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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Hellenistic MonarchiesView Options:  |  |  | 

Helenistic Monarchies

Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

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Struck under Leonnatos, Arrhidaios, or Antigonos I Monophthalmos. Philip III Arrhidaeus, the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa, was Alexander the Great's half-brother. Alexander's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned him as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Incapable of actual rule, he was made king upon Alexander's death only to serve as a pawn for those who wished to grab power for themselves. Olympias had him imprisoned and then ordered his execution in 317 B.C.
SH86159. Gold stater, Price P38; ADM II Series XI, 159a; Mller Alexander P64, aEF, some luster, well centered, attractive style, edge bump, weight 8.519 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Troas, Abydos (near Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet ornamented with a coiled snake, wearing necklace and long drop earring; reverse Nike standing slightly left, head left, wreath in extended right hand, grounded stylis in left hand at her side, MH monogram over pentagram outer left, coiled snake under left wing; ex CNG auction 108, lot 189; $3700.00 (3145.00)


Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., for the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

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Struck by John Hyrcanus, King of Judaea, in the name of the Seleukid King Antiochos VII, Euergetes (Sidetes). 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 king marched on Jerusalem. Antiochus VII and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. Probably as a conciliatory gesture to the Jews, the lily (a symbol of Jerusalem) replaced the head of the Seleukid king. Later, John Hyrcanus would be the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.
JD85857. Bronze AE 15, Hendin 1131b, Houghton-Lorber II 2123(3), SNG Spaer 2140, Houghton CSE 833, SGCV II 7101, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30, VF/aF, earthen encrustations, weight 3.005 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 131 - 130 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, BΠP (year 182 of Seleukid Era) below; $60.00 (51.00)


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

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Ptolemy IV's surname Philopator means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.
GP85911. Bronze hemidrachm, Svoronos 993 (Σ, Ptolemy III), SNG Cop 212 (Σ), Weiser 63 (ΣE, Ptolemy III), Hosking 49 var. (ΣE), Noeske -, VF, obverse double struck including shifting centration dimple, tiny edge cracks, central dimples, weight 32.920 g, maximum diameter 36.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 221 - 204 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on fulmen, head left, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, Σ or ΣE monogram between legs; heavy large bronze; $150.00 (127.50)


Kingdom of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Ptolemaios, 85 - 40 B.C.

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Ptolemaios son of Mennaios (also known as Ptolemy I), an Ituraean Arab dynast, established the Kingdom of Chalkis, c. 85 B.C., during the collapse of the Seleukid Empire. The kingdom, with its capitol at Chalcis sub Libano at the foot of Antilibanus, included Heliopolis, the valley of the Marsyas, and the mountainous region of Ituraea. In 64 B.C., he bribed Pompey the Great to forgo annexing his kingdom into the new Roman province of Syria and to allow him to continue ruling his territory as Tetrarch. Ptolemaios was succeeded by his son Lysanias, who was put to death by Marc Antony for supporting Mattathias Antigonus over Herod the Great. Antony gave the tiny kingdom of Chalkis to Cleopatra as a gift.
RP85946. Bronze AE 19, Herman 1, SNG Cop 413, Lindgren 1218, Cohen DCA 468, HGC 9 1439 (S), BMC Phoenicia p. 203, 18 corr. (Tripolis), VF, well centered and struck on a tight flan, attractive style, porous, weight 6.219 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis sub Libano mint, 73 - 72 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus (or tetrarch) right; reverse the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, standing facing, heads confronted, star above each head, each wearing a petasos and Roman military garb, spear in outer hand, inner hand on his hip, LMΣ (Seleukid era year 240) downward on right; $180.00 (153.00)


Armenian Kingdom, Tigranes IV and Erato, Second Reign, c. 2 B.C. - 4 A.D.

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This remarkable type was only discovered in 1978. In 2014, one of the best examples to come to auction but still only aVF, realized $12,370 plus fees! In "Tigranes IV, V, and VI: New Attributions" in AJN 20 (2008), Frank Kovacs convincingly attributes this type to Tigranes IV and notes the view is of Mt. Ararat from the perspective of the city of Artaxata. The beardless portrait fits the youthful Tigranes IV and, although not visible on most examples, the legend on the reverse, ΦIΛOKAIΣAP, refers to the Armenian king's affection for his Roman ally, Augustus.
SH85956. Bronze dichalkon, Kovacs AJN 20 p. 340 and pl. 81, 5; Bedoukian CCA 128 (Tigranes II); Nercessian ACV 122 (Tigranes II); MDHRAC -, F, porous, weak legends not visible - as on most known specimens, weight 4.214 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Artaxata mint, 2nd reign, c. 2 B.C.; obverse ...EME - TIΓPAN (or similar), jugate busts of Tigranes and Erato right, Tigranes draped and wearing a tall Armenian tiara with five point and ornamented with a star; reverse ΦIΛOKAIΣAP (friend of Caesar), twin peaks of Mount Ararat, as seen from the Armenian capital Artaxata, A (regnal year 1) below; extremely rare; $1400.00 (1190.00)


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

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When Aristobulus II was murdered by Pompey's party in Judaea (49 B.C.), his sons and daughters found protection with Ptolemaios (Ant. xiv. 7, 4; B. J. i. 9, 2). It may be that the national Jewish party at that time depended for support on the Itureans in Chalcis, and perhaps the following statement has reference to that fact: "On the 17th of Adar danger threatened the rest of the Soferim in the city of Chalcis, and it was salvation for Israel" (Meg. Ta'an. xii.).
CM85831. Bronze AE 19, Herman 7.c (same inscription var. & countermark); HGC 9 1441 (S) var. (inscription); BMC Galatia p. 279, 2 var. (same); Lindgren III 2130 var. (same), VF, centered on a tight flan; c/m: VF, weight 6.715 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis sub Libano mint, 85 - 40 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; countermark: bust of Cleopatra VII right in oval punch; reverse eagle flying right, NE monogram between wing and tail, ΠTOΛEMAIO / TETPAPXH / AXP (AX ligate) in three lines below; ex Sayles & Lavender; scarce; $180.00 (153.00)


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

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A brockage occurs when a blank is struck with a previously struck coin which adhered to the opposite die. Click here to read a detailed explanation.
GP85469. Bronze quarter obol, Svoronos 1408, Weiser -, SNG Cop -, Noeske -, Hosking -, SNG Milan -, Malter -, Tziambazis -, VF, reverse brockage, edge cracks, weight 1.793 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, Cyprus, uncertain mint, c. 176 - 170 B.C.; obverse incuse of reverse (normal obverse is diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right); reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left on fulmen (thunderbolt), wings closed, lotus in left field; scarce error; $130.00 (110.50)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy V Epiphanes, 204 - 180 B.C.

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In "Le Tresor de Gezeir (lac Mariout, Alexandrie)" in Revue Numismatique 2006, T. Faucher and M. Shahin attribute this type to Ptolemy IX. Their attribution is based in part on the ΣΩ monogram referring to the epithet of Ptolemy IX Soter II. This same monogram is, however, found on silver and gold coins from early in the reign of Ptolemy V, where it may refer to the chief minister Sosibius. Sosibius appears to have had complete control of the administration under Ptolemy IV. Under the young Ptolemy V Epiphanes, Sosibius assumed the guardianship but in conjunction with his rival insidious Agathokles. In time, Agathokles supplanted Sosibius and had him put to death.
GP85476. Bronze obol, Svoronos 1191 (Ptolemy IV, Cyprus, 219 B.C.), Weiser 114 (Ptolemy V, Tyre), SNG Cop 534 (Ptolemy V), Noeske 187 (same), Cohen DCA 35 (same), VF, tight flan, some areas of weak strike, central dimples, weight 9.267 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Phoenician mint, 203 - 202 B.C.; obverse horned head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin, K behind; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEOΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, head left, Ω over Σ left, LΓ (regnal year 3) right; rare; $150.00 (127.50)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy X Alexander I and Kleopatra Berenike, 101 - 88 B.C.

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Alexander was the son of Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III. In 110 B.C., his mother deposed his brother Ptolemy IX and he became king with his mother as co-regent. In 109 B.C., Ptolemy IX took back the throne but in 107 B.C. Alexander again became king with his mother as co-regent. In 101 B.C., he had his mother killed, and then ruled with his niece and wife, Berenice III. When he died, Ptolemy IX regained the throne. When Ptolemy IX died, Ptolemy X's wife Berenice III took the throne for six months.
GP85356. Bronze didrachm, Svoronos 1712, Weiser 181, Cox Curium 113, SNG Cop -, Malter -, Noeske -, Hosking -, VF, edge crack, beveled obverse, flan casting sprues, weight 20.056 g, maximum diameter 35.2 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Paphos mint, c. 100 - 90 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus-Ammon right, wearing tainia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, two eagles standing left on thunderbolt, heads left, wings closed, no symbol; $125.00 (106.25)


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. This is a very unusual example with central dimples. Neither dimple is fully round. Are these tong marks?
GP85471. Bronze dichalkon, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, VF, well centered, rough, very unusual with central dimple, weight 1.262 g, maximum diameter 12.0 mm, die axis 180o, Paphos mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY − BAΣIΛEΩΣ, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $110.00 (93.50)











Catalog current as of Sunday, October 22, 2017.
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Helenistic