long after its immediate neighbors had already been minting this denomination, this book traces this coinage through the following 80 years, when Segesta ceased minting didrachms in favor of tetradrachms. The catalog, divided into four distinct periods, consists of a die study listing each obverse and reverse die pair, accompanied by a record of examples in major collections and auction catalogs. Perhaps most welcome among the appendices are additional die studies of Segesta’s silver fractions and tetradrachms, as well as a brief overview of the bronze issues of the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Other appendices cover known examples of local hybrids (dies of Segesta used with coin dies of its immediate neighbors), ancient imitations and fourrées, and modern fakes. A helpful and detailed introduction to the city and its coinage provides a useful supplement to the catolog (including a six-page summary in English), and an up-to-date bibliography and register of examples found in public and private collections, hoards, and auction catalogs and price lists offers further information for study. Although the text is in German, it is highly accessible to a non-German audience, and should not prevent the collector and scholar from adding this important specialized work to his library.

No comments: