New Book | Ars Critica Numaria: Joseph Eckhel (1737–1789)

Posted in books by Editor on October 25, 2022

From the Austrian Acadmey of Sciences Press:

Bernhard Woytek and Daniela Williams, eds., Ars Critica Numaria: Joseph Eckhel (1737–1789) and the Transformation of Ancient Numismatics (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2022), 683 pages, ISBN: 978-3700187745 (print edition), 240€ / ISBN: 978-3700191841 (free digital edition).

This richly illustrated volume explores the life and work of the Austrian classical scholar Joseph Eckhel, a crucial figure in the transformation of numismatic studies into a modern discipline. Eckhel has been celebrated widely as the ‘father of numismatics’ since the 19th century; still, this is the first book in the history of scholarship entirely dedicated to him. It contains twenty-one essays by an interdisciplinary group of international authors examining various aspects of Eckhel’s biography and scholarly activities: his Jesuit background, his formative study trip to Italy in 1773, his work as director of the imperial collection of ancient coins and professor of numismatics at the university of Vienna (from 1774), and his most important publications on ancient coins as well as on gems and cameos, notably his eight-volume opus magnum Doctrina numorum veterum (Vienna, 1792–98). Finally, Ars Critica Numaria considers Eckhel’s impact on contemporaries and later generations, with special regard to his role in the development of numismatic methodology in the Enlightenment and beyond.

The book is available as a free, open access pdf file here»


Abbreviations and Bibliographical Conventions

Setting the Scene
Joseph Eckhel: Biographical Data
Eckhel’s Publications Printed during his Lifetime
• Bernhard Woytek, Ars critica numaria and the Study of Ancient Coins in the 18th Century: A Short Introduction

Eckhel in Context
• Karl Vocelka, Enlightened Scientific Research and Collecting: Vienna in the Second Half of the 18th Century
• Volker Heenes, Eckhel’s Approach to Ancient Coinage in the Context of 18th-Century Research on Ancient Art (Montfaucon, Caylus, Winckelmann)
• Jean Guillemain, Eckhel et la tradition jésuite. Les activités numismatiques dans la Compagnie de Jésus, du laboratoire lyonnais à la Doctrina numorum veterum. Avec un catalogue des collections, enseignements et ouvrages numismatiques des jésuites (1579–1816)
• Martin Gierl, Umgemünzte Aufklärung. Die Numismatik im 18. Jahrhundert bis Eckhel
• Martin Mulsow, Wie ordnet man die Antike? Das Programm einer Gesamtverzeichnung antiker Münzen von Lazius bis Eckhel
• Fritz Mitthof, Die Analyse eines siebenbürgischen Schatzfundes durch Abbé Eder im Jahr 1803: Goldstatere der bosporanischen Herrscher Pharnakes II. und Asandros in Vergesellschaftung mit solchen des Lysimachos-Typs

Eckhel’s Works
• Daniela Williams, From Collection to System: Eckhel in Italy (1772–1773) and the Numi veteres anecdoti (1775)
• Peter Franz Mittag, Eckhels numismatisches Lehrbuch. Die Kurzgefaßten Anfangsgründe zur alten Numismatik und ihre Ü bersetzungen
• Gabriella Tassinari, Joseph Eckhel e le gemme, antiche e ‘moderne’
• Bernhard Woytek, The Genesis of Eckhel’s Doctrina numorum veterum and Georg Zoëga’s Numismatic Papers
• Andrew Burnett, Scientia rei numariae Ars critica numariaDoctrina numorum veterum: What Are the Models?
• John Cunnally, Eckhel vs. Goltzius. The Reception of Renaissance Numismatics in the Doctrina
• Maria Cristina Molinari, De numis urbium Italicarum ex aere gravi. Joseph Eckhel’s Treatise in the Context of the Studies of Giovan Battista Passeri, Cardinal de Zelada, and Cardinal Borgia
• Kay Ehling, „Eckhels fürtreffliches Werk“ – Goethe liest die Doctrina numorum veterum

Eckhel’s Position in the ‘République des Médailles’
• François de Callataÿ, ‘The Father of the Father’: The Decisive Role of Erasmus Frölich (1700–1758) in Viennese Numismatics and Beyond
• Daniela Haarmann, Eckhel und seine Kollegen im k. k. Münzkabinett. Ein wissenssoziologischer Versuch
• Federica Missere Fontana, Viaggiatori instancabili: Sestini critico di Eckhel
• Christian E. Dekesel – Yvette M. M. Dekesel-de Ruyck (with contributions by Bernhard Woytek), The Unholy Relationship between a Numismatic Scholar and a Wheeler Dealer: Joseph Eckhel, Pieter van Damme and the Peculiar Recueil des médailles des Rois
• Jonathan Kagan, Eckhel and Britain: A Slow Courtship

By Way of Conclusion
• Bernhard Woytek, Systems, Coin Hoards, Dies and Provenances: Eckhel and the Evolution of Numismatic Method

Index of Persons
Contributors to this Volume

Williamsburg Acquires Its Earliest Piece of American Silver

Posted in museums by Editor on October 25, 2022

Press release (17 October 2022) from Colonial Williamsburg:

Caudle Cup, John Hull and Robert Sanderson, and marked by Jeremiah Dummer, silver, Boston, ca. 1670, broad, baluster-shaped body with a lightly everted rim, a low base and a pair of cast handles applied to opposite sides (Colonial Williamsburg, 2022-74).

A 17th-century caudle cup that belonged to the Puritan congregation of the First Church of Christ in Farmington, Connecticut, and was used there as a vessel for sacramental wine, was recently acquired by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation making it the earliest piece of American silver in its famed collection. The cup, wrought around 1670 in Boston, was fashioned by the first silversmiths making goods in what is now the United States.

“Colonial Williamsburg’s curators have worked diligently and with notable successes over the last decade to assemble a collection of American-made silver worthy of the institution’s other decorative arts holdings,” said Ronald Hurst, senior vice president for education and historic resources. “The acquisition of this particularly early and well-preserved cup provides us with an excellent starting point for the story of American silversmithing over the next century and half.”

Although perfectly shaped to serve caudle—a hot, sweet, often alcoholic porridge—this so-called ‘caudle cup’ was used as a treasured part of the church’s ecclesiastical service. The cup’s stable, low body with its two handles (or ‘ears’) made it easy to pass from one congregant to another. Clearly popular, five others that are nearly identical to this earliest example, were acquired by the church before 1720.

Adding to the distinctiveness of this cup, struck into one side of it near the rim is the mark of Robert Sanderson, Sr. (ca. 1608–1693), a London-trained goldsmith who emigrated to America in 1639. On the bottom is the mark of his partner John Hull (1624–1683), a British-born tradesman who arrived in Boston in 1635. Also stamped into the cup is the mark of Jeremiah Dummer (1645–1718), the first native-born American silversmith, apprenticed to Hull in 1659. Interestingly, Dummer’s mark was struck over Sanderson’s, while Hull’s mark was struck over Dummer’s. Exactly what this means is unclear, but it likely has to do with Dummer’s transition from journeyman to master, and the opening of his own silversmithing business. The caudle cup is the only known piece to carry the marks of all three artisans. Sometime after the marks of Hull over Dummer were made, the church’s initials ‘F’ and ‘C’ (the ownership mark of ‘Farmington Church’) were engraved on the bottom of the cup flanking the center point.

The trio of Hull, Sanderson, and Dummer are also important in the world of numismatics as they were responsible for the birth of American money. John Hull was appointed Mintmaster of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652 and was assisted by his partner Sanderson as well as his apprentice/journeyman Dummer. Operating from 1652 until 1682, Hull & Sanderson’s mint produced the famed Oak Tree and Pine Tree coinage, among other types, in their shop in Boston’s North End. Furthermore, when Massachusetts authorized the first issue of American paper money in 1690, it was Jeremiah Dummer who engraved the printing plates.

“Considering the rarity and significance of Hull & Sanderson’s work, I’d long wanted to see an example of their hollowware come to Colonial Williamsburg, but wasn’t sure it would be possible,” said Erik Goldstein, the Foundation’s senior curator of mechanical arts and numismatics and interim curator of metals. “This caudle cup, which ties the silversmithing partners to their famed apprentice Jeremiah Dummer and has an impeccable provenance back to the time it was wrought, is almost too much to ask for. It will be in very good company with our comprehensive, 94-piece collection of Hull & Sanderson’s silver coins, gifted to the Foundation by the Lasser Family.”

Around 1907, Farmington Church (as it is also known) decided their centuries-old silver should be housed elsewhere for safe keeping. Stored in a bank vault until 1964, the caudle cups were loaned to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, approximately 10 miles from Farmington. In the early 2000s, the congregation decided to sell the group in order to advance the church’s mission; the proceeds from the 2005 sale went to structural renovation and the construction of a new building.

The caudle cup was purchased with funds from The Joseph H. and June S. Hennage Fund. American silver aficionados, Mr. and Mrs. Hennage would have been delighted to know that funds from their bequest to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation were used for this important acquisition.

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