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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Greek CountermarkedView Options:  |  |  | 

Countermarked Greek Coins

Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 200 - 27 B.C.

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Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410, an Athenian fleet completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas in 387, like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great captured it from the Persians in 334 B.C.
GB72168. Bronze AE 28, SNGvA 7355 (with same countermark); SNG BnF 505 (also with same c/m); SNG Cop 84; BMC Mysia p. 40, 167, VF, nice style, well centered, nice green patina, bevelled obv edge, weight 12.530 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 90o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 200 - 27 B.C.; obverse head of Kore Soteira right, wearing grain wreath; countermark: eagle standing right, wings open in a 7.5mm round punch; reverse tripod with three loop handles, KYZI/KHNWN from upper right, in two flanking downward lines, branch right above, torch left below, monogram outer right, monogram outer left; $165.00 (€146.85)
 


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).
GS70326. 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, toned, tiny edge cuts, banker's mark, tight flan, bumps and marks, weight 0.648 g, maximum diameter 9.5 mm, die axis 90o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left, Phoenician letter beth above, banker's mark or countermark above galley; reverse King of Persia (to left) standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter ayin between them; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV, 221 - 204 B.C.

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This rare countermark is also found on Weiser 117, 118 and 114; all bronzes from Tyre. Perhaps the countermark was applied under Seleukid hegemony, when Ptolemy V lost Judea, Philistia, and Phoenicia to Antiochos III after the battle of Panium in 198 B.C.
GP72051. Bronze hemidrachm, Svoronos 1130; Noeske 95 (Ptolemy II); BMC Ptolemies p. 53, 65 (Ptolemy III); Hosking 56; Malter 156; Weiser 48 (Ptolemy II); SNG Cop -, F, some corrosion on the reverse, weight 29.982 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, club before, ∆I between legs; countermark: ivy leaf in irregular shaped punch; rare countermark; $130.00 (€115.70)
 


Kings of Cilicia, Tarkondimotos, c. 39 - 31 B.C.

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Tarkondimotos was made dynast by Pompey and crowned king by Marc Antony. He died at the Battle of Actium. The anchor countermark, frequently used in an earlier era by Seleukid kings, is almost certainly post-Actium, perhaps from Antioch.
GB75283. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 3871, SGCV II 5682, BMC Lycaonia p. 237, 1 ff., F/aF, green patina, weight 8.040 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Hieropolis mint, c. 39 - 31 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, countermark: anchor in oval punch; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / TAPKON∆IMO/TOY, Zeus enthroned half left, himation around hips and legs with end over shoulder, Nike offering wreath extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ΦIΛANT in exergue; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Side, Pamphylia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Side was founded by Greeks from Cyme, Aeolis, most likely in the 7th century B.C. The settlers started using the local language and over time forgot their native Greek. Excavations have revealed inscriptions written in this language, still undeciphered, dating from as late as the 2nd century B.C. The name Side is from this indigenous Anatolian language and means pomegranate.
GB90296. Bronze AE 18, BMC Lycaonia p. 151, 70 (with same Helios countermark); SNG Cop 411 (same); SNG BnF 750 ff.; SNG PfPs 501; Lindgren -, VF, unusually broad flan with full legends, nice green patina, reverse flattened by countermarking, weight 2.667 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Side mint, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, in crested Corinthian helmet; countermarks: facing head of Helios, helmeted head of Athena right, ΣI∆HTΩN horizontal above; reverse Nike advancing left, holding wreath; wearing long chiton, peplos around waist and left arm, pomegranate in left field, ΣI∆H−TΩN horizontal above divided by Nike's head; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins; $105.00 (€93.45)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy VI Philometor, 180 - 145 B.C.

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The Seleukid countermark was applied for Antiochos IV.
SH58536. Bronze AE 26, Svoronos 1398 (same countermark), SNG Cop 294 (same countermark), Weiser 152 (no countermark), VF, desert patina, weight 10.742 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Cypriot mint, c. 176 - 168 BC; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing on thunderbolt left; lotus to left, EYΛ between legs; countermark: Seleukid anchor.; $95.00 (€84.55)
 


Tetrarchy of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Ptolemaios, 85 - 40 B.C., Cleopatra Countermark

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Ptolemaios (also known as Ptolemy I) was succeeded by his son Lysanias, who was put to death by Marc Antony for supporting Mattathias Antigonus over Herod the Great, the Roman nominee for the Judaean throne. Antony gave the tiny kingdom of Chalkis to Cleopatra as a gift. Attribution of the countermark to Cleopatra is speculative, but the evidence seems to fit. Similar countermarks are known for Antioch, Chalkis, Seleukia and Laodicea.
GB57768. Bronze AE 20, HGC 9 1441; Herman 7; BMC Galatia p. 279, 2; SGCV II 5896 var.; Lindgren 2134A, aVF, rough, weight 6.201 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis sub Libanos mint, 85 - 40 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; countermark: bust right in oval punch; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY / TETPAPΞOY / AXP (AX ligate), eagle flying right, monogram above tail; $85.00 (€75.65)
 







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REFERENCES

Bauslaugh, R. "Cistophoric Countermarks and he Monetary System of Eumenes II" in NC 1990.
Calciati, R. Corpus Nummorum Siculorum. The Bronze Coinage. (Milan, 1983 - 1987).
Howgego, C. Greek Imperial Countermarks. Royal Numismatic Society, Special Publication No. 17. (London, 1985).
McAlee, R. The Coins of Roman Antioch. (Lancaster, PA, 2007).
Seyrig, H. "Monnaies contremarquées en Syrie," in Syria 35 (1958).
Topalov, S.A. New Contributions to the Study of the Countermarking of Coins in the Area of the West Pontic Cities, 3rd-1st c. B.C. (Sofia, 2002).

Catalog current as of Friday, August 26, 2016.
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Countermarked Coins