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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Denominations ▸ Greek FractionsView Options:  |  |  |     

Greek Silver Fractions

Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Ba'Alshillem II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.

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Sidon, named for the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19), is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). The Sidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12) but Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with them, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). Jesus visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) where many came to hear him preach (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). After leaving Caesarea, Paul's ship put in at Sidon, before finally sailing for Rome (Acts 27:3, 4).
GS70324. Silver 1/16 shekel, Elayi 2004 851 ff.; Hoover 10 240; Betlyon 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); BMC Phoenicia p 146, 36 (same); SNG Cop 197 ff. (same), VF, tight flan, toned, lightly etched surfaces, weight 0.841 g, maximum diameter 9.45 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left, Phoenician letter beth above; reverse King of Persia (to left) standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter ayin between them; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00

Ziz (Panormos), Punic Sicily, c. 405 - 380 B.C.

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Some authorities have identified the male head on the obverse as Apollo. Indeed, on some examples the head does resemble other depictions of the youthful sun god, but on other examples the god is horned. On this coin the head seems to better resemble traditional depictions of Herakles or Baal. The type usually has the Punic ethnic above the bull. Sometimes it is below. Most likely it should be above on this coin but is merely unstruck.
GS66771. Silver obol, cf. Jenkins Punic (SNR 50) 14; BMC Sicily p. 249, 27; SNG ANS 551; SGCV I 889 (all w/ Punic ethnic "sys" above bull), aVF, weight 0.547 g, maximum diameter 9.14 mm, die axis 45o, Ziz (Palermo, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 405 - 380 B.C.; obverse male head left; reverse Man-faced bull advancing left, head turned facing; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50

Ionia(?), c. 450 - 350 B.C.

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This type is apparently unpublished and we were unable to find another example. This rosette obverse type is known, paired with a variety of incuse punch reverses for this denomination. Those coins may be earlier issues from the same uncertain mint in Ionia.
GS75854. Silver tetartemorion, Apparently unpublished, VF, rough, weight 0.116 g, maximum diameter 4.8 mm, uncertain Ionian(?) mint, c. 450 - 350 B.C.; obverse rosette; reverse head of bull left; ex Failla Numismatics (2013); $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00

Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 380 - 325 B.C.

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The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by King Eurystheus (his cousin), was to slay the Nemean lion and bring back its skin. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Wise Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt. This type was struck with dozens of different pose variations on the reverse. In some scenes it even appears Herakles might lose. There are so many variations that it may be possible to take the photographs of the reverses and arrange them in a flip book to animate the fight.
GS67287. Silver diobol, Vlasto 1254 ff., HN Italy 914, SGCV I 351, aVF, grainy, small flan, obverse off center, weight 0.749 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 180o, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 380 - 325 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested attic helmet decorated with a hippocamp; reverse TAPANTINΩN(?), young Heracles standing right strangling the Nemean lion, nude, club behind, K between Herakles legs; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50

Leontini, Sicily, c. 476 - 455 B.C.

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Leontini was founded by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C. Six miles inland, it is the only Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, Originally held by the Sicels, the site was seized by the Greeks to gain control of the fertile plain to the north.
GS67480. Silver hemilitra, SNG München 548; Boehringer Leontini B; cf. HGC 2 688 (R2, obol); SNG ANS 216 (obol, finer style); BMC Sicily p. 88, 22 (same); SNG Cop 342 (same), VF, weight 0.282 g, maximum diameter 10.3 mm, die axis 225o, Leontini (or unofficial?) mint, c. 476 - 466 B.C.; obverse crude facing lion scalp, dot border; reverse LE/ON (retrograde), barley grain, within shallow round incuse; very rare; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50

Selge, Pisidia, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Selge, Pisidia on the southern slope of Mount Taurus where the river Eurymedon (Köprücay) forces its way through the mountains, was once the most powerful and populous city of Pisidia. Protected by precipices, torrents, and an army of 20,000 regarded as worthy kinsmen of the Spartans, Selge was never subject to a foreign power until Rome. In the 5th century A.D. Zosimus calls it a little town, but it was still strong enough to repel a body of Goths.
GS68737. Silver obol, SNGvA 5266 ff.; SNG BnF 1930; SNG Kayhan 1061; BMC Lycia p. 257, 7; cf. SNG Cop 246 ff. (no tongue); SGCV II 5478, VF, toned, edge chip, weight 0.768 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 45o, Selge mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) with protruding tongue; reverse helmeted head of Athena right, astragalos behind; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50

Halikarnassos(?), Caria, c. 400 - 340 B.C.

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In Kadmos 37 (1998), K. Konuk identifies Halikarnassos as a possible reading of the ethnic Carian reverse legend. The ram's head may be a symbol of Apollo as the god of flocks and herds.
GS73023. Silver hemiobol, SNG Kayhan 996; SNG Keckman 873; noted in Troxell Carians, weight 0.490 g, maximum diameter 7.6 mm, die axis 0o, Carian mint, c. 400 - 340 B.C; obverse head of ram right; reverse young male head right, ethnic legend across lower fields; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00

Kelenderis, Cilicia, 425 - 400 B.C.

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The land around Kelenderis was inadequate for farming but, apparently from the coins, suitable for raising goats. On the plateau behind the hills there were vineyards and olive trees, rich sources of minerals, especially iron and woods, mainly pine and cedar, which were essential for ship building. The town was connected to the Central Anatolian Plateau with suitable passages in the valleys, but it was mainly a port, connected with Cyprus and other countries lying on the Mediterranean coasts.
GS65748. Silver obol, BMC Lycaonia p. 56, 32; Göktürk 6 var. (Pegasos left); SNG BnF -; SNG Levante -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, VF, toned, some porosity, weight 0.797 g, maximum diameter 9.5 mm, die axis 270o, Kelenderis mint, 425 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of Pegasus right, curved wings, circle of dots; reverse KE (upper right), forepart of goat left, head turned back right; ex CNG e-Auction 185, lot 229 (27 Mar 2013); ex Kelly J. Krizan M.D. Collection; CNG Auction 25, lot 362 (24 Mar 1993); very rare; $75.00 SALE PRICE $67.50

Lesbos, c. 500 - 450 B.C.

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A most unusual use of illusion on a coin. The two confronting boars' heads can also be viewed as the facing head of a panther.
GA70935. Billon 1/10th stater, BMC Troas p. 151, 14; SNG Cop 287; Traité I, p. 350, 564; SNGvA 7712 var. (no ethnic); SNG München 645 ff. var. (same); Rosen 542 var. (same), VF, dark toning, tight flan, weight 1.264 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Koinon of Lesbos mint, c. 500 - 450 B.C.; obverse ΛEΣ (above), confronting boar heads, creating the illusion of a facing head of a panther; reverse incuse square punch; from Matt Kreuzer, ex Mediterranean Coins; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00

Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 380 - 360 B.C.

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In historical times, Tarsos was first ruled by the Hittites, followed by Assyria, and then the Persian Empire. Tarsus, as the principal town of Cilicia, was the seat of a Persian satrapy from 400 B.C. onward. Indeed, Xenophon records that in 401 B.C., when Cyrus the Younger marched against Babylon, the city was governed by King Syennesis in the name of the Persian monarch. Alexander the Great passed through with his armies in 333 B.C. and nearly met his death here after a bath in the Cydnus. By this time Tarsus was already largely influenced by Greek language and culture, and as part of the Seleucid Empire it became more and more Hellenized. Strabo praises the cultural level of Tarsus in this period with its philosophers, poets and linguists. The schools of Tarsus rivaled those of Athens and Alexandria.
GS58069. Silver obol, SNG BnF 310 - 311, SNG Levante 217 - 218, F, weight 0.458 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, obverse uncertain female head facing slightly left; reverse bust of Aphrodite right, wearing tainia; $65.00 SALE PRICE $58.50



Catalog current as of Wednesday, October 26, 2016.
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Greek Fractions