Nouvelles publique

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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25.04.2016 - RIP Jess PETERS

Dear IAPN member, Cher membre de l'AINP.

I have to inform you that Jess PETERS passed away on April 14th 2016, at the age of 96. He was a former PNG president (1971-73) and a former IAPN member (1977-82, then corresponding member until 1989). His business was based in Decatur, Illinois, USA. He has conducted 128 auctions.

J'ai le devoir de vous informer du décès, le 14 avril, à l'âge de 96 ans, de Jess PETERS. I avait été président du PNG (1971-73) , et membre de l'AINP (1977-82, puis correspondant jusque 1989). Son activité était exercée à Decatur, Illinois, USA. Il a organisé 128 ventes publiques.

Kind regards / Meilleures salutations.

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07.04.2016 - Statement of Arthur L. Friedberg on the Proposed Renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Hellenic Republic and the USA

Statement of Arthur L. Friedberg, Honorary President of the International Association of Professional Numismatists on the Proposed Renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Hellenic Republic and the United States of America

March 31, 2016


Dear Professor Reid and Members of the Committee:


               During my past tenure as President of the International Association of Professional Numismatists I closely followed the issues the committee addressed, and do so again now as it discusses the request of the Hellenic Republic. I last appeared before this committee to speak against the imposition of import restrictions on coins of Italian origin and remain of the opinion that similar restrictions already imposed against coins of Greek origin are unworkable, overreaching, impossible to enforce, and discriminatory against American citizens.

            Although I will not be speaking before you on May 24, my comments concerning the issue at hand are consistent with what I have said previously:          

            1) Import restrictions are unnecessary given that Customs already has the authority to detain, and should detain, suspect coins whether they are smuggled, improperly declared, or in the case of coins taken from the ground, stolen. In this regard, the Committee must distinguish between import restrictions and Customs authority to detain smuggled, improperly declared or stolen coins. Customs already has ample authority to seize smuggled or improperly declared artifacts, including coins. Customs can also seize artifacts stolen from museums or other collections. Finally, courts have already blessed efforts to repatriate artifacts traced to illicit excavations in another country where that country has unequivocally declared such material to be state property. In the appropriate case, U.S. Customs can, therefore, already seize coins taken from archaeological excavations and repatriate them to Greek authorities.

            2) There are significant practical problems presented. First, by restrictions in terms of the inability of the untrained and inexperienced to differentiate a coin of supposed Greek origin from a similar looking one struck outside of Greece and second, by difficulties in defining “country of origin.” Just as with Roman and Greek coins from Italy, the State Department will impose serious compliance issues on Customs, collectors, and the small businesses of the numismatic trade that import thousands upon thousands of ancient coins from the EU each year.

            Furthermore, ancient coins typically circulated far from their country of manufacture. For example, Chinese cash coins were exported in quantity from the fifth to tenth centuries to East Africa, the Persian Gulf, India, Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, the Philippines, Sumatra, Java and Borneo. And, because Cyprus is located on an important trade route, coins minted in Cyprus circulated widely around the Mediterranean region and even as far away as Afghanistan. Accordingly, it is impossible to determine a coin’s find spot merely from identifying it as being made at a particular mint. It would also be false to assume the find spot of an ancient coin struck in ancient Greece would be modern Greece.  While the State Department appears to have recognized this fact at least with respect to large denomination Greek coins, the fact is most smaller denomination Greek coins (particularly those of silver and bronze created by Empires such as that of Alexander the Great) circulated too. 

            Problems of identification are numerous. Even experts may have difficulty distinguishing between ancient coin issues. Greek was lingua franca for centuries of Mediterranean civilization and was the language of inscription nearly everywhere until the advent of Rome. One needs to be a specialist to tell Chinese and Cypriot coins on the State Department’s “designated list” from others that remain unrestricted and these represent a far smaller number of coins than those recently added to the “designated lists” prepared in conjunction with the Greek, Italian and Bulgarian MOUs.

            3) Compliance costs are prohibitive, and in fact, punitive. Importers and exporters of ancient coins are either small businesses of the numismatic trade or individual collectors. Given the numbers available, the absence of pedigrees, and modest value for most coins, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for coin collectors and dealers to submit the mandated information if restrictions are put in place. Coins are typically sold without provenance information either here or abroad. Even assuming such information were retained, why would any rational European dealer sell to an American when he could avoid such red tape altogether by selling to a fellow European? And what of Customs? Have new restrictions on coins been accompanied with additional funding to allow Customs to hire the necessary experts or train its personnel? One suspects not.

            4) Litigation costs are prohibitive for most coins. Costs are such that with few exceptions, once a coin is seized the most practical decision an owner can usually make is to abandon it.

            So what will happen if the overreaching and quite frankly, illogical import restrictions requested by a small segment of the academic archaeological community are imposed? Restrictions will be unenforceable and the broader they are, the more unenforceable they will be. Collectors will still collect and dealers will still deal. Coins will still cross borders.

            What will be different is that first, much more business will be driven underground. While the Hellenic Republic has always tended ignore with a wink and a nod its endemic institutional corruption and the black aspects of its economy (estimates of the underground economy in Greece range from 30% to 50% of GDP), restrictions  only encourage some American collectors to also evade the law, as so many in Greece have done and are continuing to do with impunity. Second, some may urge US law enforcement to implement some very harsh and unpopular enforcement tactics. Yet, while a few individuals will be caught and punished, coins will still enter the United States with little difficulty.

            Much as they do now, important and expensive coins will have proper commercial invoices and new legal requirements will force legitimate dealers to try to secure the required documentation of provenance—if it is indeed available. But, as I said previously, the vast majority of coins, the unimportant and inexpensive ones, those which make up most of the volume, will move invisibly and unencumbered – in the pockets of travelers, and especially though the world's postal services, which lack the ability, the resources and the will to do anything about it.

            In addition, there are several compelling factors specific to the Greek MOU.


  • The governing statute requires that restrictions only be applied on artifacts "first discovered in Greece." But hoard evidence demonstrates that Greek coins circulated extensively outside the confines of the modern Greek nation state.

  • The governing statute requires that restrictions be consistent with the interests of the international community in cultural exchanges. But restrictions will diminish the ability of American collectors to appreciate Greek culture and could greatly limit people to people contacts with other collectors in Europe.

  • Restrictions are unfair and discriminatory to Americans. Collectors in the EU--including Greece-- have no similar limitations on their ability to import ancient coins. In fact, the very coins for which restrictions are being discussed in this forum are actively and legally bought, sold and shipped in every member country of the E.U. and Switzerland, as well as the major coin collecting countries of Australia, Canada, and Japan, and Hong Kong.

  • The current restrictions are already excessively broad, broader even in at least some respects than the restrictions on Italian coins. There were hundreds of so-called Greek mints. But many of them that we would call “Greek” today, and which will be found in any ancient Greek coin catalog are actually from elsewhere – eastern Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

  • There has been a trend starting with the Bulgarian MOU to impose restrictions on coins even as late as the eighteenth century.  If such a move is contemplated here, the result from a numismatic perspective is that in addition to the entire Hellenic and Hellenistic coinage of the Mediterranean basin described above, this would also encompass most of the coinage of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Mints and Coins by Slobodan Sreckovic (Belgrade, 2002), documents over 100 Ottoman mints during the empire's six century existence. Yet among all of these we find less than a half dozen located on Greek soil. Only an expert in Islamic coinage can differentiate most of these and to expect a Customs official to do the same is absurd.

                In sum, CPAC must contemplate the practical impact of any import restrictions on collectors, the small businesses of the numismatic trade and U.S. Customs before considering whether to extend or even expand import restrictions on coins.  American citizens have long enjoyed collecting ancient Greek coins just like their counterparts elsewhere in the world do. Unfair, unworkable and unnecessary import restrictions on ancient coins  do nothing but strangle legitimate collecting in the United States and with it the study and appreciation of ancient coinage and culture in this country, and the contribution to international understanding that goes with it.

Statement of Arthur L. Friedberg, Honorary President of the International Association of Professional Numismatists on the Proposed Renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Hellenic Republic and

the United States of America

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