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Helenistic Monarchies

Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Seleukos (Seleucus) founded the Seleukid Empire and the Seleukid dynasty which ruled Syria until Pompey made it a Roman province in 63 B.C. Seleukos was never one of Alexander the Great's principal generals but he commanded the royal bodyguard during the Indian campaign. In the division of the empire after Alexander's death Seleukos did not receive a satrapy. Instead, he served under the regent Perdikkas until the latter's murder in 321 or 320. Seleukos was then appointed satrap of Babylonia. Five years later Antigonus Monophthalmus (the One-eyed) forced him to flee, but he returned with support from Ptolemy. He later added Persia and Media to his territory and defeated both Antigonus and Lysimachus. He was succeeded by his son Antiochus I.
SL84532. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 94(6)b, Price 3359, Müller Alexander 1511, HGC 9 10g, NGC Choice F, Strike 5/5, Surface 3/5 (4164845-004), weight 16.87 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 255o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus seated left on throne, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, anchor and A (control symbols) left, M (control symbol) under throne; NGC certified (slabbed), from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $350.00 (€311.50)


Armenian Kingdom, Tigranes II the Great, 95 - 56 B.C.

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Tigranes was called "Tigranes the Great" by Plutarch. The "King of Kings" never appeared in public without having four kings attending him. At its height, Tigranes' empire extended from the Pontic Alps to Mesopotamia and from the Caspian to the Mediterranean. In 83 B.C., the Syrians offered him the crown and after conquering Phoenicia and Cilicia, he effectively ended the Seleucid Empire. His southern border reached as far as Akko-Ptolemais. The first Armenian ruler to issue coins, he adopted the Seleucid tradition and struck coins at Antioch and Damascus during his occupation of Syria from 83 to 69 B.C. In 66 B.C., Pompey advanced into Armenia with Tigranes' own son as an ally. Tigranes, now almost 75 years old, surrendered. Pompey treated him generously and returned part of his kingdom in return for 6,000 talents of silver. His unfaithful son was sent back to Rome as a prisoner. Tigranes continued to rule Armenia as an ally of Rome until his death in 55 B.C.
GB84505. Bronze chalkous, Kovacs 81, Bedoukian 93, Nercessian AC 49, MDHRAC 85, F, overstruck with strong undertype effects, earthen deposits, scratches, a bit rough, weight 7.123 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Tigranocerta (near Diyarbakir, Turkey) mint, c. 80 - 68 B.C.; obverse bust right wearing Armenian tiara, five-pointed tiara ornamented with star between two eagles, top extends outside of dot circle; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ − BAΣIΛEIΩN / TIΓPANOY, Tyche seated right on rocks, turreted, holding palm frond in right hand, TP monogram to the left of palm frond and above her arm, A below palm frond, half-length figure of river-god swimming right at her feet below; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; scarce; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Kingdom of Commagene, Julia Iotape, 38 - 72 A.D.

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Iotape was the daughter of Antiochus III and Iotapa, the king and queen of Commagene. Her parents were full-blooded siblings and direct descendants of the Seleucid kings. Iotapa and her brother Antiochus IV were very young when their father died in 17 A.D. Tiberius agreed with the citizens of Commagene to make their Kingdom a part of the Roman province of Syria. From 17 until 38, Iotapa and her brother were raised in Rome, members of the remarkable court of Antonia Minor. Antonia Minor was a niece of Augustus and the youngest daughter of Mark Antony. She was very influential and supervised her circle of various princes and princesses, assisting in the political preservation of the Empire’s borders, and the affairs of client states. In 38, Caligula returned Antiochus IV and Iotape to the throne of Commagene. In addition, Caligula enlarged their territory with a part of Cilicia bordering on the seacoast and gave them one million gold pieces, the total amount of revenue collected from Commagene during the twenty years that it had been under Syria. The reason for his extraordinary generosity is unknown. Perhaps it was just a stroke of Caligula's well-attested eccentricity. Iotapa and Antiochus IV married and had three children. Iotapa died before Commagene was annexed by Vespasian in 72. When she died, Antiochus IV founded a town called Iotapa in her honor (modern Aytap, Turkey).
GB84499. Bronze AE 26, Lindgren-Kovacs 1887 (same countermark); RPC I 3858; BMC Galatia p. 109, 4; Nercessian AC -; SNG Cop VII 5; countermark: Howgego 403 (after 69 A.D.), VF, straight edge flan, weight 15.289 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Samosata (site now flooded by the Atatürk Dam) mint, 66 - 72 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛIΣΣA IΩTAΠH ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOΣ (of Queen Iotape Philadelphus), diademed and draped bust of Iotape to right, countermark: crossed cornucopias; reverse KOMMAΓ−HNΩN, scorpion and inscription all within laurel wreath; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; scarce; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 BC

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According to Ptolemaic bronze expert Daniel Wolf, "These coins are attributed by Svoronos to Ake-Ptolemaïs (Acre), but modern finds indicate they are most likely from the area near (modern) Bodrum in Turkey." Bodrum was called Halicarnassus, Caria in ancient times and was famous for housing the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
GP84507. Bronze dichalkon, Svoronos 793 (Ptolemy II, Ake-Ptolemais), Weiser 80 (Ptolemy III), BMC Ptolemies -, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, Noeske -, Malter -, Hosking -, F, green patina, earthen deposits, edge cracks, minor edge chipping, porosity, centration dimples, weight 3.405 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Caria (Halicarnassus?) mint, 246 - 222 BC; obverse diademed head of Zeus Ammon right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing half left atop fulmen, head left, wings closed, tripod in left field; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos II Kallinikos, 246 - 226 B.C.

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The Seleukid Empire was under attack by Egypt when Kallinikos assumed the throne. He lost much of Thrace and coastal Anatolia to Ptolemy III. While he was fighting, his mother made his younger brother Antiochos Hierax joint ruler. Kallinikos agreed to partition the empire; however, Hierax wanted it all and Hierax and his Galatian mercenaries defeated him. Kallinikos managed to retain the lands east of the Tauros. The War of the Brothers weakened the empire, permitting regions such as Parthia to secede. Anatolia was soon lost. Kallinikos died after a fall from his horse.
GB84515. Bronze AE 16, Houghton-Lorber I 712, SNG Cop 117, Houghton CSE 433, SNG Spaer 437, Newell WSM 1167, HGC 9 352, F, dark green patina, tight flan, porous, weight 4.744 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 228 - 226 B.C.; obverse bearded and diademed bust right of Seleukos II; reverse Pegasos flying left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ above, ΣEΛEYKOY below; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.

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Although the primary references do not specify the arrangement of the reverse inscription, most specimens of this issue have the have the royal title on the right and Lysimachos' name in the exergue. This variant with the title in the exergue and his name right is very rare and was first described in the referenced article by Nicholas A. Sicurella, published in The Celator in June 1996.
GS84487. Silver drachm, Sicurella, N. "An unpublished drachm of Lysimachus" in The Celator 10.6 (June 1996), figs. 1-2; Price L12; Thompson 36; Müller 25; SNG BnF -, gVF, lightly toned, minor marks, small flaw on edge, some minor edge flaking, weight 4.141 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 135o, Mysia, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, 299 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse ΛYΣIMAXOY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, dolphin left above lion forepart left (control symbols) on left, torch (control symbol) below throne; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex CNG e-auction 296 (13 Feb 2013), lot 25; $380.00 SALE PRICE $342.00


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C.

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John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of the folk hero Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Hanukkah story. Soon after Hyrcanus assumed power, the Seleukid kingdom marched on Jerusalem. Antiochus VII and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. John Hyrcanus was the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.
BB83837. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1132, Meshorer TJC A, F, rough, corrosion, weight 1.755 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, obverse Greek letter A above Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonanan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, all surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns, border of dots; $25.00 SALE PRICE $22.50


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C., Paphos, Cyprus

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Kreuzer, in his book The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII and Augustus in Cyprus, assembles evidence dating this type to Cleopatra VII instead of the reign of Ptolemy IV used in older references.
GP84918. Bronze 1/8 obol, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, F, weight 2.933 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 45o, Paphos mint, obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY − BAΣIΛEΩΣ, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.

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After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king.
GY84863. Bronze serrated AE 21, Houghton-Lorber II 2006b, SNG Spaer 1771, Babelon 1009, Houghton CSE 248 ff. var. (control), SNG Cop 304 var. (same), HGC 9 143 (C-S), VF, dark green patina with buff earthen highlighting, centration dimples, weight 7.602 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. mid-143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse elephant walking left, holding torch in trunk, BAΣIΛEΩS ANTIOXOY above, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY in exergue, ΣTA over palm frond (control symbols) to right; scarce; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.

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After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king.
GY84865. Bronze serrated AE 22, Houghton-Lorber II 2006a, SNG Spaer 1772, Houghton CSE 248, Babelon Rois 1007; SNG Cop 304 var. (star vice cornucopia), HGC 9 1043 (C-S), VF/F, nice green patina with red earthen highlighting, weight 7.249 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. mid-143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wreathed in ivy; reverse elephant walking left, holding torch in trunk, BAΣIΛEΩS ANTIOXOY above, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY in exergue, ΣTA over cornucopia (control symbols) to the right; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00











Catalog current as of Sunday, April 23, 2017.
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Helenistic