General News

28.04.2017 - Benjamin "Ben" BELL passed away - Benjamin "Ben" BELL est décédé.

Benjamin Bell
March 8, 1976 – April 10, 2017

Memories of a good friend... Ben passed away on Monday, April 10, after a long, hard fought battle with cancer, his loving family at his side. Well educated in traditional historic studies, Ben worked as a numismatist at Classical Numismatic Group and was the co-founder, co-owner and President of Civitas Galleries, Ltd. Ben was loved and respected by everyone, and was duly considered one of the rising stars in professional numismatics. He was snatched far too soon from the coin world, and will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, Rob and Rebecca and his sister Rachel.

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01.03.2017 - Article about Ancient Coin Restrictions by American Numismatic Association

Since 2007, the ANA has been involved with the global issue of cultural property, specifically with regard to numismatic artifacts. The hobby community’s interest in this topic began in 1983 when, in response to unlawful looting of archaeological sites abroad, the United States Senate passed the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA). This legislation supports the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the “Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.” The concept behind the UNESCO Convention was to create a framework for governments to enter into agreements to enforce each other's export-control laws on archaeological and ethnological objects.

With some reservations, the Senate agreed to the convention with the intention of preserving the “independent judgment” of the United States as to when and how it would impose import restrictions on cultural artifacts when requested by governments that are in agreement with the Convention. The CPIA set up a panel of experts, the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC), to assist the U.S. president in this decision-making process. The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs was put in charge of the program, while U.S. Customs and Border Protection was tasked with implementing import restrictions.  

Import/export regulations between the United States and other nations are drafted in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which clearly outlines each country’s responsibilities. Accompanying import restrictions then describe which categories of cultural artifacts might be subject to detention, seizure or repatriation. It is important to note that these MOUs affect American citizens only, regardless of whether the objects in question are available on the open market to citizens of other nations, including the country attempting to enforce the restrictions. This is problematic, especially since the State Department routinely disregards conditions requiring the source country to enforce its own laws.     

Initially, import restrictions were imposed on behalf of poor, third-world countries, and on narrow categories of artifacts with high cultural value and rarity. However, since the 1990s, nations such as Italy, Cyprus and China have successfully placed restrictions on an ever-increasing range of artifacts, including ancient coins. The American Numismatic Association first became involved in the MOU process when Cyprus attempted to place such items on its restricted list. To protect the rights of American collectors, the ANA has worked with the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild and other organizations to send representatives to CPAC meetings and to address the attempts of Italy, Greece and other nations to restrict the import of ancient coins into the United States.

A major concern with import restrictions is how they are enforced. The CPIA can authorize such enforcement only on objects of archaeological interest or cultural significance that are first discovered within and subject to export control of a specific UNESCO State Party. Such items can be seized only if they were exported from that UNESCO State Party after the date of restriction. Customs agencies ignore these limitations on their authority and instead draft restrictions based on the place of manufacture in ancient times without regard to the date of manufacture. They also seize artifacts imported into the U.S. after the date designated in the restriction. These practices have changed the CPIA’s focus from targeted restrictions to allowing an embargo on all objects made by a particular culture in ancient times.

The ANA fully supports the idea of protecting cultural property, but has consistently argued that ancient coins should not be included in MOUs for a number of reasons. First, coins are among the most common and durable of artifacts (with a few notable exceptions), and therefore the information they contain is in no danger of being lost to historians or archaeologists in the way unique or rare objects would be if not preserved in cultural institutions. Additionally, there is no shortage of coins in museums in nations that have ancient specimens as part of their history, particularly Europe, the Middle East and China.

Finally, coins are excellent teaching tools. Their durability—and the large number of specimens available—makes them ideal collectors’ items. They encourage interest in the past, which in turn promotes educational programs in museum and universities, many of whose collections were formed or financed by hobbyists.

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13.06.2016 - Marco RATTO passed away - décès de Marco RATTO

J'ai le pénible devoir de vous informer du décès de Marco RATTO de Milano, IT, au terme d'une courte maladie, le 13 juin 2016. La firme RATTO comptait parmi les membres fondateurs de l'AINP, et Marco est demeuré membre correspondant jusqu'à son décès. Nos pensées vont à la famille de ce grand numismate.

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10.06.2016 - IANP Press Release

IAPN Congress, Amsterdam 2016

The IAPN (International Association of Professional Numismtists) held its 65th annual general assembly from Thursday 5th May to Sunday 8 May 2016, in Amsterdam, Holland. The association has 100 members from five continents. 39 numismatic companies sent representatives, and there were a further 30 in attendance by proxy.

Since its founding, this is the second time that the IAPN has held a general assembly in Amsterdam. The association is not for profit and was formed in 1951 in the wake of the second world war at a time when the professional numismatics faced serious challenges. Now, just as in 1951, the objectives of the IAPN are the development of a healthy numismatic market conducted with the highest standards of ethics and good practise, to encourage academic research, to popularise numismatics and to create strong and lasting working relationships between professional numismatists the world over. The annual congress is a chance for IAPN members, the most prestigious numismatists and numismatic companies, to meet each other and discuss the major issues affecting the industry.

The general assembly at Amsterdam was organised by Andrew Absil of Schulman b.v., together with his Amsterdam based team, and at the welcoming cocktail party the president of the association continued the theme with brief history of Dutch numismatics and commerce in Amsterdam. During the two congress business sessions the members discussed topics ranging from counterfeiting to new international laws affecting numismatic trade today. During the working sessions the passing of formers members was respectfully marked as we remembered Gérard Barré, Tom Cederling and Dieter Raab while, by coincidence, we also welcomed three new members:

Kapaan & Mades Münzhandels GbR, Herr Philip Kapaan, Brüderstrasse 2, DE – 44787 Bochum – Germany

Lustig, Andrew, Rare Coins, Inc., Mr. Andy Lustig, P.O. Box 806, US - Nyack, NY 10960 – U.S.A.

Oslo Myntgalleri a/s, Mr. Gunnar Thesen, P.O.Box 1403 Vika, NO – 0115 Oslo – Norway.


The association awards and annual prize for numismatic literature and this year’s winner was

Vanhoudt Hugo, with

De munten van de bourgondische, spaanse en oostenrijkse nederlanden en van de franse en hollandse periode


Second prize went to

Rizzolli H., Pigozzo F., with

Der veroneser Wahrungsraum, Verona und Tirol


Third prize went to

Frynas, J. G., with

Medieval Coins of Bohemia, Hungary and Poland


The three winners were chosen from a short list of 12 excellent numismatic publications all of which were donated to the Amsterdam Library.

The attending members enjoyed fine weather while they toured the city by canal boat, then visited the national maritime museum and boarded a Dutch East India Company trading ship replica where a guide described life on board the often perilous, six to nine month crossings endured by VOC sailors. On another excursion the members enjoyed a one and a half hour cruise to and around the beautiful windmill region of Zaanse Schans. And at the final evening Gala Dinner €2860 was raised for the charity "Medical Care for Africa".

The next congress will take place in Lucerne in 2017 and will be organised by Ulf Kuenker of Hess Divo AG, Zurich.

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23.05.2016 - Peter Nikolaus SCHULTEN passed away - décès de Peter Nikolaus SCHULTEN

Peter Nikolaus Schulten, M.A. (1936-2016)

by Fritz Rudolf Künker
translated by Annika Backe


source : CoinsWeekly newsletter of May 19, 2016 

May 19, 2016 – The life of numismatist Peter N. Schulten had many facets. While his father Wolfgang Schulten (1904-1996), a devoted coin collector, had kindled his interest in numismatics while he was still young, he inherited the love for music and literature from his mother. Through his uncle Prof Hans Schulten (1899-1965), Full Professor for Internal Medicine at the University of Cologne for many years, he was also exposed to other, positive influences that sparked a deeper interest in archeology and, in particular, the ancient world.


Peter N. Schulten (1936-2016).

Peter Schulten had been born into a family of merchants and physicians of a conservative orientation. Already his grand-father had worked as a doctor in Wuppertal, and his father Wolfgang had been a senior executive in a Wuppertal-based textile company. His father’s true passion, however, was numismatics, and even after he had already retired, he formed part of the staff of the coin houses Dr. Busso Peus in Frankfurt and the Münz Zentrum Albrecht und Hoffmann GmbH in Cologne. In his capacity as a numismatist, Wolfgang Schulten set a monument for himself with his book on the coinage of Charles V (“Deutsche Münzen aus der Zeit Karls V.“, Frankfurt am Main 1974).
The Schulten family lived in Denklingen in the Bergischer Kreis, not far from the city of Gummersbach. Peter Schulten who had two brothers – one of whom died while still a child – took his high-school diploma in Waldbröhl. His younger brother Heiner became a specialist surgeon. 

It was probably thanks to the influence of his uncle Professor Hans Schulten that Peter, after graduating from school, began to study Classical Archeology in Munich with Prof Ernst Buschor (1886-1961), who was one of the most influential archaeologists of his time.
After this academic excursion into archeology, an absolute professional reorientation followed suit. Peter Schulten studied at the Teacher Training College in Wuppertal and became an elementary school teacher.
Sometime around 1960, the Cologne coin dealer Heinrich Pilartz won Peter Schulte as employee. Pilartz being a professional goldsmith, a young colleague with a scientific interest was the ideal complement to the well-known Cologne-based coin house Pilartz.
In those years, Schulten also worked on his Master’s thesis and studied with Prof H. Kähler in Cologne. In the winter term of 1967, the University of Cologne accepted his Master’s thesis. The work was entitled “Die Typologie der römischen Konsekrationsprägungen” and was published, in expanded form, by the Numismatischer Verlag P.N. Schulten in 1979. 

A few years later, he got the chance to take over the Frankfurt-based coin house Dr. Busso Peus, together with Dieter Raab (1967).
Under the management of Dieter Raab and Peter N. Schulten, Dr. Busso Peus Nachfolger soon became one of the leading coin houses in Germany. That was partly thanks to superbly prepared auction sale catalogs, of which the 1970 and 1971 auctions of the collection of the Hamburg lawyer Dr Werner Koch deserve special mentioning. 

As early as 1973, the colleagues Schulten and Raab went separate ways, and Peter N. Schulten became partner at the Cologne Münzzentrum Albrecht und Hoffmann GmbH. But even in this constellation, it became apparent only after a few years that in the trade – as in other branches – partnerships are by no means easy.

Since 1978, therefore, Peter N. Schulten followed his own path, in Frankfurt am Main from 1978 to 1983. In addition to auction sales, his fields of activity included a specialist bookstore and a publishing house for numismatic literature. In 1983, the company moved to Cologne and was located in the former premises of the coin house Heinrich Pilartz in the ‘Klingelpütz’ – also a synonym for the near-by prison, this address is well-known to everyone living in Cologne.
Even though Peter N. Schulten was held in high esteem by his customers and the auction sale catalogs were prepared with great commitment, business success fell short of expectations. At the final auction sale conducted on October 16, 1990, Münzenhandlung Schulten + Co auctioned off its own library. Both in Germany and on an international level, this well-kept object attracted wide interest. 

Late in 1990, Peter N. Schulten stopped working independently and, at the beginning of 1991, became employee of the coin house Fritz Rudolf Künker in Osnabrück. The Künker company owes a lot to him, not only the successful establishment of a department for ancient coins. Schulten also engaged in the training of the young staff members and enlarged the company’s library carefully and consistently. As a result, Künker possess one of the world’s largest numismatic libraries. 

Apart from his activities for the Künker company, he wrote the standard work of reference on the coinage of Hohnstein, therewith closing a gap in German numismatics (“Die Münzen der Grafen von Hohnstein von den ersten Anfängen im Mittelalter bis zum Aussterben des gräflichen Hauses 1593“, Osnabrück 1997). He is also the author of a publication on the Roman mint of Trier (“Die römische Münzstätte Trier von der Wiederaufnahme ihrer Tätigkeit unter Diocletian bis zum Ende der Folles-Prägung“, Frankfurt am Main 1974).
Accompanying his long career as a coin dealer, Peter N. Schulten held honorary offices and worked on the board of the Association of German Coin Dealers (Verband der deutschen Münzenhändler) as well as for the international federation AINP. From 1999 to 2007, he acted as publisher of the journal ‘Geldgeschichtliche Nachrichten’, for which he also wrote numerous contributions. 

Peter Schulten was certainly a man with a complex character, who was not afraid of experiencing conflicts. On the other hand, he was absolutely straightforward and loyal, and to his customers he was a valuable advisor. We shall remember him as an eloquent and educated interlocutor and a gentleman of the old style. Who was fortunate enough to sit right next to him at one of the numerous auction dinners was impressed with his profound knowledge and his powers of persuasion, but also with his Rhenish humor. 
His baroque lifestyle – in France, he might have been called a “bon vivant” – was a typical feature of his, as was his fatalistic attitude towards his own health. Although stemming from a famous family of doctors, he had only little confidence in medical expertise. For a long period of time, he lived life on his own terms, and, even at an advanced age, acted out his thirst for adventure through extended sailing trips.

On May 9, 2016, Peter Nikolaus Schulten died in the Bonn University Hospital after a long period of illness, at the age of 79.

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