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Better than Coins

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While my Christmas present from my wife (hehehe) in the form of an

ancient coin arrived today there's one package I was awaiting even

more eagerly. That package contained a series of articles photocopied

for me at the ANS. I was practically giddy when it arrived, there's

just something about delving into a new (to me) topic that is just so

exciting. At present I am focusing both my reading and my collecting

on the stylistic changes in portraiture over time. This has been a

deft attempt by me to create a collection that can be optimized for

variety and quality while still maintaining some coherence. My

interest started in trying to see how the beautiful and realistic

portraits of early Rome turned into the impersonal facing images on

early Byzantine coinage. Luckily there is some literature including

an entire series done on style by Wayne Sayles in 1990. I have to

admit that the "ugly" Byzantine coins become much more interesting

when one understands the history and reasons behind the changes in the

portraiture. Now I just have to get some back issues...

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On a daily basis, I am far more likely to dump an article to the printer and put it in a folder (or save it to disk and put it in a folder) than I am to buy an object.


Without the knowledge, the objects are just "stuff." The imagery can be compelling. But if you do not know who made it or why, there is no difference between these two objects:







In fact, without the history, you cannot understand why they are so similar.


This nice old lady could be Mrs. Benjamin Franklin. No one would take her for an unsuccessful horse thief:


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