Coins Weekly published an interesting obituary of Arnold Spaer this week. Here are some excerpts.
Arnold Spaer a renowned collector of ancient coins passed away in Jerusalem on Friday March 4, 2011. Haim Gitler has send us his biography, which was written by Dan Barag and Boaz Zissu and appeared first in INJ 17, which was dedicated in honor of Arnold Spaer.
Arnold was born to Mark and Ada Spaer in the Free State of Danzig on March 28, 1919. In 1933 the local Nazi party achieved dominance in the city government and demanded the return of Danzig to Germany. This development convinced many Jewish families to leave the city. The Spaer family arrived in Tel Aviv in 1934, and young Arnold enrolled in the Ben-Yehuda Gymnasium.
Arnold developed a zeal for collecting from an early age, starting with postage stamps – an excellent tool for the study of geography. His first acquisition of ancient coins, at the age of eight, consisted of three late bronze issues of Constantine, apparently discovered in a hoard in the Danzig area.
While he was a student in Jerusalem, he continued to buy coins and eventually became particularly interested in Seleucid and Crusader coinage.
Arnold purchased his coins on the local market, mainly in Jerusalem, but at times in Turkey, Central Europe and elsewhere. He indexed them all meticulously on cards, with information on their source of acquisition and provenance, when available. His collection includes more than ten thousand ancient coins.
Arnold Spaer’s most important contribution to numismatics is the publication of his collection of Seleucid coins. A long, friendly association with Arthur Houghton, a leading authority in this scholarly field, led to the publication of The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins (London, 1998). This fascinating 389-page volume, displaying 2919 coins on 189 plates of excellent photographs by Zeev Radovan, is a work of lasting value for scholars as well as collectors. The book presents Seleucid coinage in general, with great detail about minting and circulation in ancient Palestine, southern Phoenicia and Syria. It is thus a useful research tool in the field of Seleucid coinage.
To read the complete article, see:
An Obituary to Arnold Spaer
Wayne Homren, Editor
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