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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Ancient Coin Forum (Moderator: Dr. Danny S. Jones)  |  Topic: 2 coins of Cabinet W seized in New York by District Attorney 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: 2 coins of Cabinet W seized in New York by District Attorney  (Read 40947 times)
glebe
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« Reply #50 on: January 22, 2012, 05:17:27 am »

My response was simply a hypothetical situation to highlight that essentially no liability resides with the auction house. Rather it resides with the purchaser...and this point was made in answer to your question.. You might also wonder about the legal liabilities of the auction houses when they make statements like this about provenance. None of the potential liability arising from an inaccurate or deceptive provenance statement comes back to the auction house. It resides with the vendor if seizure occurs before sale or with the purchaser after sale. The middle man is under no potential liability risk and this explains a lot about why the trade may be prepared to push a less than verifiable provenance.

Understood.

Ross G.
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mwilson603
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« Reply #51 on: January 22, 2012, 08:06:38 am »

I'm sorry if this has already been asked and I have missed it, or if there is an announcement somewhere that I cannot find, however I noticed on one of the many press reports that Dr Weiss is a trustee of the American Numismatic Society.  Has the ANS distanced themselves from him yet?
regards
Mark
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Andrew McCabe
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« Reply #52 on: January 22, 2012, 08:32:14 am »

I'm sorry if this has already been asked and I have missed it, or if there is an announcement somewhere that I cannot find, however I noticed on one of the many press reports that Dr Weiss is a trustee of the American Numismatic Society.  Has the ANS distanced themselves from him yet?
regards
Mark

He is not listed as a trustee:

http://numismatics.org/About/Governance

He was listed as a treasurer 2005 - 2009:

http://numismatics.org/Archives/ANSTreasurers

I'm not sure the press reports were accurate - I'd read he was a past board member (as treasurer) but not that he held any current role. Even if he did have a current role, which it seems not, I doubt the ANS would distance themselves from someone on an issue relating to unproven allegations that relate to import controls that the ANS strongly oppose.
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4to2CentBCphilia
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« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2012, 09:20:16 am »

I have been meaning to ask....did the remaining coins in Cab W go under the hammer or was that part of Triton cancelled?  CNG didn't post results for the Cab W coins.

BR

Mark
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byzcoll
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« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2012, 09:26:12 am »

I have been meaning to ask....did the remaining coins in Cab W go under the hammer or was that part of Triton cancelled?  CNG didn't post results for the Cab W coins.

BR

Mark


Hi Mark,

the coins have been auctioned, some lots remain unsold. The results are listed with Triton XV, from lot 1001 on.

byzcoll
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4to2CentBCphilia
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« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2012, 11:14:42 am »

I have been meaning to ask....did the remaining coins in Cab W go under the hammer or was that part of Triton cancelled?  CNG didn't post results for the Cab W coins.

BR

Mark


Hi Mark,

the coins have been auctioned, some lots remain unsold. The results are listed with Triton XV, from lot 1001 on.

byzcoll

Thanks.  Your info allowed me to find them at the CNG research site. I had been using Sixbid to look for the realized prices and it just kept bringing me to the CNG page that indicates the document is missing.

Looks like most sold at or near estimate.

Thanks again

Mark
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mwilson603
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« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2012, 12:28:39 pm »

Even if he did have a current role, which it seems not, I doubt the ANS would distance themselves from someone on an issue relating to unproven allegations that relate to import controls that the ANS strongly oppose.

Andrew, whilst we are almost all against the import controls, unfortunately at the moment they are there.  This case involves the possible breaching of those rules, and by someone that was at one point tightly linked with the ANS.  As the ANS is mentioned in multiple reports, I would have thought that the sensible thing for them to do would be to state that they do NOT condone the breaking of any laws in the pursuit of numismatics.  That phrase isn't issuing any kind of approval for the import controls, and it may help to pour oil on the troubled waters we are now seeing from people using this case to justify the controls.  Also, if Dr Weiss isn't actively involved in the running of ANS right now, then I would have thought an additional line from them mentioning that fact may be a good thing.
regards
Mark
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Tony A
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« Reply #57 on: January 22, 2012, 01:11:49 pm »

I find it sad and somewhat ironic that the "cultural property" debate centers around countries such as Italy. I don't mean to disparage another country (there's plenty to criticize the U.S. for) or get into a debate about nationalism or political/economic systems, but the State's principle of exclusive ownership is, after Barbara Tuchman, a prime example of "folly": a government policy that is contrary to it's self-interest and based on the "exertion of a right (you) cannot exert (or enforce) ... (and) the (rejection) of viable alternatives."
In the case of counties like Italy or Greece, this is particularly telling. Driven by the myth of a "New Rome" and past glory, Italy, perhaps due to its' almost endless succession of governments - something like 61 since WWI - has struggled with the development of consistent national policies, a working economy, an efficient court system, the establishment of effective control over its' borders and internal commerce (in 2007 it was estimated that approximately 9% of the economy was black market based, and it is certainly much larger now), or adequately support and maintain its' museums and exhibits. Archeologists, the ones who so strongly support the current restrictions on excavations and the sale/import of antiquities, complain of the lack of access to sites due to "Italians first" restrictions and administrative roadblocks.
Even the most ardent MUO supporters have to admit the current situation is largely useless posturing, and hopefully, be open to workable solutions that respect the rights of property owners, limits the further development and expansion of black market operations, creates the means for responsible - and accessible - archeological research, allows for legal sale and acquisition of non-essential artifacts, creates the funding for the expansion and maintenance of existing cultural facilities, and the means (i.e., funding) for improving Italy's tourism industry.
Perhaps this Forum would be an excellent place to start discussions regarding workable solutions and enforceable policies.
Until that happens, however, I'll continue to worry about the future of my little collection ...
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Andrew McCabe
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« Reply #58 on: January 22, 2012, 01:21:37 pm »

Andrew, whilst we are almost all against the import controls, unfortunately at the moment they are there.  This case involves the possible breaching of those rules, and by someone that was at one point tightly linked with the ANS.  As the ANS is mentioned in multiple reports, I would have thought that the sensible thing for them to do would be to state that they do NOT condone the breaking of any laws in the pursuit of numismatics.  That phrase isn't issuing any kind of approval for the import controls, and it may help to pour oil on the troubled waters we are now seeing from people using this case to justify the controls.  Also, if Dr Weiss isn't actively involved in the running of ANS right now, then I would have thought an additional line from them mentioning that fact may be a good thing.
regards
Mark

Well argued.
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glebe
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« Reply #59 on: January 22, 2012, 01:34:49 pm »

I'm sorry if this has already been asked and I have missed it, or if there is an announcement somewhere that I cannot find, however I noticed on one of the many press reports that Dr Weiss is a trustee of the American Numismatic Society.  Has the ANS distanced themselves from him yet?
regards
Mark

He is not listed as a trustee:

http://numismatics.org/About/Governance

He was listed as a treasurer 2005 - 2009:

http://numismatics.org/Archives/ANSTreasurers

I'm not sure the press reports were accurate - I'd read he was a past board member (as treasurer) but not that he held any current role. Even if he did have a current role, which it seems not, I doubt the ANS would distance themselves from someone on an issue relating to unproven allegations that relate to import controls that the ANS strongly oppose.

And yet it seems that Weiss's name as the donor of many coins and other artifacts to the ANS has now been deleted from the database.

Ross G.
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maridvnvm
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« Reply #60 on: January 22, 2012, 01:42:33 pm »

He was nominated as a trustee...

http://numismatics.org/About/2011Nominations

Martin
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4to2CentBCphilia
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« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2012, 01:45:21 pm »

 Also, if Dr Weiss isn't actively involved in the running of ANS right now, then I would have thought an additional line from them mentioning that fact may be a good thing.
regards
Mark

Well argued.

Well, here's the thing IMO. If the ANS were to put out a response at this time, it would have the unintended effect of implying DR Weiss is guilty. Why else would they suddenly make a point of stating he is no longer tied to the ANS in any manner.

In the USA, a man is innocent until proven guilty by a jury of his peers. As flawed as our justice system is, it is still better than being tried and convicted based on the opinion of an inadequately informed public.  Especially when that opinion is based on the few pieces of information that "the state" has made public. Although the documentation presented on the web seems damning, I will wait until a jury hears ALL the evidence and renders a verdict.

In the interim, the ANS may do best to wait out this one. If Dr Weiss is found guilty, then I hope they are prepared, because it does not look good. The folks who collect at this level  and the dealers that supply them, are all clubby and connected...............a stain on one is a stain on many.

BTW I no longer collect coins from Italy. I sold what I had when I had to the need to sell some coins. I had no fears of the coins being confiscated from my home. I did however not want to live with the specter of possibly not being able to sell them one day. Sad because Sicilian coins are the best that Greek coins have to offer IMO. Unfortunately the Italians own that island. I have been bidding sheepishly on some Roman Republic and early Sestertius..........but I am not not in much of a hurry anymore.

My last coins have been English Hammered or Thracian coins. My sole Greek coin was minted in Alexandria Egypt.

Collecting has become quite the challenge these days.

Just my thoughts.

BR

Mark
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maridvnvm
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« Reply #62 on: January 22, 2012, 01:48:43 pm »

So what do you make of the ANS removing the references to him from coins that he has gifted to ANS?

look at:-

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:DR1X_KK_HNsJ:numismatics.org/search/results%3Fq%3Ddepartment_facet:%2522Greek%2522%2BAND%2Bdenomination_facet:%2522double%2Bsiglos%2522+&cd=17&hl=en&ct=clnk

http://numismatics.org/search/results?q=department_facet:%22Greek%22+AND+denomination_facet:%22double+siglos%22

An odd think for ANS to do.

Regards,
Martin
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Andrew McCabe
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« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2012, 01:58:23 pm »

BTW I no longer collect coins from Italy. I sold what I had when I had to the need to sell some coins. I had no fears of the coins being confiscated from my home. I did however not want to live with the specter of possibly not being able to sell them one day. Sad because Sicilian coins are the best that Greek coins have to offer IMO. Unfortunately the Italians own that island. I have been bidding sheepishly on some Roman Republic and early Sestertius..........but I am not not in much of a hurry anymore.

Roman Republican coins from the introduction of the denarius are NOT covered by the MOU.
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Congius
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« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2012, 02:10:33 pm »

Even if he did have a current role, which it seems not, I doubt the ANS would distance themselves from someone on an issue relating to unproven allegations that relate to import controls that the ANS strongly oppose.

Andrew, whilst we are almost all against the import controls, unfortunately at the moment they are there.  This case involves the possible breaching of those rules, and by someone that was at one point tightly linked with the ANS.

Actually, for what it's worth, this case (or at least the actual charge of possession of stolen property) isn't based on import controls (the Italian MOU), but rather on the Italian state's assertion of ownership of all such recently found antiquities. Based on this state ownership claim the illegal export of these items may be considered theft and hence they are viewed per the US McClain doctrine/ruling as stolen property, and subject to US stolen property law.

Ben

P.S.
You can read some background to the McClain doctrine here:

http://www.mcdonald.cam.ac.uk/projects/iarc/culturewithoutcontext/issue%2013/gerstenblith.htm

Note how state ownership is the key determinant here - if this was just about export (or import) violation then the charge of theft/stolen property would not apply.

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4to2CentBCphilia
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« Reply #65 on: January 22, 2012, 02:23:48 pm »

BTW I no longer collect coins from Italy. I sold what I had when I had to the need to sell some coins. I had no fears of the coins being confiscated from my home. I did however not want to live with the specter of possibly not being able to sell them one day. Sad because Sicilian coins are the best that Greek coins have to offer IMO. Unfortunately the Italians own that island. I have been bidding sheepishly on some Roman Republic and early Sestertius..........but I am not not in much of a hurry anymore.

Roman Republican coins from the introduction of the denarius are NOT covered by the MOU.

Really? Someone told me otherwise. At least in regards to RR denarii.

This is great news for me...........although perhaps not for my wallet.

Thanks for that info.

BR

Mark
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4to2CentBCphilia
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« Reply #66 on: January 22, 2012, 02:27:38 pm »

So what do you make of the ANS removing the references to him from coins that he has gifted to ANS?

look at:-

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:DR1X_KK_HNsJ:numismatics.org/search/results%3Fq%3Ddepartment_facet:%2522Greek%2522%2BAND%2Bdenomination_facet:%2522double%2Bsiglos%2522+&cd=17&hl=en&ct=clnk

http://numismatics.org/search/results?q=department_facet:%22Greek%22+AND+denomination_facet:%22double+siglos%22

An odd think for ANS to do.

Regards,
Martin
[/quote

Hmmmm.
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byzcoll
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« Reply #67 on: January 22, 2012, 02:35:57 pm »



Actually, for what it's worth, this case (or at least the actual charge of possession of stolen property) isn't based on import controls (the Italian MOU), but rather on the Italian state's assertion of ownership of all such recently found antiquities. Based on this state ownership claim the illegal export of these items may be considered theft and hence they are viewed per the US McClain doctrine/ruling as stolen property, and subject to US stolen property law.

Ben


They could actually claim everything which has left Italy without an export license since 1909 (Not 2009). In 1909 major cultural property laws went into effect in Italy.

byzcoll
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benito
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« Reply #68 on: January 22, 2012, 03:25:50 pm »

So what do you make of the ANS removing the references to him from coins that he has gifted to ANS?

look at:-

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:DR1X_KK_HNsJ:numismatics.org/search/results%3Fq%3Ddepartment_facet:%2522Greek%2522%2BAND%2Bdenomination_facet:%2522double%2Bsiglos%2522+&cd=17&hl=en&ct=clnk

http://numismatics.org/search/results?q=department_facet:%22Greek%22+AND+denomination_facet:%22double+siglos%22

An odd think for ANS to do.

Regards,
Martin

DAMNATIO MEMORIAE  ?
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mwilson603
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« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2012, 03:29:21 pm »

 Also, if Dr Weiss isn't actively involved in the running of ANS right now, then I would have thought an additional line from them mentioning that fact may be a good thing.
regards
Mark

Well argued.

Well, here's the thing IMO. If the ANS were to put out a response at this time, it would have the unintended effect of implying DR Weiss is guilty. Why else would they suddenly make a point of stating he is no longer tied to the ANS in any manner.

In the USA, a man is innocent until proven guilty by a jury of his peers. As flawed as our justice system is, it is still better than being tried and convicted based on the opinion of an inadequately informed public.  

Mark, I fully understand the basis of the legal system.  The USA took most of it from Britain in the first place Smiley
I was not advocating announcing Dr Weiss is guilty by the ANS.  I was merely pointing out that if he is nothing to do with them anymore, they should announce that and remove themselves from the middle of the mud-slinging, regardless of how it pans out.  For example, if I was an ex-IOC member and arrested as part of a criminal investigation, and press reports stated that I am a serving member of the IOC, I would expect the Olympic committee to quickly announce that I am no longer a serving member.  That is NOT announcing that I am guilty, it is merely getting the facts straight.  
If the "inadequately informed public" add 1+1 together and come to a figure of 3, well a) that's just a shame, and b) irrelevant.  Until he goes to trial it doesn't matter what anyone outside of that process thinks.
regards
Mark
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Andrew McCabe
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« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2012, 04:00:26 pm »

Really? Someone told me otherwise. At least in regards to RR denarii.

This is great news for me...........although perhaps not for my wallet.

Thanks for that info.

BR

Mark

The MOU is specific that it includes only Roman Republican coins which are catalogued in Rutter's Historia Numorum Italy. That includes only the pre-denarius didrachm coinage as well as some civic coins.

No denarius coinage including bronze or gold is included. That is official.

You can check the text of the MOU if you wish, but it is specific. Rutter's Historia Numorum Italy is the guiding text (and Barclay Head's book for Sicily), and there are no denarii in that book.
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glebe
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« Reply #71 on: January 22, 2012, 05:21:31 pm »

Really? Someone told me otherwise. At least in regards to RR denarii.

This is great news for me...........although perhaps not for my wallet.

Thanks for that info.

BR

Mark

The MOU is specific that it includes only Roman Republican coins which are catalogued in Rutter's Historia Numorum Italy. That includes only the pre-denarius didrachm coinage as well as some civic coins.

No denarius coinage including bronze or gold is included. That is official.

You can check the text of the MOU if you wish, but it is specific. Rutter's Historia Numorum Italy is the guiding text (and Barclay Head's book for Sicily), and there are no denarii in that book.

Actually, it's Hill's book for Sicily, but no matter. Here is the current designated list:

http://exchanges.state.gov/media/office-of-policy-and-evaluation/chc/pdfs/it2011dlfrn.pdf

Ross G.
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glebe
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« Reply #72 on: January 22, 2012, 07:26:04 pm »

You might also wonder about the legal liabilities of the auction houses when they make statements like this about provenance. Can they simply repeat (without qualification) what the vendor tells them, as if it's fact, or should they take real steps to verify his story. To date these questions don't seemed to have worried the trade at all.


In answer to your question, it is a case of all care and no responsibility for the auction house.  Suppose you plonk down $2,500,000 plus plus for the Deka, then at a later date it proves to to be stolen.  Then you are in receipt of stolen goods, which can and will be legally seized and returned to the rightful owner without compensation to you, and you have zero come back on those who sold it to you, even if you escape jail.

At present of course nobody is alleging that the deka is stolen. However, on the facts as we know them it may be open to a customs claim, which is not a criminal action, under the Italian MOU.
As we all know (and as the ACCG recently found out), the onus is then on the importer to show that a designated coin has been legally imported, and not on the Customs Service or the Italian state to show that it wasn't.

Ross G.



Mmm - no further comment at this time.

Ross G.
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Lloyd Taylor
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« Reply #73 on: January 22, 2012, 08:17:05 pm »

.......
At present of course nobody is alleging that the deka is stolen. However, on the facts as we know them it may be open to a customs claim, which is not a criminal action, under the Italian MOU.
As we all know (and as the ACCG recently found out), the onus is then on the importer to show that a designated coin has been legally imported, and not on the Customs Service or the Italian state to show that it wasn't.

Mmm - no further comment at this time.

I'll venture to risk my head in the lion's mouth at this point by saying that the Italian Government and US Customs Department interpret the law correctly, in that an object that is not accompanied by the requisite export approval and/or documentation demonstrating old provenance then it is by definition not legally entitled to be imported into the country (US), or is illegally present in the country if it is already there. The long bow that is then drawn by most commentators and observers is that such being the case the object must by definition have been looted/stolen. Yet such a conclusion is a non sequitur in that there may well be other reasons why an export approval is not granted, or documentation supporting an old provenance not available.  The simple solution in this case is to not try and move the object across US borders. Notice how the stated provenance for the deka invited scrutiny on this very point...From a collection in the United States, once in a Swiss collection and, earlier, in an English collection in London in the 1960s.

To my mind the key unanswered question: At what date did it leave Switzerland and enter the USA and how does this sit in terms of the MoU restrictions on importation of Italian coins which has an effective date of January 19, 2011?


For the avoidance of doubt, I use the terms looted and stolen synonymously:

loot loōt
noun
goods, esp. private property, taken from an enemy in war.
• stolen money or valuables : two men wearing stocking masks, each swinging a bag of loot.
• informal money; wealth : the thief made off with $5 million in loot.
verb [ trans. ]
steal goods from (a place), typically during a war or riot : police confronted the rioters who were looting shops.
• steal (goods) in such circumstances : tons of food aid awaiting distribution had been looted.
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Lloyd Taylor
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« Reply #74 on: January 22, 2012, 08:26:07 pm »

When all is said and done it is probably a lot safer for one's wealth to stick with the Becker Deka  Grin over the Cabinet W one....


(image courtesy of Doug Smith ....http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=77540.0;topicseen)
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