London is a fascinating city, with a rich history and superb monuments to the history and culture of world civilizations. It takes very little justification to precipitate (pun intended) a visit there, but perhaps the best excuse is the annual fall COINEX show.
Every year, numismatists from all over the world descend on the city for nearly two weeks of virtually non-stop action including auctions, shows, markets, meetings and just good times. Just as an example, let me briefly mention some highlights from my own personal experiences on this year's trip.
The flight to London takes about six or seven hours, but their clock is five or six hours ahead of ours so that an evening departure actually puts you into London the next morning. Arriving on Saturday, I checked into the modest but comfortable English hotel (£38 double, with full breakfast) which Bill Spengler and I shared a room in. We spent the remainder of that day at a local outdoor market which featured antiques, works of art and even a few ancient coins.
Dinners are a real treat in London and one can choose from a truly international array of small quaint restaurants. We sampled Greek, Italian, Indian, British, and even a couple of good old American fast-food meals.
Sunday was a lazy day, spent mostly at the British Museum admiring for the Nth time the magnificent treasures under that roof. Monday was auction day at Glendining's with a sale both in the morning and afternoon, and that evening Victor England hosted a birthday celebration for Andy -Singer complete with home cooked (by Vic himself) spaghetti and an ample supply of the fruit of the vine.
The remainder of the week was filled with the Pre-Coinex show, the Spink auction, more research at the BM, Coinex itself, and a visit to a local book fair. We met many new friends and shared interests and experiences with some of Britain's foremost numismatists.
On Sunday we were invited-to the home of Bob and Hilda Senior, who actually live in a Victorian castle (their son Ben refers to it as only a 'stately home') near Glastonbury, about two hours south of London by train. Bob is a coin dealer specializing in Indo Scythian coins. The experience was unforgettable and the hospitality beyond description.
The week passed so quickly that it seemed only a weekend, but with plenty of work waiting at home it was time to say farewell to London on Monday. We're already looking forward to next year!
One of the memorable things about Britain is its institutions. but we should not forget that we have some important institutions of our own here in America. One of the oldest and most respected among numismatists is the American Numismatic Society. Headquartered in New York City. the society maintains a major collection of coins and medals from all ages but is especially rich in coins from antiquity. Much of the scholarly numismatic research that has been done in this country has relied upon the collection and library of the ANS. Membership in the ANS is essential for anyone harboring more than a casual interest in ancient coins. Included as an insert in this month's issue is a brochure explaining the society and its benefits. We highly recommend membership.
As we announced last month. the "Best of The Celator-1989" will be coming soon. Rather than introduce it December 1 as we did last year, we are planning a January 1 release date for the card cover, magazine format. issue. That will allow us to include some of the articles from the end of year issues. The price will be $6.95 postpaid, up $1 from last year due to postage and printing cost increases. 1be good news, however. is that it will be better than ever and something you'll want to keep as a part of your numismatic library.
As predicted, the activity in ancient numismatics has increased as the leaves begin to turn color and we are in for an exciting fall and winter season. Much has been said about the lack of "interesting" material currently in the market What that really means is that there are not many very rare or very artistic coins in top grade being offered. For most collectors that actually means very little. Interesting does not necessarily imply expensive. as Simon Bendall so aptly pointed out last month. There are all kinds of interesting coins floating around between dealers. collectors. and miscellaneous sources.
Thanks to all those readers who have written this month. your comments and views are appreciated. It is inevitable that people will not agree on every issue - we give you our point of view. why not write in and give us yours?