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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Denominations ▸ Greek FractionsView Options:  |  |  |   

Greek Silver Fractions

Orthagoreia, Thrace, c. 350 - 330 B.C.

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All the references given, except SNG Cop, include Orthagoreia in Macedonia. See Psoma Maroneia, pp. 193–204, for the redesignation of Orthagoreia from Macedon to Thrace.
SH86789. Silver hemidrachm, SNG ANS 7.1 564 (same dies); SNG Cop 690; SNG Ashmolean V.2 2356; AMNG III-2, 3; BMC Macedonia p. 88, 5; HGC 3.1 600 (R1), Choice aEF, attractive style, well centered, nice toning, slight porosity, weight 2.571 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 15o, Orthagoreia mint, c. 350 - 330 B.C.; obverse facing head of Artemis, facing slightly left,, wearing triple-drop earring and pearl necklace, quiver on left shoulder; reverse OΠΘAΓO−ΠEΩN, facing ornate Macedonian helmet with cheek pieces, and star ornament crest; scarce; $700.00 (€595.00)
 


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Drachm

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Struck during Athens' Golden Age, a time when great thinkers, writers, and artists flourished in the city. Herodotus, the father of history, lived and wrote in Athens. Socrates, the father of philosophy, taught in the marketplace. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, practiced there. The sculptor Phidias created his great works for the Parthenon on the Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. Democritus envisioned an atomic universe. Aeschylus, Euripedes, Aristophanes, and Sophocles wrote their famous plays and Pindar his Odes. This legacy would continue as, later, Plato would found his Academy outside the walls of Athens in 385 B.C. and, later, Aristotle would found his Lyceum in the city center.
GS86581. Silver drachm, SNG Cop 41; Kroll 10; Dewing 1601; Svoronos pl. 11, 20; HGC 4 1631, VF, well centered and struck, die wear, porosity, weight 4.153 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves & floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair across forehead in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, to left olive sprig and crescent, all within incuse square, AΘE downward on right; scarcer denomination; $450.00 (€382.50)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon and the Third Democracy, c. 344 - 317 B.C.

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Threatened by Carthage and dominated by Hiketas, the tyrant of Leontini, Syracusans sent an appeal for help to their mother city, Corinth. By a unanimous vote Corinth selected Timoleon to set sail for Sicily with a few leading citizens of Corinth and a small troop of Greek mercenaries. After defeating Hiketas, Timoleon put order to Syracuse' affairs and established a democratic government. He repelled Carthage in several wars, ending with a treaty which divided the island. Timoleon then retired without any title or office, though he remained practically supreme. He became blind before his death, but when important issues were under discussion he was carried to the assembly to give his opinion, which was usually accepted. When he died the citizens of Syracuse erected a monument to his memory, afterward surrounded with porticoes, and a gymnasium called Timoleonteum.
GI86586. Silver dilitron, SNG ANS 518; SNG Cop 717; SNG München 1126; BMC Sicily p. 186, 283; Weber 1644; HGC 2 1373 (R2), VF, well centered, very dark toning, porosity, edge crack, weight 1.226 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 344 - 317 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣI-ΩN, laureate Janiform female head, two dolphins nose to nose on right; reverse horse galloping right, barley ear right above, N below; rare; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C.

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References disagree on the date of this type. Dates range from the rule of Hieron II beginning in 275 B.C. to the end of the 5th Republic in 212 B.C.
GS86619. Silver 2 1/2 litrae, SNG Cop 882, SNG ANS 903, SNG München 1439, HGC 2 420 (R2) corr., BMC Sicily -, VF, well centered, toned, light bumps and marks, ethnic weakly struck, weight 2.229 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 216 - 215 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIOI, Isis standing facing, looking up to heaven, veil billowing out behind around head, scroll in right hand, filleted palm frond in left hand, A upper right; very rare; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Dionysios I, c. 405 - 367 B.C.

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Dionysius I was tyrant of Syracuse. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies. He was regarded by the ancients as an example of the worst kind of despot - cruel, suspicious and vindictive.
GS86597. Silver hemilitron, SNG ANS 301; SNG Cop 669; SNG Lloyd 1379; BMC Sicily p. 182, 237; Boehringer Münzprägungen pl. II, 19; HGC 2 1392 (R2) , VF, dark toning, light marks and corrosion, tiny edge cracks, weight 0.434 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 405 - 395 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa left, wearing drop earring, hair bound in ampyx and sphendone, no control symbol or signature; reverse four-spoked wheel, SY-PA in upper quarters, two dolphins heads downward nose to nose in lower quarters; very rare; $340.00 (€289.00)
 


Anatolia (Lycia?), 5th Century B.C.

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Although unlisted in the major references, a similar hemidrachm type was first published by 1897. Six obols of this type, including this coin, are listed on Coin Archives having been offered at auction in the last two decades.

The chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia, composed of the parts of three animals - a lion, a snake, and a goat or stag. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ending with a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GS87477. Silver obol, 6 specimens known from auctions, otherwise unpublished; cf. Boston MFA 2325 (hemidrachm), Greenwell 1897, p. 281, 2 (= Boston MFA 2325), VF, well centered, toned, lightly etched surfaces, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 0.662 g, maximum diameter 7.8 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain (Lycian?) mint, 5th century B.C.; obverse chimera standing (right?) with heads of a lion (in center with looking left), stag, and serpent, joined on one quadruped body at the center and radiating outward; reverse gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), snaky locks, tongue protruding, within incuse square; ex Numismatic Naumann, auction 62 (4 Feb 2018), lot 127; extremely rare; $280.00 (€238.00)
 


Abakainon, Sicily, c. 410 - 396 B.C.

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Even today, Sicilian farmers allow their indigenous Sicilian Black Swine to forage for acorns in the oak forests of the Nebrodi Mountains near ancient Abakainon. Physically resembling and often mistaken for wild boar, they stand about 70 centimeters high and have a prominent ridge of spinal bristles running from its large head to about midway along its back. There are fewer than 2000 of these swine today. Their meat, especially Nebrodi ham, is highly prized as the pig's wild woodlands diet enhances the flavor.
GS86588. Silver litra, SNG Lloyd 779; SNG Cop 6; BMC Sicily p. 1, 6 (R2); Weber 1170; HGC 2 21 (R2); SNG ANS -; SNG München -; SNG Tübingen -, aEF, finest style for the type, toned, reverse off center, scratches, lightly etched surfaces, weight 0.521 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 180o, Abakainon (Tripi, Sicily) mint, c. 410 - 396 B.C.; obverse head of water nymph facing slightly left; reverse sow and piglet walking left, piglet before her, below her head, double exergue line, ABA above, linear boarder, within round incuse; a tiny gem, quite beautiful in-hand viewed at actual size; very rare; $260.00 (€221.00)
 


Abakainon, Sicily, c. 430 - 420 B.C.

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Even today, Sicilian farmers allow their indigenous Sicilian Black Swine to forage for acorns in the oak forests of the Nebrodi Mountains near ancient Abakainon. Physically resembling and often mistaken for wild boar, they stand about 70 centimeters high and have a prominent ridge of spinal bristles running from its large head to about midway along its back. There are fewer than 2000 of these swine today. Their meat, especially Nebrodi ham, is highly prized as the pig's wild woodlands diet enhances the flavor.
GI86584. Silver litra, SNG ANS 897 (same dies); HGC 2 10 corr. (R2, same dies); Weber 1169; SNG Sicily p. 1, 2 var. (ABA/KAIN); SNG Fitz 883 var. (same), EF, well centered and struck, dark toning, bumps and marks, weight 0.857 g, maximum diameter 12.6 mm, die axis 180o, Abacaenum (Tripi, Sicily) mint, c. 430 - 420 B.C.; obverse laureate bearded male head right; reverse boar or sow standing right, acorn in the lower right field, ABAK/AINI, starting in exergue, ending retrograde above, linear border; very rare; $250.00 (€212.50)
 


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 445 - 435 B.C.

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This type is known to have ivy leaf, olive leaf and pellet (or globule) control marks in a variety of locations on the obverse or the reverse. This coin may have a pellet with the top half of the R, or it may be just a die defect. A pellet in this location is not listed in any of the references we examined or on any of the coins of this type we found online.
GI86585. Silver litra, Herzfelder p. 89, pl. IV, B; HN Italy 2485; SNG ANS 651 ff. var. (pellet controls other locations); SNG Mün 15481; SNG Cop 1932 var. (obv. ivy), Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, attractive toning, bumps and marks, minor scratches on reverse, weight 0.621 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, die axis 90o, Rhegion mint, c. 445 - 435 B.C.; obverse facing lion scalp mask, no control marks; reverse REGI within olive wreath tied to the left, possibly a pellet with the top half of the R(?); a beautiful little gem!; $250.00 (€212.50)
 


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 393 - 297 B.C.

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GS86848. Silver obol, cf. Svoronos Athens pl. 22, 1 ff.; HGC 4 1666 (R1); Kroll -; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, tight flan, weight 0.695 g, maximum diameter 8.7 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 393 - 297 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl, hair in parallel curves, eye in profile; reverse owl standing right, head facing, sprig of one olive and one large leaf behind, all in incuse square, AΘE downward on right; ex Beast Coins; rare; $240.00 (€204.00)
 




  



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Catalog current as of Monday, September 24, 2018.
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Greek Fractions