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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Numismatics ▸ Archaic OriginsView Options:  |  |  |   

Archaic Origins

The coins below are among the first struck by mankind. Coins struck in the later classical and Hellenistic periods, but in archaic or archaized style are also included here. Click here to read "From the Origin of Coins to Croesus."


Ionia, c. 650 - 600 B.C., Rough Irregular "Typeless" Type

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Some sales catalogs describe similar coins as the striated type. The roughly parallel lines on the striated type 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 reverse punch, huge numbers of this type may have been struck. Very few have survived. This is the first example handled by Forum.
SH77378. Electrum 1/24 stater, cf. SNGvA 7768, SNG Kayhan 682, Traité I 14 -15, Weidauer -, Rosen -, VF, weight 0.647 g, maximum diameter 5.7 mm, uncertain Ionian mint, 650 - 600 B.C.; obverse flattened rough irregular "typeless" surface; reverse roughly square incuse 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 rare; $1210.00 (€1076.90)
 


Ionia, c. 650 - 600 B.C., Plain Globular Type

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This is an example of the very earliest form of coinage; a type-less (blank) electrum globule, weighed to a specific standard, with a simple square punch mark on one side (two or three punch marks on larger denominations). Nine similar electrum pieces were within the famous "Artemision Find" at Ephesus in 1904.
SH79829. Electrum 1/12 stater, SNG Kayhan 676; SNGvA 7763; Rosen 324; cf. Traité II p. 19, 13 and pl. 1, 11 (striated obverse); Weidauer -, VF, weight 1.141 g, maximum diameter 7.6 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Ionian mint, period of the Artemision Find, c. 650 - 600 B.C.; obverse plain flattened globular surface; reverse incuse roughly square pyramidal punch; $720.00 (€640.80)
 


Ionia, c. 600 - 550 B.C.

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The referenced coins are not very similar. It might be more appropriate to describe this coin as unpublished but perhaps the pattern is purely random and it is from the same mint and issue as the Kayhan or Von Aulock coin.
SH76827. Electrum 1/24 stater, cf. SNG Kayhan 688, SNGvA 7768, (neither very similar), Weidauer -, Rosen -, Traité I -, Mitchiner ATEC -, Zhuyuetang -, VF, weight 0.710 g, maximum diameter 6.8 mm, uncertain Ionian mint, c. 600 - 550 B.C.; obverse random(?) pattern of shapes and pellets; reverse a roughly square incuse punch with a central pellet surrounded by a random(?) pattern of curved lines; $570.00 (€507.30)
 


Roman Republic, Anonymous, c. 230 B.C.

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In 230 B.C., Rome sent envoys to the Illyrian Queen Teuta to obtain her aid in ending attacks and murders of Roman merchants by Illyrian pirates. After the Roman ambassador Lucius Coruncanius and the Issaean ambassador Cleemporus offended Queen Teuta, the were murdered at sea by her soldiers. In response, Roman forces occupied the island of Corcyra with the aim of humbling Teuta.
SH77477. Aes grave (cast) triens, Libral standard; Vecchi ICC 68; HN Italy 328; Crawford 24/5; Thurlow-Vecchi 33; Haeberlin pp. 60-61, 1-76 pl. 25, 8-11, gF, nice green patina, pitting, marks, weight 58.717 g, maximum diameter 40.2 mm, Rome mint, c. 230 B.C.; obverse horse prancing left, two pellets above and two pellets bellow (mark of value); reverse wheel of six spokes, four pellets (mark of value) between spokes; From the Andrew McCabe Collection; very rare; $540.00 (€480.60)
 


Akragas, Sicily, 450 - 440 B.C.

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Located on a plateau overlooking Sicily's southern coast, Akragas was founded c. 582 B.C. by colonists from Gela. It grew rapidly, becoming second only to Syracuse in importance on Sicily, but was sacked by Carthage in 406 B.C. and never fully recovered. It was renamed Agrigentum after it fell to Rome in 210 B.C.
GI76829. Cast bronze trias, Calciati I, p. 143, 1; Westermark Fifth pl. I, 1; SNG Cop 61; SNG ANS 1015; SNG Lloyd 832; HGC 2 126 (R1);, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, some light corrosion, weight 16.186 g, Akragas (Agrigento, Sicily, Italy) mint, 450 - 440 B.C.; cast near tooth-shaped flattened cone form, four pellets on flat top, sea-eagle standing left on one side, crab opposite; rare; $400.00 (€356.00)
 


Aspendos, Pamphylia, c. 490 - 450 B.C.

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Aspendos is about 40 km east of Antalya, Turkey about 16 km inland on the Eurymedon River. In 546 B.C. it fell to Persia. After a Persian defeat in 467, the city joined the Attic-Delos Maritime League. Persia took it again in 411 B.C., Alexander in 333 B.C., and Rome in 190 B.C. Although often subject to powerful empires, the city usually retained substantial autonomy.
GA84056. Silver obol, Rosen 392, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG PfPS -, SNG Kayhan -, BMC Lycia -, Klein -, VF, well centered, etched surfaces, obverse die crack, weight 0.626 g, maximum diameter 8.3 mm, Aspendos mint, c. 490 - 450 B.C.; obverse triskeles right, three pellets, one between each leg, reverse quadripartite incuse; extremely rare; $350.00 (€311.50)
 


Phaselis, Lycia, 500 - 466 B.C.

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Partial brockage obverse. The obverse was re-struck off-center over a brockage of the reverse, leaving two clear impressions.
GA83588. Silver tetrobol, SNGvA 4396, SNG Berry 1200 var. (ΦA above galley, Σ below), SNG Cop -, SNG Fitzwilliam -, VF, toned, tight flan, die wear, die cracks, partial brockage, weight 3.507 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 90o, Phaselis mint, 500 - 440 B.C.; obverse prow of war galley right in the form of a boar's forepart, partial brockage with incuse letters ΦA visible on obverse; reverse stern right, ΦAΣ above, all in incuse square; ex Roma Numismatics, e-sale 21 (31 Oct 2015), 368; $290.00 (€258.10)
 


Selinous, Sicily, c. 450 - 440 B.C.

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Selinous was once one of the most important Greek colonies in Sicily. In 409 B.C., the Carthaginians attacked with a vast army believed to include at least 100,000 men. Selinus, with a population of about 30,000 excluding slaves, was unprepared and an auxiliary force promised by Syracuse, Agrigentum and Gela did not arrive. The Selinuntines defended themselves with courage, and after the walls were breached, continued to fight from house to house. After tens days the city fell. Of the citizens, 16,000 were slain and 5,000 made prisoners, but more than 2,600 escaped to Agrigento.
GI79939. Bronze cast tetras, Calciati I p. 235, 4; SNG Lloyd 1272; HGC 2 1233 (R1); BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG München -; SNG Morcom -; SNG Tübingen -, F, green patina, weight 11.019 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Selinus mint, 450 - 440 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), anepigraphic; reverse wild celery (selinon) leaf, three pellets (mark of value) around, anepigraphic; rare; $280.00 (€249.20)
 


Iberian Celts, Hacksilver, c. 300 - 150 B.C.

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CE84092. Hacksilver fragment, cut, perhaps from a disk ingot; cf. Kim and Kroll 59; Van Alfen Hacksilber 53 ff.; 32.442g, 27.7mm, $250.00 (€222.50)
 


Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

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CE84537. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. G. Fallai, IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2e; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -; molded from bipod shell, VF, weight 35.647 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, uncertain Osco-Latin mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; $225.00 (€200.25)
 




  



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REFERENCES

Arnold-Biucchi, C., et al. "A Greek Archaic Silver Hoard from Selinus" in ANSMN 33 (1988).
Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines, Vol. I, part 2: Comprenant les monnaies grecques depuis les origines jusqu'aux guerres médiques. (Paris, 1907).
Betlyon, J.W. The Coinage and Mints of Phoenicia, The Pre-Alexandrine Period. (Chico, CA, 1982).
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Bodenstedt, F. Die Elektronmünzen von Phokaia und Mytilene. (Tübingen, 1981).
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Imhoof-Blumer, F. ed. Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands. (1898 - 1913).
Kagan, J. "An Archaic Greek coin hoard from the Eastern Mediterranean and early Cypriot coinage" in NC 1994.
Karwiese, S. Die Münzprägung von Ephesos. I. Die Anfänge: Die ältesten Prägungen und der Beginn der Münzprägung überhaupt. (Cologne/Weimar, 1995)
Kim, H.S. & J.H. Kroll. "A Hoard of Archaic Coin of Colophon and Unminted Silver (CH I.3)" in AJN 20 (2008).
Klein, D. Sammlung von griechischen Kleinsilbermünzen und Bronzen, Nomismata 3. (Milano, 1999).
Linzalone, J. Electrum And The Invention of Coinage. (New Jersey, 2011).
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Price M.J., "Early Greek Bronze Coinage" in Essays in Greek Coinage Presented to Stanley Robinson, 1968, pp. 90-104.
Price M.J. & Waggoner N., Archaic Greek Coinage: The Asyut Hoard. (1975).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
Robinson W.S.G., "The Date of the Earliest Coins" in Numismatic Chronicle 16. (1956) 1-8.
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Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values. (London, 1978 - 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum. (Copenhagen, 1942-1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung. (Berlin, 1968-present).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock. (Berlin, 1957-1968).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki. (Helsinki, 1994 - 1999).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Switzerland I. Levante-Cilicia. (Zurich,1986).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale. (Paris, 1993 - 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, British Museum. (London, 1993 - ).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society. (New York, 1969 - present).
Van Alfen, P., M. Almagro-Gorbea, and P. Ripollès. "A New Celtiberian Hacksilber Hoard, c. 200 BCE" in AJN 20. (New York, 2008).
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Wroth, W. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Mysia. (London, 1892).
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Youroukova, Y. The Coins of the Ancient Thracians. (Oxford, 1976).

Catalog current as of Monday, December 05, 2016.
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Archaic Origins