A new day may be dawning for collectors of ancient coins. We reported, some month s back, the notable success of a numismatic symposium at Berkeley which brought together representatives of the collecting, academic and institutional communities. This month in Boston we witnessed an event which may set a new standard for "International" conventions. That wonderful forum which had been pioneered in Washington and Berke ley was expanded to include the professional numismatic community by combining the American Numismatic Society's "Outreach" symposium with a major coin show.
There are always inherent risks in an innovative undertaking like this, but risky ventures can be all the more impressive in their success. Well, success was universally acknowledged in the halls of the Swissotel Boston, site of the first annual Boston International Numismatic Convention. The four-day affair began Thursday evening with a keynote address by the venerable Leo Mildenberg, followed by a subscription dinner. Dr. Mildenberg shared with fellow numismatists a "Dream Collection" of coins based on his personal stylistic preferences. Explaining why a particular tetradrachm of Cat ana was chosen above all others, he admitted "It simply sings to me!". This comment succinctly embodies the essence of collecting and it effectively set the tone for the events which followed.
Symposium speakers from each of the participating groups held court on Friday and Saturday mornings, with the bourse floor opening being coordinated with the symposium adjournment. This proved to be an excellent arrangement, with the symposium and bourse benefiting mutually. The two-session auction (Friday and Saturday evenings) held by Classical Numismatic Group also added an important element and depth to the overall program.
Among the many contributors who deserve credit for assuring the success of this effort were David Gordon Mitten of Boston's Society Historia Numorum; Arthur Houghton of the American Numismatic Society; Peter Weiss of Brown University and Lucien Birkl er, the BlNC organizer. Without the remarkable cooperation and vision of these group leaders the idea could not have become reality. Again, as I suggested following the Berkeley symposium. this coalition of academicians, hobbyists, and now professional numismatists could not have been achieved without the good graces and universal prestige of the American Numismatic Society. The implementation of a serious outreach program has rapidly brought the ANS to the forefront of our hobby and has lent a new measure of respectability to the hobby by facilitating a long overdue interaction between collectors and scholarly institutions. Wc cannot overstate the importance of this initiative.
We should keep in mind. however, that the ANS is a non-profit organization. It is dependent upon its members and benefactors for program support and for its very existence. We certainly encourage every reader of The Celator to become an active and supportive member of the ANS and to avail themselves of the many benefits and services offered by the society. More information about membership may be obtained by writing to Arlene Jacobs at The American Numismatic Society, Broadway at IS5th, New York, NY 10032, or by calling (21 2) 234-3130.
Although the ancient coin market still remains a little soft, the Boston International was in my opinion one of the most enjoyable and productive conventions that I have ever attended. It was very much a social as well as commercial event and collectors came great distances to participate. We spoke with several West Coast and Midwest collectors on the floor, and a few European collectors as well. The facilities were excellent.
According to Lucien Birkler, the convention is scheduled for an encore on September 7- 10, 1995. We applaud the efforts of all those involved and look forward to next year's trip to Boston!
This has been a busy month for all of us: we are mailing our semi-annual card deck; preparing the annual Best of The Celator; and fitting in two shows (Milwaukee and Minneapolis). We have also produced a new flyer explaining our services and offerings, which is located in the centerfold of this month 's issue.
I suppose this is the price one has to pay for a vacation in Greece! It was, by the way, a great outing. We chartered a 32-fool Attalia sloop out of Corfu and sailed south as far as Ithaca and Kephallonia. The weather was beautiful, water pristine (except for Lev kas harbor), and company par excellence. We enjoyed huge Greek salads and volumes of local wine in some of the most charming spots one could imagine. On the return leg we slopped at Actium, where Eri c (McFadden) and I stumbled blindly around the ruin s of Nicopolis. It's hard to find fault with the world right at this moment!
As you can see by the Coming Events, this is really the season for ancient coins. Since we always seem to be rattling on about shows and sales, why not take a few moments to tell us how they look from you r point of view?