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Jewish revolt coin returned to Israel


Valentinian
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The New York Times reports that a quarter-shekel of the Jewish Revolt of 66-70 finally cleared the legal hurdles to go to Israel from which it is thought to have been looted. It had been seized from a Heritage auction in 2017 as it was about to begin. The coin was estimated at $500,000 to $1,000,000. Apparently the consignor had submitted paperwork with a false provenance. This is a link to the article which includes an image. 
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/12/arts/design/rare-silver-coin-jews-israel.html

Edited by Valentinian
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I wonder if there was any issue for Heritage relying on fake provenance for a $1m coin.

Hopefully my Bar Kokhba coin was legitimately sourced! Unfortunately, not even $1k.

Simon Bar Kokhba Revolt, 132-133
image.png.65ad2a6af087c3b7a84b19a3813ec386.png
Judaea. Bronze, 17.5mm, 5.92g. Grape bunch on tendril with branch and small vine leaf; שנת אחת לגאלת ישראל (year one of the redemption of Zion). Seven-branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; כ ה זנ רה א לע (ELAZAR HaKOHEN, Eleazar the Priest) (Meshorer 224).

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1 hour ago, NewStyleKing said:

BUT, what's so rare about it?  Its OK just saying that but just repeating  doesn't enlighten! I don't know! The article doesn't say.

From the article:

"The recovered coin was described as one of four known quarter-shekel coins minted in the fourth year of the revolt. A second has been in the British Museum since the 1930s. The recovered coin and two others surfaced only recently during what Israeli authorities described as looting that took place in the Elah Valley area, the biblical site of the battle between David and Goliath. The location of the two others is unknown, but they are believed to be in private collections."

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2 hours ago, Ed Snible said:

Is the coin in the online archives of the auction house?  I found others, but not this one.

https://coins.ha.com/itm/ancients/judaea/ancients-jewish-war-66-70-ad-ar-quarter-shekel-16mm-313-gm-9h-/a/3003-20201.s

Ed, I'm sure Heritage was too embarrassed to leave the coin listed. They certainly look like chumps for not tracing the provenance of a coin so valuable 😏.

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The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a press release that included some information not in the New York Times article: https://www.gov.il/en/departments/news/extremely-rare-coin-presented-to-the-state-of-israel-13-sep-2022

I don’t mean to get into the regional political conflict, but what made me a bit uncomfortable was treating the coins as if they had a side in our 20th-21st current conflicts, or support nationalism today:

"As Israel's Ambassador to the UN, this event is especially important to me because the Palestinians are working at the UN to hide the history of our people and erase our connection to the Land of Israel. […] This coin is evidence of the eternal bond between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and as Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, I can also utilize it in my mission to fight the lies of our enemies.”

The press release also made sure to identify “Palestinian antiquities looters” as responsible for unearthing the coin.

As in any area, ancient coin policy is complex & challenging, but with ultra-rarities important to the history of a place and its peoples, I accept that nation-states may have an interest in acquiring them that outweighs interest in collecting.

I just prefer to see them recognized as part of the larger, collective cultural history.

I.e., “Internationalist,” not “nationalist,” in the terminology of cultural heritage policy debate:
Merryman, John Henry. 1986. “Two Ways of Thinking about Cultural Property,” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 80, No. 4. (Oct., 1986), pp. 831-853. Available online [JSTOR].

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5 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

Ed, I'm sure Heritage was too embarrassed to leave the coin listed. They certainly look like chumps for not tracing the provenance of a coin so valuable 😏.

Another similar case from 2005 was an EID MAR denarius that Eric McFadden & CNG had to turn over to the Greek consulate after buying it IN CASH with no research (despite what sounded like an absurdly suspicious situation) and then discovering Interpol had an open investigation! (Story in 2006 from COINage magazine, “Ancient Coin Buyers, Beware.”) At least that was only an EID MAR denarius, not one of only a couple existing 1/4 Shekels from Year Four (69 CE) of the Jewish Rebellion. 

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5 hours ago, Curtis JJ said:

Another similar case from 2005 was an EID MAR denarius that Eric McFadden & CNG had to turn over to the Greek consulate after buying it IN CASH with no research (despite what sounded like an absurdly suspicious situation) and then discovering Interpol had an open investigation! (Story in 2006 from COINage magazine, “Ancient Coin Buyers, Beware.”) At least that was only an EID MAR denarius, not one of only a couple existing 1/4 Shekels from Year Four (69 CE) of the Jewish Rebellion. 

Curtis, Thanks for the interesting story from Coinage Magazine, it's a story every member of this website should read ☺️. The article gave Savoca a black eye too 🤣.

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11 hours ago, Curtis JJ said:

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a press release that included some information not in the New York Times article: https://www.gov.il/en/departments/news/extremely-rare-coin-presented-to-the-state-of-israel-13-sep-2022

I don’t mean to get into the regional political conflict, but what made me a bit uncomfortable was treating the coins as if they had a side in our 20th-21st current conflicts, or support nationalism today:

"As Israel's Ambassador to the UN, this event is especially important to me because the Palestinians are working at the UN to hide the history of our people and erase our connection to the Land of Israel. […] This coin is evidence of the eternal bond between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and as Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, I can also utilize it in my mission to fight the lies of our enemies.”

The press release also made sure to identify “Palestinian antiquities looters” as responsible for unearthing the coin.

As in any area, ancient coin policy is complex & challenging, but with ultra-rarities important to the history of a place and its peoples, I accept that nation-states may have an interest in acquiring them that outweighs interest in collecting.

I just prefer to see them recognized as part of the larger, collective cultural history.

I.e., “Internationalist,” not “nationalist,” in the terminology of cultural heritage policy debate:
Merryman, John Henry. 1986. “Two Ways of Thinking about Cultural Property,” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 80, No. 4. (Oct., 1986), pp. 831-853. Available online [JSTOR].

Curtis, This incident reminded me about the Gaza fishermen who found a hoard of Athenian decadrachms 5 years ago 😮.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1627626/lifestyle

Edited by Al Kowsky
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