Monday, November 3, 2014

Minerva, coins and the Salisbury Hoard

I have been working through some of the names associated with the Salisbury Hoard (through Ian Stead's 1998 volume). He has a section on an Arnold Saslow:
An American dealer, Dr Arnold Saslow, had bought two axes from Martin, and my [sc. Stead's] letter to him provoked a furious response. He was one of the largest coin dealers in the USA, and had bought the axes at a fair at which he had probably spent $10,000 — how could I expect him to know what he had purchased from Martin! It would seem that American dealers do not have to keep strict records, unlike their British counterparts, and one got the impression that export licences were of little concern to someone as important as Dr Saslow.
Dr Saslow's name occurs in one of my earliest essays on the market: a review article, written with my then colleague Kevin Butcher, for Antiquity 64 (1990) 946-50 [online]. The subject was the first set of numbers for Minerva: the international review of ancient art and archaeology (first published in January 1990).

I see that we wrote this: 'Minerva's archaeologically responsible image has however been tarnished by an article by one of the Contributing Editors, Dr Arnold R. Saslow'. We then proceeded to unpack Saslow's views on the alleged looting of coins in Turkey. We returned to Saslow later in the review article over the issue of the suggestion that 'good' coins fakes were being produced in Turkey.

It would seem that the issues raised by the looting of an archaeological site in England can be linked to a wider debate over the damage to archaeological contexts in the Mediterranean region.

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