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Author Topic: who collects Pantikapaeum & other black sea greek colony coins?  (Read 6211 times)
Robert T2
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I like ants & pantis (that sounds soo wrong)!


« on: May 06, 2007, 02:09:50 am »

Hi there, recently my non-roman collecting interests have becme increasingly dominated by bronze issues of the greek colony site of Pantikapaeum on the north coast of the black sea, and surrounding greek colony sites. Mainly just from 4th to end 2nd cent BC before the Kingdom of Bosporus came under Roman sway. Just wondered who else out there collects these coins and period to get a feel for the size of this collecting pond.
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rob
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2007, 08:03:19 am »

Hi Rob!

I think that's a very interesting region to built up a collection. It was so to speak the furthermost outpost of Greek civilisation! There is a small book 'An Introduction to the History and Coinage of the Kingdom of the Bosporus by David MacDonald, Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. 2005, Classical Numismatic Studies No. 5. viii and 144 pp.; illustrated throughout' I can recommend.

In the moment I become acquainted with this subject. Here is one of my coins.

Best regards
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2007, 12:21:44 pm »

Pantikapaion issued wonderful coins! Be careful, though, as there are quite a few tooled specimens around.

Lars
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Robert T2
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2007, 03:15:03 pm »

Many thanks Jochen, I was fortunate to find a copy of MacDonald through CNG's web-site and while small it is beautiful book with some nice bits of background history to help bring the coins alive. Actually I'm going to use the book as the basis of my collection of Panti bronze, making it my goal to try and get one of each type listed up until 100BC... I'm almost halfway there. An examples attached below of lion reverse with bowcase CM and Satyre with star CM. Nice coin that you've posted there too Jochen, I assume from the later Kingdom of Bosporus period? I've collected a few KOB coins, but particularly the later 3rd/4th century ones that feature really naive almost cartoon-like portraits like the one I've attached below.

And hello Lars, is the tooling you mention equally prevalent on the bronze as the silver panti coins? How does it feature, as smoothing of fields or as carving to accentuate details etc... thanks for this, something I wasn't aware of.

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rob
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2007, 03:36:26 pm »

The borderline between smoothing and tooling often is floating. Here's a specimen that I'd call smoothed AND tooled, although the seller only calls it smoothed.

I didn't want to scare you off from collecting Pantikapaion, though. Most of the Pan-coins aren't tooled, though some are smoothed. But smoothing, if well done, is fine to me.

Lars

PS: you will rarely find tooling on silver coins
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Reid Goldsborough
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2007, 11:10:39 pm »

I did something similar, recently completing a set of Pantikapaion bronzes depicting Pan/satyr, mostly using MacDonald but also Anokhin, Shelov, and Zograph. The toughest to find are the trilogy of early, small varieties -- MacDonald 60, 61, and 62. The largest bronzes, the AE-25s-27s, can also be on the pricey side -- MacDonald 59 and 65. But the rest are fairly plentiful and can generally be had for under $100 and sometime well under. The countermarked varieties add an extra dimension.

And for a modern take, the Ukrainian 2000 5 hryven commemorative coin (16.54g, 35mm) depicts on the reverse a selection of ancient Pantikapaion coins, marking as it does the 2600th anniversary of the city of Kerch (ancient city of Pantikapaion).
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Vladimir
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2007, 12:19:29 am »

i collect pretty much all northern Black Sea coins. I estimate there are 100-150  people who buy Panti coins  on Ebay and CNG, its not much really. Or is it?
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Robert T2
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2007, 01:21:22 am »

Thanks Lars, that's a great example of smoothing/tooling.

Reid, sounds like you've already walked the path I hope to tread. I'm also looking at the non-satyr obverses, e.g. Athena, Poseiden, Apollo, etc, but was going to stick just with Macdonald for now. And obviously I'm picking up the easy stuff first. I haven't any of the very early small or large varieties you mentioned yet, though I was eyeing of a lovely Mac 59 on CNG, but which is really just a little out of my price range for now.

I've also picked up a few other northern Black Sea types, Phanagoria, Theodosia and Olbia... just couldn't resist Roll Eyes

And hi Vladimir, that's the sort of thing I was wondering, just how many of us there are?

cheers,

Rob
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Vladimir
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2007, 06:02:36 am »

We are very rare, Robert, I'd say  fortunatly. Can you imagine what would ancient coins cost if there are  were as many  collectors as of American coinage? I've seen Macdonald 59 from CNG of similar or better quality  ending  on Ebay  with $220-230 bid,  and I think it was sold by one of the forum members.
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Myrmidon
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2007, 04:16:32 pm »

i collect pretty much all northern Black Sea coins. I estimate there are 100-150  people who buy Panti coins  on Ebay and CNG, its not much really. Or is it?

Could you advise us some serious Black Sea ebay-sellers with greek coins?
Many  BlackSea coins are nothing more than fakes ...

Regards
Myrmidon
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Vladimir
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2007, 04:54:33 pm »

I dont think there is anyone who sells constantly BS coins, but I know Kevin sells a lot of them, Augustus was selling  off once  a really nice collection, and there is one more seller from South Africa  who sells quite often some nice bronzes ( he never answered any of my emails though)
There are many good coins with nice prices in Ukraine/Russia  but its hard to talk anyone into sending them to you as there is a prisontime for that and Russian prisons are no joke at all.
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Robert T2
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2007, 05:06:56 pm »



Could you advise us some serious Black Sea ebay-sellers with greek coins?
Many  BlackSea coins are nothing more than fakes ...

Regards
Myrmidon

Hi Myrmidon, what gives the coins away as fakes ?... I ask as a relative newcomer to greek coins. I'm fine with repatination and even smoothing in some cases, but would at least like to think the coin is authentic? regards, Rob
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2007, 09:33:48 pm »

Quote from: Robert T2 on May 07, 2007, 01:21:22 am
Reid, sounds like you've already walked the path I hope to tread. I'm also looking at the non-satyr obverses, e.g. Athena, Poseiden, Apollo, etc, but was going to stick just with Macdonald for now. And obviously I'm picking up the easy stuff first. I haven't any of the very early small or large varieties you mentioned yet, though I was eyeing of a lovely Mac 59 on CNG, but which is really just a little out of my price range for now.

The MacDonald 59 specimen I have was an unusual buy. I bought it on eBay as an ex-CNG coin. I won it for $100 even. I then checked CNG's archives, and it had previously sold through one of its electronic auctions for $236. I give credit to the seller for honoring the deal.

I have 17 different varieties of the Pantikapaoin Pan/Satyr bronzes, two of which are countermarked versions of the same variety I have that aren't countermarked. (There are other countermarked varieties I don't have but I decided not to go crazy with the countermarks.) All except one of the pieces cost me $100 or under, which had been my criterion for this series. Another good buy for me was MacDonald 65, the other large and typically pricey variety, which happened to also cost me exactly $100, in this case through an eBay side deal when it didn't get a bid at its opening price of $150 during the course of two auctions.

The one I had to pay more for was MacDonald 62, one of the smallest bronzes, an AE-10, depicting a sturgeon on the reverse, not in Sear or Shelov but along with MacDonald in Anokhin and Zograph. It's a difficult variety to find, or at least was for me, and it had been on my want list forever. It cost me quite a bit more, but I had to have it when I finally saw one for sale. I paid $320 (including buyer's and other fees) through a Gorny & Mosch auction. I suppose I could have waited to try to find one at a better price, but my willpower gave out. <g>
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Robert T2
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2007, 11:26:38 pm »


The one I had to pay more for was MacDonald 62, one of the smallest bronzes, an AE-10, depicting a sturgeon on the reverse, not in Sear or Shelov but along with MacDonald in Anokhin and Zograph. It's a difficult variety to find, or at least was for me, and it had been on my want list forever. It cost me quite a bit more, but I had to have it when I finally saw one for sale. I paid $320 (including buyer's and other fees) through a Gorny & Mosch auction. I suppose I could have waited to try to find one at a better price, but my willpower gave out. <g>

Thanks Reid, Gulp! I can see I'm going to have to do some serious purging of my Roman collections for $ to realise all my Panti wants... I'm after all the counter-marked varieties to... often find these just or more appealing than the originals! cheers, Rob
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2007, 02:54:41 pm »

call me a Phillistine but I don't like the countermarked coins, especially on Pantis.  The bronzes are already quite small and to have someone's countermark marring the design of the coin bothers me and makes it difficult to appreciate the design.
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Robert T2
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I like ants & pantis (that sounds soo wrong)!


« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2007, 03:28:39 pm »

call me a Phillistine but I don't like the countermarked coins, especially on Pantis.  The bronzes are already quite small and to have someone's countermark marring the design of the coin bothers me and makes it difficult to appreciate the design.
Raymond

Hi Ray, I can understand that. It depends on what it is about coins that hold your interest, and outward appeal in the form of an unmarred design is a big factor. For me though, it's more about the history of the coins and the stories that they tell... counter-marking for example was a great revenue raising idea... you got lion's head reverse bronzes worth 1 widgit each, bring them in to your friendly panti government tax office and they stamp it with a star and bowcase so that it will be worth 2 widjits!!! Government keeps half, but you walk away with the same worth in widjits, everyone wins... well no-one loses, well maybe... Grin

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rob
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2007, 08:04:55 pm »

There are lots of ways to go with these Pantis (I like that abbreviation). I've decided to do only bronzes and have what I regard as a complete set of those that depict what's variously described as a satyr or Pan on the obverse, 15 in all (not including the countermarked varieties). If anyone sees any I'm missing, please let me know. (The dating is MacDonold's.)

1. Bearded satyr facing left/bow and arrow, AE 25, 14.85g, c. 340-325 BC, Sear -, MacDonald 59, Anokhin 110, Shelov 54, Zograph XL 30, SNG Cop. 42, SNG BM Black Sea 868, SNG Stancomb 539-540, SNG München -, BMC -, aEF, from Gary Sims.

2. Bearded satyr facing right/horse forepart facing right, AE 11, 1.98g, c. 340-325 BC, Sear -, MacDonald 60, Anokhin 87, Shelov 38, Zograph -, SNG Cop. -, SNG BM Black Sea 876, SNG Stancomb 534, SNG München 13, BMC 26, aEF, from CNG.

3. Bearded satyr facing right/ram head facing right, AE 12, 1.22g, c. 340-325 BC, Sear -, MacDonald 61, Anokhin 88, Shelov 39, Zograph -, SNG Cop. -, SNG BM Black Sea -, SNG Stancomb 533, SNG München -, BMC -, VF, from CNG.

4. Bearded satyr facing left/sturgeon head facing right, AE 10, 1.15g, c. 340-325 BC, Sear -, MacDonald 62, Anokhin 81, Shelov -, Zograph XL 28, SNG Cop. -, SNG BM Black Sea -, SNG Stancomb -, SNG München -, BMC -, aEF, from Gorny & Mosch.

5. Young satyr facing left/bull or ox, AE 27, 17.14g, c. 325-310 BC, Sear 1699, MacDonald 65, Anokhin 124, Shelov 60, Zograph XLI 1, SNG Cop. 34, SNG BM Black Sea 881-882, SNG Stancomb 549-550, SNG München 12, BMC 16, aVF, from Ilya Zlobin, Janus Numismatics.

6. Bearded satyr facing left/bull oro, AE 17, 4.7g, c. 325-310 BC, Sear -, MacDonald 67, Anokhin 132, Shelov 63-64, Zograph XLI 7, SNG Cop. 32, SNG BM Black Sea 890-893, SNG Stancomb 557-559, SNG München 27-30, BMC 17-18 VF, from Kirk Davis.

7. Young satyr facing right/bull or ox, AE 9, 1.0g, c. 325-310 BC, Sear -, MacDonald 73, Anokhin 114, Shelov 51, Zograph XL 21, SNG Cop. -, SNG BM Black Sea 877, SNG Stancomb -, SNG München -, BMC 19, Fine, from Kevin Sandes, Noble Roman Coins.

8. Bearded satyr facing right/ griffin facing left, sturgeon, AE 20, 6.9g, c. 310-303 BC, Sear 1700, MacDonald 69, Anokhin 111, Shelov 57, Zograph XL 18, SNG Cop. 30-31, SNG BM Black Sea 869-871, SNG Stancomb 541-542, SNG München 18-21, BMC 20, EF, from Dmitry Markov.

9. Young satyr facing left/lion, sturgeon, AE 18, 7.3g, c. 310-303 BC, Sear 1701, MacDonald 70, Anokhin 125, Shelov 61-62, Zograph XLI 2, SNG Cop. 35-36, SNG BM Black Sea 883-885, SNG Stancomb 552-553, SNG München 23-24, BMC 21-22, aEF, from International Numismatics, Melbourne, Australia.
 
10. Young satyr facing right/Pegasos facing right, AE 12, 3.3g, c. 310-303 BC, Sear 1702, MacDonald 71, Anokhin 112, Shelov 56, Zograph XL 19, SNG Cop. 41, SNG BM Black Sea 872-873, SNG Stancomb 543-544, SNG München 16-17, BMC 25, gVF, from Vladislav Bogdanov, Germany.

11. Young satyr facing right/bow in case,AE 12, 1.7g, c. 310-303 BC, Sear -, MacDonald 72, Anokhin 113, Shelov 55, Zograph XL 20, SNG Cop. 50-52, SNG BM Black Sea 874-875, SNG Stancomb 545-546, SNG München 15, BMC 24, gVF, from CNG.

12. Young satyr facing left/bow and arrow, AE 20, 6.7g, c. 304-250 BC, Sear -, MacDonald 116, Anokhin 133, Shelov 65-67, Zograph XLI 4-5, SNG Cop. 43 and 46, SNG BM Black Sea 894-896 and 900-905, SNG Stancomb 560-563, SNG München 30-32, BMC 28-29 (larger and smaller varieties), aEF, from Mihaela Chifiac, Moldova.

13. Bearded satyr facing right/bow and arrow, AE 11, 1.6g), c. 250-200 BC, Sear -, MacDonald 124, Anokhin 155, Shelov 72-73, Zograph XLI 6, SNG Cop. 47, SNG BM Black Sea -, SNG Stancomb 566, SNG München -, BMC 27 (Anokhin 145, SNG Stancomb 565 larger variety), aVF, from Marc Breitsprecher, Ancient Imports.

14. Bearded satyr facing left/cornucopiae, pilei (caps) of the Dioskouroi (twin gods Castor and Pollux), stars, AE 17, 4.1g, c. 150-120 BC, Sear 1705, MacDonald 145, Anokhin 175, Shelov 100, Zograph XLI 20, SNG Cop. 53-54, SNG BM Black Sea 924-925, SNG Stancomb 576-578, SNG München 52-55, BMC 39-40, gVF, from CNG.

15. Bearded satyr (Apollo according to SNG Stancomb) facing right/pilei (caps) of the Dioskouroi (twin gods Castor and Pollux), stars, AE 14, 2.89g, c. 150-120 BC, Sear -, MacDonald 146, Anokhin 176, Shelov 101, Zograph XLI 21, SNG Cop. 55, SNG BM Black Sea 926, SNG Stancomb 579-580, SNG München -, BMC 41, gVF, from Radmilo Bozinovic, Rudnik Numismatics.

One interesting thing about this set is that all 15 are in MacDonald, all 15 are in Anokhin, 14 of 15 are in Shelov, 13 of 15 are in Zograph, 11 of 15 are in SNG Cop., 12 of 15 are in SNG BM Black Sea, 13 of 15 are in SNG Stancomb, 9 of 15 are in SNG München, 13 of 15 are in BMC, and 5 of 15 are in Sear (which of course is a sampling).

You can also do silver types, as well as gold, though prices rise respectively, and gold can be in the stratosphere. Still, the single most celebrated Pantikapaion coin is the gold stater depicting a satyr three-quarter facing left with a griffin on the reverse, Sear 1692, a beautifully rendered coin. They typically go from $15,000 to $25,000. Outta my league, for now, maybe forever. The common varieties of bronzes, on the other hand, sell for an average of maybe $50 in VF and can be very nice as well.

And then there are the Pantikapaoin Roman Provincial types, much less interesting to me, much less inspired aesthetically, but which can really increase the number of types and denominations.
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Robert T2
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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2007, 10:10:12 pm »

Reid,

Many thanks for the detailed listing, this is great. I have 9 of the 15 thus far, but I'm also collecting the non-satyr obverses (poseiden and athena etc) and counter-marked varieties that probably doubles the list if not more. I'm lacking 1 through 5 and 7 of your list.

I've have at least 10 examples of 11 and 12 which I'll need to start shedding to make $ for the ones I'm lacking.

cheers,

Rob
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2007, 07:24:13 am »

I have a half dozen uncleaned that I have been working on for a few months now and the variety is what's stumping me.  If you know roughly what you're looking at, it makes it easier to pick away and chip at the coin.  But if you're faced with light details, two layers of different coloured patina on which has been superimposed a countermark of even more bizarre countenance, where does Pan start and end?!!! 
Raymond
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Robert T2
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2007, 03:35:57 pm »

I have a half dozen uncleaned that I have been working on for a few months now and the variety is what's stumping me.  If you know roughly what you're looking at, it makes it easier to pick away and chip at the coin.  But if you're faced with light details, two layers of different coloured patina on which has been superimposed a countermark of even more bizarre countenance, where does Pan start and end?!!! 
Raymond

Ray, I know only too well what you mean. Macdonald's book helped me with what I might be looking at.... otherwise I guess it's all down to time and your trusty toothbrush (I helped mine along with a boil in Gringott's mix). cheers, rob
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