Monday, March 11, 2013
New Work on Etruscan Coinage
I'm looking forward to coin dealer and scholar Italo Vecchi's new work about the enigmatic coinage of the Etruscan city states. I understand that Lord Renfrew collects this series. One wonders if all Lord Renfrew's coins have a demonstrable provenance back to at least 1970.
Posted by Cultural Property Observer at 10:23 AM
Labels: ancient coins, Lord Renfrew, Provenance information
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"One wonders if all Lord Renfrew's coins have a demonstrable provenance back to at least 1970."
Since he was born in 1937, I would imagine those he bought as a teenager would (see the 2008 interview by Alan Macfarlane). He specifically says he no longer collects as "there are problems that numismatists have to stay within ethical guidelines". What are yours?
Imagine? And I thought you were a scientist. 2008 is a long way from 1970, and collecting Etruscan coins would be quite unusual for a teenager. I'm afraid your speculation does not answer the question. Perhaps, Prof. Gill can research the matter further.
Do you actually know the 2008 interview to which I refer? It would appear to have been one of the sources of your own information (http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2008/11/lord-renfrew-as-collector.html "from several sources"). In it Renfrew specifically states that as a teenager and young adult he collected Etruscan coins. Are you calling him a liar?
Renfrew specifically states that he no longer collects as "there are problems that numismatists have to stay within ethical guidelines". May I ask, what are yours?
I received my information from several other sources including the author of this book. I'm not able to pull up the article I cited, but my recollection is that it spoke about his collecting interests generally.
I'm afraid the information is still a bit unclear when Lord Renfrew stopped collecting Etruscan coins. He would have been in his early thirties in 1970. Given his advanced age, its quite possible that he may consider early thirties as being a young adult.
The underlying issue is whether Lord Renfrew like Gill and the AIA holds that coins are like other artifacts and should be only collected with pre-1970 provenances. Where do you stand on that yourself? We now know where Elkins stands. He says it does not apply to coins or his own work for that matter.
My own views are set forth in my ANS article. I think the 1970 date is a ridiculous construct and any restrictions should focus on artifacts fresh from the ground.
If you read the interview you would know Renfrew's view on that very point.
It is obvious that coins are artefacts, they are archaeological evidence, and there is no reason to treat them exclusively as anything else. The portable antiquities Scheme does not, neither does a metal detector. If Nathan Elkins says anything different, I'd disagree with him, but from my own conversations with him, I rather think you are not quoting him accurately or fully.
Elkins seems to take different positions depending on the audience. He's a self-described moderate on the issue in his latest incarnation on his blog. I suggest you read what he has said about the 1970 date in our latest go around. As you did not answer my question, I will have to assume you go with 1970 like Gill and the AIA. I'm afraid I'm still not clear about Lord Renfrews views about coins and the 1970 rule. Nothing you have cited sheds light on the issue.
I answered your question. Since I consider coins to be artefacts like any other, then it stands to reason that whatever criteria are applied to the collection of one in a given situation should be applied to another.
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