Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Krause Publications; 2 edition (November 20, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #58 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Coins & Medals > World Coins #1340 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Antiques Care & Reference > Reference #2869 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Antiques & Collectibles
In roughly 200 pages that are divided into 6 chapters and 4 appendixes with copious illustrations and brief bibliographies throughout - this book is beautifully jammed with coins and information. Following the example of the first volume, this book is in plain language and is easy on the eyes in it's print, format, tables and charts.The bulk of this book deals with differing coin types from differing geographical areas and and the artistry of the larger series. This really does a new collector a big favor because the new collector gets to purview a plethora of coin types from throughout that series and it may go a long wat to help them decide what they would like to collect. What is really important about this book is the focus on the coiner or "celator" and what he did and the role he played as artist and the chapter on "Masterpieces of Greek Art" is a beautiful read by itself with large B&W illustrations of some of the most aesthetically pleasing coins in the series.The great strength of this book is that it is equally beautiful and useful and the author obviously loves what he is writing about rather than giving a very dry, scholarly and perfunctory survey. I highly recommend this book.
Having collected ancient coins for decades, I must confess to a real fondness for the Sayles books, and for this one in particular. It is beautifuly illustrated, as well as informative, and makes the reader truly want to own the coins which Sayles discusses. One thing which makes this better for new collectors than some other books, is that Sayles isn't touting ancient coins as an investment. They are NOT a sound investment for the average collector, who can expect a 30% or higher LOSS when reselling the coins which most average collectors can afford to buy -- beautiful as they are, the typical coins which the average collector can afford are NOT going to shoot through the roof in value, even if they are extremely rare or unique. The market strength and bullish demand isn't present to allow the average collector to profit from most of his or her coins. What makes the Sayles book appealing is its inspiration for readers to COLLECT these coins and treasure them, as they have been treasured for thousands of years, and YES, it is thrilling indeed to buy a coin of which only two or three other specimens are known in the world, and -- YES! -- it is possible to own coins which are absolutely unique. Thanks to generations of dedicated collectors, it is even possible to buy -- for small sums -- coins which have established provenances dating back a century or more. My own collection includes coins once owned by President John Quincy Adams and by J. P. Morgan, but they each cost less than some best-selling potboiler novels which will be forgotten by next season. Read Sayles and begin to dream!!!
I agree with other reviewers that this book is an excellent introduction to ancient Greek coins collecting.What I also liked about this book is:1)The list of major issuing cities with brief but interesting comments regarding the cities' history (e.g. the dramatic events such as the destruction of Messana by Carthaginians)2) The list of the rulers of major Hellenistic dynasties (reading about these people's lives and seeing their faces on coins is really impressive)3) Masterpieces of Greek Art section featuring 25 beautiful coins which are among the author's favourites (I personally liked about 20 of those).One of the things you learn from this book is that you don't actually have to OWN these beautiful coins to ENJOY them. All it takes is willingness to spend your time and energy to explore these treasures from the past.
Page 170 reads "Prior to that time, the Macedonians were considered by other Greeks as barbarians", but that is not correct, because ancient allegations that the Macedonians were non-Greek all had their origin in Athens at the time of the struggle with Philip II (Errington 1993). In fact Greeks, and particularly the Athenians, would also use the word "barbarian" to deride other Greeks (Baracchi 2014, Plato “Protagoras” 341c etc.).
Sayles' prose has a way of bringing alive some great coins. It is a great way for a beginner to become both more interested in the hobby as well as developing the principle of purchasing books in field of study rather than buying every forgery and fake on the market. The biggest drawback is that you really need Volume I as an introduction to the series and collecting, then pick up the other volumes as your interests expand. It took me about two years to get all six volumes. They're worth it at a reasonable price, but no substitute for other standard reference works. You can also loan them out to friends to get them interested.
Received this book in the mail today and started right into it. Came to an article written about the "Black Sea Hoard" with illustrations on modern forgeries and how to tell if its a fake or real. Realized that I had literally just bought one of these Mesembrian diobol fakes hours before on Ebay. Caught it in enough time to freeze my account and get a full refund for this forged coin. This book just saved me lots of money and the embarrassment of buying a modern day forgery. This book payed for itself and more instantly. A must for anyone looking to get into collecting ancient Greek coins.
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