Owl of Athena
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Ancient Coins

Ancient Coins
David R. Sear at NFA
Roman Coins David R. Sear at NFA, Beverly Hills 1984

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Book Publications
It was during this time that I wrote my first book ROMAN COINS AND THEIR VALUES. H.A. Seaby's 1954 Roman catalogue was out of print and seriously in need of revision, so I took it upon myself to undertake the task in my spare time. The book was published by Seaby in 1964 and received immediate recognition as an invaluable aid to the beginner in the hobby of Roman coin collecting. In the same year it was awarded the Lhotka Memorial Prize by the Royal Numismatic Society in London. It has since been through four revised editions and I am currently preparing an entirely new 'Millennium Edition' which will be published in six volumes, the first three of which are already available.

In 1973 I decided to give up residence and employment in London and to move to the country to concentrate on producing more books. My wife Margaret, our two sons Dexter and Adrian, and I went to live in a small village just outside the county town of Norwich, and there I wrote several new books for Seaby in collaboration with Frank Purvey, who undertook all the coin photography. The first to appear in this series was BYZANTINE COINS AND THEIR VALUES (1974) followed four years later by the first volume of GREEK COINS AND THEIR VALUES, covering mints in Europe. The second volume (Asia and Africa) followed in 1979, the year which saw us move to another East Anglian village, just outside the historic market town of Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk. Here I wrote another new book, GREEK IMPERIAL COINS AND THEIR VALUES, devoted to the local provincial coinages of the Roman Empire. Published just after our move to Los Angeles in 1982, this work also received an award - this time the Book Prize of the International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN).

Los Angeles - California
The relocation to southern California came as a result of my long friendship with Bruce McNall, who I first met on a Seaby business trip to the US in 1968. From small beginnings, by the early '80s Bruce was owner of Numismatic Fine Arts on Beverly Hills' prestigious Rodeo Drive and towards the end of 1981 offered me a position with the company. Although it involved uprooting our family and moving to an entirely unfamiliar environment, my wife and I decided to take the plunge. In April of 1982 we became residents of Los Angeles where we have remained ever since (thirty-one years and counting).

This most recent phase of my career has been an interesting and eventful period (including being within three miles of the epicenter of a major Los Angeles earthquake in 1994). I was obliged to put my writing activities on hold for some considerable time, due to other commitments, though during the '80s I managed to undertake two important revisions of existing works - BYZANTINE COINS AND THEIR VALUES in 1987 (in collaboration with my old friend Simon Bendall) and ROMAN COINS AND THEIR VALUES (4th revised edition) in 1988. During my eight years with Numismatic Fine Arts I was heavily involved in the compilation of the company's lavishly produced auction catalogues, many of which have since become classics in their field. These included the catalogues of the celebrated Garrett Collection, sold on behalf of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, in which ambitious project I served as co-editor with the eminent classical numismatist the late Dr. Leo Mildenberg of Zürich, Switzerland. My collaborator throughout most of this period was my good friend and NFA colleague Cathy Lorber, author of the standard work on the coinage of Amphipolis and co-author with Arthur Houghton of "Seleucid Coins" the new standard reference for this important series. In my early days at NFA I had worked with Eric McFadden, now senior director of the European division of Classical Numismatic Group (CNG) based in London.

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Roman Excavations
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