Winner of the ANS’s Collier Prize Announced

James M. Collier, self-portrait after Memling (2006).

In 2020, Carole Anne Menzi Collier established the Collier Prize in Ancient Numismatics at the ANS, a new award offered for the first time in 2021. The Prize is named after her late husband Professor James M. Collier and commemorates the life of a remarkable man, an ardent lover of the history and culture of Europe and the Ancient world, and a passionate collector of ancient Greek and Roman coins. A feature on the life of Prof. Collier was published in ANS Magazine 2020, vol. 4, an excerpt of which can be found here.

This substantial monetary prize is to be awarded every third year to the best single or multi-authored book, catalogue, or online digital work in the field of ancient numismatics (650 BCE to 300 CE). The winner(s) receive prize money of $20,000, to be split equally in the event of a multi-authored work. For the initial prize, eligible publications were limited to those works published in 2019 or 2020. A jury of five senior numismatists appointed by the President of the American Numismatic Society reviewed the nine works submitted this year for the contest and, after a protracted period of study and discussion selected the winner of the 2021 Collier Prize based on the judging criteria of the quality and accuracy of the work; the scale and scope of the work; and the potential impact and audience.

At the Annual Meeting held on October 23rd, the winner was announced: Roman Imperial Coinage (RIC) vol.II.3 on the coinage of the Emperor Hadrian from AD 117 to 138 (London: Spink, 2019) by Richard Abdy. This new volume is a substantial reworking of the RIC volume (2C) that included Hadrian’s coinage published nearly a century ago. In addition to the lengthy introductory essay, itself a masterwork of scholarship, Abdy presents a catalogue of over 3,000 types of coins produced under the rule of Hadrian, along with those for Sabina, Aelius and Antoninus Caesar. Included as well are the medallions produced under Hadrian, a catalogue of which Peter Franz Mittag contributed to the volume.

Richard Abdy has worked at the British Museum since 1993 and since 1998 has been a curator of Roman coins in the Department of Coins and Medals. Aside from his award-winning RIC volume, Abdy has published widely on Roman coinage and has long been involved in recording Roman coin hoards in England. An award ceremony will be announced in the coming months.