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Collecting is autobiographical

“It all began with a Roman coin minted in 49 B.C. and depicting two clasped hands. Brian Burke, then a teacher of Latin and English at Germantown Academy in Philadelphia, bought the coin in 1974 as a teaching aid. ‘As a teacher, I was always trying to make the abstract concrete,’ he says. A year later, Burke came across a paperweight, made circa 1900, with clasped hands and the word ‘friendship.’ He bought it, and a collection was born.”