Is Ancient coins ART!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ancient times, Feb 4, 2023.

  1. ancient times

    ancient times Legatus Legionis Supporter

    I had a relative come up to me while I was working on my coin collection and said if your going to collect anything, collect paintings, statues, etc. , I started showing my Ancient coin collection and after awhile he was amazed of the art work and the fine details of the coins and he said it was something how over 1000 years ago the craftsmen could put so much detail in a coin with the tools of the period. So now he is interested in collecting ancient coins. It is a whole lot easier to hold a ancient coin in your hand at anytime than a painting which most of the time the coin is more affordable!
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  3. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    The word "Art" is thrown around with such whimsy that it doesn't really have much meaning to me. When it comes to things that we appreciate and value for whatever reason, the attractive attributes and other allures have to be evaluated on individual bases in order to understand the appeal. This is especially important when it comes to things that are traditionally categorized as art because people have categorically developed the habit of seeing much more than what is actually there. For example, there are people that see (or pretend to see, or delude themselves into seeing) something special in a square painted on a canvas.... or even random paint splatters.

    Many ancient coins are beautiful.... what they accomplished with limited technology is a bit astounding..... and the skill demonstrated by the die engravers is remarkable. Considering these things, I certainly wouldn't argue with anybody that wanted to categorize them as "Art" (Or at least copies, as the dies would be the originals). But do I value them because of the artistry?

    Well, if a person today exactly reproduced, or even improved upon an ancient coin while using only ancient technologies, would that product appeal to me in the same way? No. Therefore, there is something more than artistry at play here. I desire ancient coins because they are ancient, they were inanimate, human made objects that actually participated in the stories that we learn about in history books, and they display contemporary representations of people, places, animals, and structures that were part of reality thousands of years ago.

    I suppose that is a long-winded way to say: I don't really think that it matters whether things qualify as "art", the more important factor is that you appreciate things because YOU appreciate them.
  4. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    I wholeheartedly agree. Art, in its various forms, reflects the society and culture that produces it. There's a wide range of opinions on what constitutes beauty and aesthetics; there are really no hard or fast rules here, but instead our opinions.

    Ancients have a quality that distinctively separates them from more modern coins. As handmade, hammered coins produced at a time when myths had currency and human civilization was making strides in science and what we would call the humanities (art, music, drama, literature, history, philosophy, etc.), the coinage produced often paralleled these advances. The results can often be stunning, as with the decadrachms of Syracuse, but also with everyday bronze coinage. These qualities, along with the history that accompanies each coin makes the collecting of ancients so rewarding, in my view.
    ominus1, Bart9349, Cherd and 3 others like this.
  5. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    The problem with collecting paintings, statues, etc. is that you need a lot of room to properly display your collection. Contemporary art, in particular, is best highlighted by large white surfaces all around.

    My dad used to collect relatively small drawings and paintings by 19th c. artists he could find at the flea market or from antique dealers in the 1950s. He found some interesting pictures by Manet, Corot, Daubigny, Daumier, Jongkind, Millet, etc. They were hanging on the walls in the dining room, the living room, the corridors, his office, etc. There were some sculptures, too. Our apartment was a small, very small Musée d'Orsay (well before this museum existed). Of course all these pictures were displayed one next to another, it created a curious old 19th c. atmosphere...

    At least, ancient coins do not need so much room. Unfortunately it is a solitary hobby, ancient coins are not to be displayed in the living room...

    We like pictures and sculptures, and preferably not small ones, by old Oriental or contemporary Western artists. I cannot make a collection of them for lack of room. But we got a few... Of course they are not the work of superstars of art history (not like Rose's own collection of Degas, Picasso, etc. she carried with her at the beginning of the movie Titanic),

    but we like them and they create in the house a warm atmosphere. The rule is one wall one work: no accumulation. Because of this, and it's a pity, there are nice things stored in the basement...
  6. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    All coins used to be art in that they were the handiwork of designers and engravers. The modern ones nowadays are but computer cartoons.
    ancient times likes this.
  7. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..dang right they are!!....:)
  8. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Ancient coins are.....modern ones not.....
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