Author Topic: Catalogued and non-catalogued coins  (Read 1174 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline asm

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 752
  • Ahmedabad, India
Catalogued and non-catalogued coins
« on: September 14, 2018, 12:56:27 PM »
Very nice acquisition. For me, one of the greatest attractions of Indian numismatics are these hidden corners, where you can find fun coins, hitherto unlisted. If it's on Zeno and you have two copies, isn't that a sign that a small lot of them has turned up?

Peter, I agree that finding an unlisted coin is fun. However, it now appears that not having access to the internet in the earlier days - in fact with snail mail around and no smartphones to help click and send pictures, earlier researchers were severely handicapped. Another factor was the nonavailability of large quantities of these coins in Europe. Most importantly, local rulers made no efforts at record keeping.  The result is that most Indian coins have not been listed.
As one probes deeper, more and more unattributed, unlisted coins turn up. This, unfortunately has taken out the fun of finding unlisted coins for senior collectors, who generally have concluded that there are as many - if not more, unlisted coins than the coins listed in KM. I am talking for this from experience. When we started with the book on the Rewa Kantha coinage, only a handful of types were known or listed - either in KM or anywhere else. Now we have coins of new rulers, hitherto unknown and large number of variations. Same is the case with many other states which I am currently working on. For example, the machine struck Dokdas of Junagadh sees about 8 or 10 variations listed on KM. I have in my collection 26. These are variations on the obverse only. I will now work on the  variations in the Persian legends. Same is the case with many other mints. The fun starts when I tried to find some information on the mint at Amreli or its coinage and, believe me, I could not find it in any historical records that I have accessed till now. The thrill is now in trying to locate the details of this mint.
However, traders have a field day. Unlisted coins are palmed off to unsuspecting newbies at exorbitant rates. This pains me as I had been ripped off in the early days.

Amit
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 03:20:34 PM by Figleaf »
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31 170
Re: Catalogue and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2018, 11:48:03 PM »
An inspired post, Amit. Its points are well taken. Yet, allow me to make a counterpoint. There is nothing against collecting by marking catalog numbers. However, while it can certainly entertain -which is the prime objective of a hobby - it does not advance knowledge. That only happens beyond the catalogue numbers. It can be digging up details, correcting commonly accepted mistakes or ... making new catalogue numbers.

My personal preference has become to go beyond the catalogue numbers and add new ones. It started with the UK bus tokens. The listing we have in WoT contains varieties and information you will not find anywhere else and there is still work to be done on backgrounds and designs. Finding out about every last detail of the Tehran bus tokens became a superb virtual journey around Persepolis. To my delight, I discovered there is no "coins of all times" catalogue of Uzbek coins. I have quite a few that are easy to identify with a copy of Mitchiner at hand or with knowing where to look in Zeno. I have only a few that are not listed anywhere. Those have made me read texts I might otherwise not read. They made me think. I like them best.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline asm

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 752
  • Ahmedabad, India
Re: Catalogue and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 06:53:59 AM »
... There is nothing against collecting by marking catalog numbers.
Well I never meant that. In fact, I prefer to use the catalogue numbers because they help build a series and also help find / inspire to find the missing coins. Even new books have catalogue numbers. What I had intended to convey was that one (especially a newbie) should not be taken in by the terms "unlisted" and pay a handsome premium for a not so difficult to find coin (as I did when I had started collection).
 
My personal preference has become to go beyond the catalogue numbers and add new ones. It started with the UK bus tokens. The listing we have in WoT contains varieties and information you will not find anywhere else and there is still work to be done on backgrounds and designs. Finding out about every last detail of the Tehran bus tokens became a superb virtual journey around Persepolis. To my delight, I discovered there is no "coins of all times" catalogue of Uzbek coins. I have quite a few that are easy to identify with a copy of Mitchiner at hand or with knowing where to look in Zeno. I have only a few that are not listed anywhere. Those have made me read texts I might otherwise not read. They made me think. I like them best.
I believe that WoC has a contagious touch.......... it has inspired many to research and publish. Hopefully we will see many many more.

Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31 170
Re: Catalogue and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 09:19:22 AM »
Well I never meant that.

I know that. It was meant as a qualifier, to express that my taste in collecting doesn't have to lead other people's taste. I have seen enough bashing of collecting by ticking off catalogue numbers on a want list to be wary of it. The important thing is what you are doing: studying the coin and putting it into perspective. There is enough to discover on most catalogued coins, though US coins may have been catalogued to death now, with some catalogues listing all known dies and even the length of cracks in them.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline asm

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 752
  • Ahmedabad, India
Re: Catalogue and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 02:18:44 PM »
I know that. It was meant as a qualifier, to express that my taste in collecting doesn't have to lead other people's taste. I have seen enough bashing of collecting by ticking off catalogue numbers on a want list to be wary of it.

The important thing is what you are doing: studying the coin and putting it into perspective. There is enough to discover on most catalogued coins, though US coins may have been catalogued to death now, with some catalogues listing all known dies and even the length of cracks in them.
Well I second your opinion on the first part. And as for the second part of your comments, well, this is possible with modern coins but working on medieval coins with almost no written history or information including the mintage, it is an onerous task though I have seen people go to similar lengths even in Mughal coins.

Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

Offline THCoins

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5 853
Re: Catalogued and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2018, 05:27:59 PM »
Interesting views being presented.
I believe that every catalog on older coinage that is being produced is outdated already when it leaves the printer. And that's a good thing to collectors who want to go beyond checking off catalog numbers. Online catalogs may be the future, but still i like to go through paper catalogues which provide a comprehensive structure and snapshot of current knowlegde on a subject.

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31 170
Re: Catalogued and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2018, 07:09:01 PM »
Online catalogs may be the future, but still i like to go through paper catalogues which provide a comprehensive structure and snapshot of current knowlegde on a subject.

Very much agreed. Getting a structure into online catalogues is a very major issue. Zeno is a good example. If you can read what's on the coin, you can probably narrow down most coins to the point where you can start searching Zeno. If you can't (which is the case for the vast majority of coin collectors) you are stuck. Zeno is useless to you. You don't know where to start looking. That is a big waste of what has the potential to be a major resource. Contrast that with the Teheran bus token section saro built on WoT. It was small enough to be covered on one page, so every collector can use it and find out what the texts on the tokens are. It's not a solution, but an illustration of where the problem lies: size and a different script, with the graphics being the key to fast recognition by those who can't read the script.

I have an idea to nibble at that problem. I want to discuss it in Dublin first, but I'll keep you informed. Meanwhile, please keep thinking aloud.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Pabitra

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 391
Re: Catalogued and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 06:42:57 AM »
It's not a solution, but an illustration of where the problem lies: size and a different script, with the graphics being the key to fast recognition by those who can't read the script.

I have an idea to nibble at that problem.

For those who use iOS devices ( iPhone or iPad), there is a free app called Coinoscope.Given an image, it does graphic search of well known databases.
Since Zeno.ru is not a very large database ( just 200, 000 images in about 57 GB), I think it should work.
In any case, a new software, in Python, similar to face recognition ( standard problem in Machine Learning) should not be very big.

Offline capnbirdseye

  • Vic
  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 320
Re: Catalogued and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2018, 11:00:34 AM »
For those who use iOS devices ( iPhone or iPad), there is a free app called Coinoscope.Given an image, it does graphic search of well known databases.
Since Zeno.ru is not a very large database ( just 200, 000 images in about 57 GB), I think it should work.
In any case, a new software, in Python, similar to face recognition ( standard problem in Machine Learning) should not be very big.



Does this work on zeno though? if you do  a Google search it never brings up any zeno coins, search engines seem unable to access zeno from my experience so have they blocked access some how?

« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 11:26:35 AM by capnbirdseye »
Vic

Offline THCoins

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5 853
Re: Catalogued and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2018, 12:04:03 PM »
https://www.zeno.ru/robots.txt

Quote
# robots.txt for http://www.zeno.ru/

User-agent: *
Disallow:*

Though formally not correct syntax this says "please do not use any web crawler to access any page of this domain".

Offline Pabitra

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 391
Re: Catalogued and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2018, 12:38:00 PM »
I have not tried it but yes, I believe Coinoscope does not go in to Zeno database.
However, today, such software can be made to bypass such simple fences.
A new but similar software as Coinoscope can be made to work on Zeno.ru

Offline THCoins

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5 853
Re: Catalogued and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2018, 02:10:32 PM »
Not respecting robots.txt is considered "bad manners, not respecting netiquette". It will be easily detected by the admins of Zeno. Snooping a database by an external system against the will of the database owner will only lead to a mutual arms race with more sophisticated methods to limit access to the data. This in general will also impose restrictions to regular users. To give such a searchsystem a chance, one should first seek the collaboration of the used databases i'd think ?

Offline Pabitra

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 391
Re: Catalogued and non-catalogued coins
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 04:33:45 AM »
I agree but then searching by robots ( or spider of Google) is different from taking a password and doing full search by a program or requesting admin to build a graphic search. After all, why are such databases built in public domain and why can they refuse to modernise ( and not become extinct, over run by a more modern brethren). Nowadays, I hear more references of Numista than Numismaster. Why?