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BCD interview


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Thanks so much @zadie! So cool to see and hear THE man. And what a book collection😍

Here's an ex-BCD (and everybody else)


Thessaly, Thessalian League, circa 196-27 BCE, AE 16 mm, 6.3 gm

Obv: Helmeted head of Athena Itonia right, magistrate name above

Rev: Horse trotting right

Ref: SNG Cop 324-328

Sold by Joseph J Copeland (anyone recognize the name?) In 1993(!), when I was twelve, ex BCD, ex @zumbly (my first from his collection) who sold it at AMCC 1, meaning technically I get to call it  @Severus Alexander and given to me by the one the onlth @TIF for Saturnalia !!!

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Great talk and I stand in awe of his library. Actually I did get him to help me put a pedigree on a few of my coins. I had done Basil a favor so I asked if he may be able to look up a few of my coins. I knew from which firm I had bought the coin from and roughly the time period. He did so or more precisely his librarian did so. I think I did a bit too much I am still friends with Basil but his librarian..........not so much. 

Lampsakos Ar Trihemiobol 390-330 BC  Obv  Head of Apollo right laureate Rv Forepart of Pegasos right below dolphin right  Gaebler 64 1,119 grms 10 mm Photo by W Hansen


At one time I was quite interested in some of the smaller denoms of Greek coins.  Back in September of 1986 I saw this one be offered at a Colosseum Coins List 44 Lot 42. I liked it and bought it. Naturally in those days no one thought about pedigree: Like who knew. Thus as I embarked upon trying to re establish my pedigrees I was very fortunate to have been able to meet Basil and gain some limited access to his wonderful library. 

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An amazing collection. I wish I had that much shelf space! I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but I gather the interview took place very recently. So it seems that "BCD's" name is now officially public information -- even though it was easily accessible via a Google search for years -- and it's finally permissible to mention it without having one's head bitten off.  What a relief!

In any event, here are my three coins formerly in the BCD Collection:

1. Thessalian League (under Roman Republic from 146 BCE, Province of Macedonia). Late 2nd-mid 1st centuries BCE, AR Stater ( = Double Victoriatus* = 1.5 denarius), Magistrates Sosipatros and Gorgopas. Obv. Laureate head of Zeus right / Rev. Helmeted Athena Itonia advancing right, holding shield with left hand and preparing to hurl spear with right hand; vertical legend ΘΕΣΣΑ-ΛΩN to left and right of Athena; [ΣΩ]ΣIΠ-ATPOΣ above spear; ΓOPΓΩΠΑΣ in exergue. BCD** Thessaly II 861.2 [CNG, The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly, Triton XV Auction, Jan. 3, 2012, Lot 861.2 (this coin)]; HGC 4, 209 [Hoover, Oliver, Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: . . . Thessaly . . . ., Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Thessaly Series,Vol. 4 (2014)]; SNG Soutzos 397 [Tsourti, E. and Trifiro, M.D., Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 5: Numismatic Museum, Athens, The A. G. Soutzos Collection (Athens, 2007)]; Klose pp. 339 & 346, 2 (same dies) [Klose, D.O.A, "Zur Chronologie der thessalischen Koinonprägungen im 2. und 1. Jh. v. Chr., Ein weiterer Schatzfund aus Südthessalien," in Peter, Ulrike. ed., Stephanos nomismatikos: Edith Schönert-Geiss zum 65. Geburtstag (Berlin, 1998), at pp. 333-350]. 22 mm., 6.08 g., 2 h. [According to BCD: From Franke Hoard, Greece, found Summer 1983.]


2. Thessaly, Thessalian League (under Roman Republic from 146 BCE, Province of Macedonia). Mid-late 1st century BCE, AR Stater ( = Double Victoriatus* = 1.5 denarius), Magistrates Italos and Diokles. Obv. Head of Zeus right, wearing oak wreath, [ITAΛOY] [behind headoff flan] / Rev. Helmeted Athena Itonia advancing right, holding shield with left hand and preparing to hurl spear with right hand; vertical legend ΘΕΣΣΑ-ΛΩN to left and right of Athena; ΔIO-KΛHΣ above spear, N-I across field. BCD** Thessaly II 874.4 [CNG, The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly, Triton XV Auction, Jan. 3, 2012, Lot 874.4 (this coin)]; HGC 4, 210 [Hoover, Oliver, Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: . . . Thessaly . . . ., Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series,Vol. 4 (2014)]; McClean II 4797-4798 [Grose, S., Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fitzwilliam Museum, Vol. II, The Greek Mainland, the Aegean islands, Crete (Cambridge, 1926)]. 20 mm., 6.09 g., 12 h. [According to BCD Demetriadi: From Hoard found Dec. 1996, West of Karditsa, Thessaly, Greece.

* [Applicable to both Thessalian coins] CNG did not use the term “Double Victoriatus” in the Triton XV catalog, and apparently has not used it in general since at least 2006, because of the absence of evidence that that term, rather than simply "stater," was used contemporaneously in Thessaly.

 **[Applicable to both Thessalian coins.] BCD = Basil [a/k/a Vassili] C. Demetriadi.

 3.  Roman Republic, C. Antestius, AR Denarius 146 BCE. Obv. Head of Roma right wearing winged helmet with peaked visor (ornamented with griffin’s head?), pearl necklace, and earring of pellets in form of bunch of grapes, C • ANTESTI upwards behind [partially off flan, ANTE ligate], X [mark of value, 10 asses]* beneath chin / Rev. Dioscuri holding spears, on horseback galloping right; puppy running right below horses’ hooves, with both forefeet raised; in exergue, ROMA; minor flan flaws on reverse. Crawford 219/1e, RSC I Antestia 1, BMCRR I 859, Sear RCV I 95/1 (ill.), Sydenham 411. 19 mm.. 3.76 g., 3 h.  Ex. CNG Auction 378, July 13, 2016, Lot 408; ex. RBW [Richard B. Witschonke] Collection; ex. BCD Collection [see old coin ticket], purchased by RBW from BCD March 1985; ex. ASW [Alan S. Walker, currently Dir. of Nomos AG]. ** [Footnotes omitted.]

Antestius COMBINED 2.jpg

Contrast increased Old Coin Tickets for C. Antestius denarius (Rev puppy beneath Dioscuri).jpg

Edited by DonnaML
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Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman provincial Æ assarion, 6.04 g, 19.2 mm, 1 h.
Koinon of Thessaly, Larissa, AD 158-165.
Obv: ΦΑVϹΤЄΙΝΑ ϹЄΒΑϹΤΗ; bare-headed and draped bust of Faustina II, right.
Rev: ΚΟΙΝΟΝ ΘЄϹϹΑΛⲰΝ; Athena Itonia in snake-adorned aegis, striding right, brandishing spear and holding shield.
Refs: RPC IV.1 4570 (temporary); Rogers 98a, SNG Cop 349; SNG Evelpidis 1685; BCD Thessaly II 966.1 & 966.2.
Notes: Ex-BCD collection. Issued in three denominations: tetrassarion (RPC 4569), diassarion (RPC 4568), and assarion (such as this coin).

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Two BCD coins:


Boeotia, Tanagra
AR Obol
Early-mid 4th century BC
Obv.: Boeotian shield
Rev.: forepart of horse right, T above, A below
Ag, 10 mm, 0.9g
Ref.: BMC 35
Ex BCD Collection.




Euboia, Chalkis
AR Drachm, circa 338-308 BC
Obv.: Head of the nymph Chalkis right
Rev.: Eagle flying, carrying serpent; ΛA and trident right, X above
Ag, 3.53g, 15.4x16.4mm
Ref.: Picard, Chalcis, Emission 10
Ex BCD Collection
Ex William P. Wallace Collection


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Wow what a library! BCD is a true legend.


Thessaly, Krannon
AE Chalkous, struck ca. 350-300 BC
Dia.: 15.4 mm
Wt.: 2.41 g
Obv.: Thessalian rider and horse, rearing right
Rev.: KPAN Bull butting right, trident above
Ref.: BCD Thessaly II 118.5; HGC 4, 391
Ex zumbly collection; Ex BCD collection with tag stating “V. Ex Thess., Apr. 94, DM 35”; Ex AMCC 2, Lot 5 (Nov. 9, 2019)


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Thanks for posting this! BCD's library is impressive and provides a great ressource to numismatic scholarship. His insights, especially his comments on the current dynamics of research funding in Europe, are on point and worth listening to. Also, I enjoyed BCD's dry humor (best quote from the interview: "They do die studies to become a doctor – because to be a doctor is very important apparently".)


A couple of years ago, I posted a Greek coin I couldn't identify over on CoinTalk. BCD generously chimed in and gave me a hint of where to look. I greatly appreciated this. Not many experts of his standing would take the time to help out a numismatic beginner with making sense of a cheap and low grade bronze.


I own a couple of ex-BCD coins. In my eyes, this collection provenance greatly adds to them:


Megaris, Megara, AE dichalkon, ca. 275–259 BC. Obv: Prow of galley l. Rev: Tripod flanked by two dolphins. 12mm, 2.09g. Ref: BCD Peloponnesos 17; HGC 4, 1798. Ex BCD collection; ex CNG; ex Secret Saturnalia 2021.



Thessaly, Larissa, AR obol, ca. 344–337 BC (?).  Obv: head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly l., hair in ampyx, with necklace. Rev: [ΛΑΡΙΣ]-ΑΙΩΝ; horse grazing r. 11mm, 0.79g. Ref: BCD Thessaly I (2011), no. 1163; BCD Thessaly II (2013), no. 328, 342–344; SNG Copenhagen 135. Ex FSR, auction 106, lot 59; ex CNG, e-auction 395, lot 94; ex BCD collection.



Thessaly, Pherai, hemidrachm, ca. 302–286 BC. Obv: Head of Ennodia left, torch behind. Rev: ΦΕΡΑΙΟΥΝ, the nymph Hypereia left, touching the top of lion's head fountain right, from which water pours forth, ΑΣ/TΟ within wreath to lower left. 15mm, 2.72g. Ref: BCD Thessaly I, 1321; BCD Thessaly II, 714; SNG Copenhagen 239; BMC 20. Ex CNG, e-auction 432, lot 27; ex BCD collection.



Thessaly, Trikka, hemidrachm, 2nd half of 5th c. BC. Obv: Youthful hero, Thessalos, holding a band with both hands below the horns of the forepart of a bull right. Rev: T PI KAI N, forepart of horse prancing right. 16 mm, 2.86 g. Ref: BCD Thessaly 775.7 (same dies); see SNG Copenhagen 262–265; see BMC 1–9; see CNG, e-auction 129, lot 94 (identical dies). Ex BCD collection, ex Kenneth W. Dorney.

Edited by Ursus
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  • 11 months later...
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1 hour ago, Greekcoin21 said:

Does anyone have a rough estimate on how many Coins BCD had in his collection 

luckily I have the catalogues, must of been thousands.

It must have easily been in the tens of thousands. Almost every seller/auction house has listed one of his coins. A search on VCoins for "ex BCD" brought up 134 coins alone today.

I currently have 19 of his ex-coins.

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It is an excellent video of a great collector and numismatist. I did not know who BCD was before this video, and I really liked his personality presented in the video.

During a discussion towards the end of the video regarding a less appropriate request to access his library, BCD asks, ‘Do you know how to do research on auction catalogues?’

If addressed to me, the frank answer would be, ‘No, I do not’. 

Any advice on where can I find this out?

Any advice on best practices for getting great scans/images of catalogue plates (as opposed to photos of coins)?

Much appreciated.

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