A current CNG offering of numismatic books at auction includes one lot described as "a complete run of The Celator in magazine format." Our first impression upon seeing an offering like this-and there have been a few others previously- is one of amazement. We have become so engrossed in the day today operation of our little family business that we sometimes lose sight of what The Celator has become. While we were coordinating schedules bet ween printers, binderies, and shippers, selling ads, fulfilling subscription requests and ta kin g ca re of myriad details, The Celator was quietly taking on a life of its own. Our little baby has matured without us really noticing. We never anticipated that the day might come when collectors would bid fora "run" of The Celator. Seeing this auction lot also gave us cause to reflect on the changes that we have undergone over the years.
The magazine format that we enjoy (or struggle with) today is only about three years old. OUR earlier issues, as many long-time readers will remember, were produced in the tabloid newspaper format. This was basically a choice dictated by economics rather than preference. Thinking back to those tabloid days is like recalling an event from the ancient past. We started with a single Macintosh 512KE computer. We couldn't afford a laser printer, so we rented printer time from the local newspaper publisher and look our disks down to the Lodi Enterprise to be printed out. The layup was entirely manual, and our lack of experience made the task seem much more difficult than it really should have been. II was a glorious day when we bought our own laser printer, an old 300 dpi LaserWriter I. Believe it or not, the original Mac 5 12KE is still running and we use it in the office every day!
Most of our photo work in those early days was done by Enterprise staffer Karen Voeltzke, who also set type for us part time. In fact, still hanging on our office wall is a framed copy of Vol. I, No. I with a $1.00 bill attached to it. The dollar bill is inscribed "Congratulations Wayne". As we returned from the printer that inaugural day, Karen picked up the very first copy and it became our first official sale. The cover price of $ 1 didn't last very long!
Another Enterprise staff member, Kris Crary, also pounded the keys for us on those early issues. Today, virtually all of the work is done by computer, with Steve as the mainstay of production, and Nick Popp ably assisting. Nick is a Junior al Lodi High School and Editor of the school newspaper. Although we have come a long way, there are still plenty of hurdles ahead. We have much faster equipment, a 1,000-dpi printer, and marvelous software. We use three computer workstations, one of which is dedicated to color work. Desk top Publishing has come a long way in a very short time, but color reproduction on the desktop is still in its infancy. We have been struggling for some time with desktop color, which is as much an art as a science. Our readers must certainly be aware of the inconsistency of color that we contend with, but not a soul has complained. We appreciate that patience and have been working hard to improve the situation.
Our newest and most exciting acquisition has been a new home for The Celator. This summer we purchased a commercial building in beautiful downtown Lodi and are sort of semi moved in as we remodel. It's nice to finally have a place that we (Celator, Inc.) can call our own. Well, enough of this reminiscing. The next two months are going to be pretty active. We've been invited to speak at the September meeting of the Twin Cities Ancient Coin Club in Minneapolis. The talk will focus on "How to buy and sell ancient coins-profitably". Following that, we'll be attending COIN EX in London and then flying to Turkey for a three-week automobile tour with our steadfast travelling companion Bill Spengler. We'll be exploring the ancient sites along Turkey's western and southern coasts, at a leisurely pace, and then returning to Istanbul for a symposium which is being hosted by the Turkish Numismatic Society. Bill and I will be presenting papers at the symposium, which is being promoted as an English language event. The subject of our contribution is of course Turkoman figural bronze coins-or more specifically, "Christian Iconography in Mesopotamian Islam: the numismatic evidence.
For those anticipating Vol. 11 of our book on that subject, I can only say that we are still working on it and will move it along as quickly as possible. Following our return from Turkey is the New York International and a host of related auctions in New York City. Barring some unforeseen complication, the entire and combined holdings of Artuqid coins from the William F. Spengler and Wayne G. Sayles collections will be included in the CNG auction in New York. Details will follow soon.
That's about it for this month. As you can see, I've avoided controversial issues-for a change. BUI, if that's your pleasure you can always write and let us hear your point of view!