Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.
In Greek and Persian cultures the name of Croesus became a synonym for a wealthy man. Croesus' wealth remained proverbial beyond classical antiquity: in English, expressions such as "rich as Croesus" or "richer than Croesus" are used to indicate great wealth to this day. According to Herodotus, Croesus encountered the Greek sage Solon and, secure in his own wealth and happiness, asked Solon who was the happiest man in the world. He was disappointed by Solon's response that three had been happier than Croesus: Tellus, who died fighting for his country, and the brothers Kleobis and Biton who died peacefully in their sleep after their mother prayed for their perfect happiness because they had pulled her to a festival in an oxcart. Solon explained that Croesus cannot be the happiest man because the fickleness of fortune means that the happiness of a man's life cannot be judged until after his death. Sure enough, Croesus' hubristic happiness was reversed by the tragic death of his accidentally-killed son, his wife's suicide at the fall of , and his defeat at the of the Persians.SH85153. Silver , 1018; 455; 2873; p. 7, 37; II/1 407, pl. X, 7; 10; 662; 3419, aEF, and struck, etched surfaces, 10.047 g, maximum 18.5 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 560 - 546 B.C.; on the left, forepart of a roaring right, , on the right, the forepart of a bull left, pellet above lion's ; two square punches, of unequal size, side by side; ex Art of Money (Portland, OR); $3000.00 (€2670.00)
Kyzikos, , c. 500 - 450 B.C.
Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. It was said to have been founded by Pelasgians from , according to tradition at the coming of the Argonauts; later, allegedly in 756 B.C., it received many from Miletus. Owing to its advantageous position it speedily acquired commercial importance, and the gold staters of Cyzicus were a staple currency in the ancient world till they were superseded by those of Philip of Macedon. The site of Cyzicus, located on the Erdek and Bandirma roads, is protected by Turkey's Ministry of Culture.
SH84459. hekte, 241; 1180; p. 32, 98; 102; 482; pl. XCII 2460; -, gVF, and struck on a , 2.628 g, maximum 10.8 mm, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 500 - 450 B.C.; forepart of a winged deer left, tunny fish diagonal with down behind; quadripartite square; ; $2020.00 (€1797.80)
, c. 600 - 550 B.C.
As reported by B.V. in Chapter 5 of Excavations at : The Archaic Artemisia, a coin of this was one of five coins found in excavations underneath the foundations of the southern wall of the B cella of the Artemisia at . The other four coins were and paw types. wrote these coins must have been deposited during construction of the First Temple (A). 145 is the coin found at the Artemisia (= 79), now at the Arkeoloji Müzesi, Istanbul. The coins appear to be struck with the same die.SH84450. 1/24 , Milesian ; 145 - 146; p. 86 and pl. 2, 79; cf. 1781 (different ); 287 (same); 717 (same), gVF, centered, edge cracks, some die rust (also found on other examples of this ), 0.579 g, maximum 6.2 mm, uncertain mint, c. 600 - 550 B.C.; bridled and neck of Pegasos left, with top edge of wing visible; four raised squares in a pattern within square punch; very ; $1450.00 (€1290.50)
, c. 600 - 550 B.C.
In Greek mythology, the Sirens were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. In early Greek art, Sirens were represented as birds with large women's heads, bird feathers, and scaly feet. Later, they were represented as female figures with the legs of birds, with or without wings, playing a variety of musical instruments, especially harps. Later Sirens were sometimes depicted as beautiful women, whose bodies, not only their voices, were seductive.SH84464. hemihekte, Unpublished in major references; Naville auction VII (1924), Collection, lot 1435; CNG, XI (8 Jan 2008), lot 253, aEF, , earthen deposits, 1.367 g, maximum 8.8 mm, , uncertain mint, c. 600 - 550 B.C.; siren standing left; square punch; ex Numismatica Ars Classica, auction 92, 2 (24 May 2016), lot 1476; this is not published in the major references but many examples are known from auctions; ; $1440.00 (€1281.60)
, c. 600 - 550 B.C.
The referenced XIV coin is similar, but from different dies, and the only other coin of this known to .SH84465. 1/24 , Unpublished in references; Classical Numismatic Group, XIV (4 Jan 2011), lot 309 ($1800 plus fees), VF, on a , edge cracks, 0.630 g, maximum 7.1 mm, , uncertain mint, c. 600 - 550 B.C.; cock standing left; quadripartite square punch; extremely ; $1350.00 (€1201.50)
Persian Empire, , Anatolia, Darios I - Xerxes II, c. 485 - 420 B.C.
SH84767. Gold daric, IIIb A/B, 275, 4679, F, bumps and marks, die wear, 8.295 g, maximum 15.7 mm, c. 485 - 420 B.C.; kneeling-running figure of the Great right, bearded, wearing crown and , a quiver at his shoulder, transverse spear downward in right hand, bow in extended left hand; irregular approximately rectangular punch; $1210.00 (€1076.90)
, c. 650 - 600 B.C., Rough Irregular "Typeless"
Some sales catalogs describe similar coins as the striated . The roughly parallel lines on the striated appear to be impressed into the "obverse" by lines cut into the anvil. On this coin, it appears the rough irregular "typeless" surface is simply flattened rough pre-strike features from the raw irregular nugget-like "planchet." Based on the apparent wear on the punch, huge numbers of this may have been struck. Very few have survived. This is the first example handled by .SH77378. 1/24 , cf. 7768, 682, I 14 -15, -, -, VF, 0.647 g, maximum 5.7 mm, uncertain mint, 650 - 600 B.C.; flattened rough irregular "typeless" surface; roughly square pyramidal punch with striated sides, divided roughly in half by a raised irregular line, striated sides and the irregular line appear to be the result of wear; very ; $970.00 (€863.30)
Roman Republic, Large Domed Ingot, Aes Formatum, 4th Century B.C.
Called aes formatum by , this very bronze currency was a precursor to the issues of but later than . Presumably, molten bronze-iron was poured into a shallow hole in the dirt. This left a disc-shaped metal mound with a flat . Broken examples are much more common than ones like this.AR11900. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, p. 4, pl. 2.7; 1.64 kg (3 lbs, 10 oz), maximum 14.6 cm, Italian mint, 4th century B.C.; convex ; flat ; the is in the photograph to indicate the size, not included; very ; $800.00 (€712.00)
, c. 650 - 600 B.C., Plain Globular
Mankind's first coin ! and important. This is an example of the very earliest form of coinage; a type-less (blank) globule, weighed to a specific , with a simple square punch mark on one side (two or three punch marks on larger denominations). Nine similar pieces were within the famous "Artemision Find" at in 1904.SH84751. 1/24th , 678, -, -, -, -, VF, bumps, marks, and scratches, struck with a damaged punch (one corner broken), 1.129 g, maximum 6.9 mm, uncertain mint, c. 650 - 600 B.C.; plain globular surface; punch: roughly square pyramid with sides striated from wear; ; $640.00 (€569.60)
, c. 600 - 550 B.C.
Unpublished in the references but known from auction listings, some of which fail to notice the two "eyes."SH84755. hemihekte, 1/12 Lydo-Milesian ; cf. CNG auction (9 Mar 2016), lot 156 (same dies); 9 ; -; I -; -, aVF, scratches, 1.136 g, maximum 7.8 mm, uncertain mint, c. 600 - 550 B.C.; plain with to pellets side-by-side on the edge (crude beetle?); irregular six-lobed pattern; very ; $630.00 (€560.70)
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