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Eagles on Ancient Coins

Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus or Antigonus II Gonatus, 306 - 270 B.C.

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Unpublished in the standard references and not yet fully attributed, this is only the second specimen of this extremely rare and important drachm known to Forum. Both specimens were struck with the same reverse die. Gorny & Mosch wrote of their specimen: "Troxell recorded a very rare issue of Alexandrine tetradrachms in the name of Gonatas (The Peloponnesian Alexanders, ANSMN 17, 1971, 75-6, note 68), which through hoard evidence was conclusively proven to be struck at Pella circa 272 (see R. W. Mathisen, Antigonus Gonatas and the Silver Coinages of Macedon circa 280-270 BC, ANSMN 26, 1981, pp. 79-123, esp. p. 104). However, this unique drachm has no controls that would explicitly tie it to the Pella mint tetradrachms, and even more perplexing is the style of the engraving, which is clearly dissimilar to the tetradrachms as well. One might suppose that it is in fact not a coin of Gonatas at all, but rather a hitherto unknown drachm of his grandfather, Antigonos I Monophthalmos. However, this also does not sit well, again for reasons of style, which is inconsistent with the period of Monophthalmos' reign. For the time being, therefore, this coin must remain a numismatic enigma until further evidence can shed additional light on it."

There are two auction records for the Gorny & Mosch specimen: Roma Numismatics auction 7 (22 Mar 2014), lot 454, sold for £ 4,800 plus fees; and Gorny & Mosch auction 203 (5 Mar 2012), lot 150, sold for € 3,200 plus fees. Our coin sold at Gitbud & Naumann auction 16, (4 May 2014), lot 152, apparently slipping through unnoticed by all but our astute consignor for € 575 plus fees.
SH71048. Silver drachm, unpublished in standard refs; cf. Roma Numismatics auction 7, lot 454 (same rev die) = Gorny & Mosch auction 203, lot 150, VF, reverse struck a bit flat, weight 3.845 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Greece or Macedonia mint, 306 - 270 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIΓONOY, Zeus Aetophoros enthroned left, throne with high back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back; ex Gitbud & Naumann auction 16, lot 152; extremely rare, only two know specimens; $1950.00 (€1735.50)
 


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG II

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This may have been II Sabina, disbanded by Augustus. The well-known II Augusta, which took part in the conquest of Britain and was later stationed in South Wales, was one of Octavian's legions, and so not likely to be the Second Legion referred to on this coin. Other Second Legions (Adiutrix, Italica, Parthica and Traiana) were raised much later in imperial times.
SH85060. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/14, Sydenham 1216, BMCRR II East 190, RSC I 27, Sear CRI 349, EF, well centered bold strike on a tight flan, light marks, small edge cracks, weight 3.875 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - II, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 244, lot 441; $1000.00 (€890.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

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On either 10 or 11 June 323 BC, Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, in Babylon, at age 32. This coin was struck around the time of Alexanders' death, in the city where he died, Babylon.

After Mazaeus died in 328 B.C., Alexander appointed Stamenes as satrap of Babylon. Little is known about him, other than he probably died of natural causes around 323 B.C. when Archon of Pella replaced him. Perdiccas suspected Archon of colluding in the theft of Alexander's corpse and, in 321 B.C., sent Dokimos to replace him. Archon was defeated and died from battle wounds.
SH85059. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3673, Müller 672, Demanhur 4467, Choice EF, toned, well centered and struck, fine style, high relief, toned, some bumps and marks, weight 17.214 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 90o, Babylon mint, struck by Stamenes or Archon, c. 323 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus enthroned left, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, tiny M lower left, ΦIΛH monogram below strut, AΛEΞAN∆POY (Alexander) downward behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ below; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 244, lot 176; $900.00 (€801.00)
 


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 44 - 30 B.C., LEG VIII

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Caesar's old VIII Gallica was not disbanded and later became the VIII Augusta; however, that legion was associated with Octavian rather than Antony.
SH85063. Silver denarius, Crawford 544/21, Sydenham 1225, BMCRR II East 199, RSC I 35, EF, obverse off center, weight 3.830 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Patrae(?) mint, 32 - 31 B.C.; obverse ANT•AVG / III VIR•R•P•C, galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow; reverse LEG - VIII, aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 245, lot 1560; $875.00 (€778.75)
 


Plarasa and Aphrodisias, Caria, 1st Century B.C.

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During the middle of the second century B.C., the neighboring towns of Plarasa and Aphrodisias united, forming a single community. The union was undoubtedly approved and probably encouraged by Rome to improve their security. The order of the names indicates Plarasa was the dominant community when the agreement was made. At that time Aphrodisias may have been little more than a small village with a sanctuary to Aphrodite. By the middle of the first century B.C., however, Aphrodisias was the prominent partner. Sometime during the reign of Augustus, the name Plarasa was dropped. The weight standard is apparently that of a late Roman Republican denarius.
GS84797. Silver drachm, Macdonald Coinage Type 2 (O2/R3), SNG Keckman I 13 (same dies), SNGva 2434 (different dies), cf. BMC Caria p. 27 (illegible), SNG Cop -, aVF, die break behind head on obv., scratches, polished, almost all of reverse legend is off flan or unstruck, weight 3.478 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Aphrodisias-Plarasa mint, pseudo-automomous, 1st century B.C.; obverse bust of Aphrodite right, veiled and draped, wearing stephane, earring and necklace; reverse ΠΛAPAΣEΩN KAI AΦPO∆EIΣEIΩN (or similar, none known with end of legend legible), eagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, MY/ΩN in two lines in left field, ΞE/NO/KPA/THΣ / ME/NAN/∆PO/Y (magistrate Xenokrates Menandrou) in nine lines in right field; extremely rare; $750.00 (€667.50)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleucus I Nikator, 312 - 280 B.C.

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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.
SH85058. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 82.5b, Price 3747, Müller 734, gVF, high relief, attractive style, some die wear, bumps and marks, weight 17.129 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 135o, Babylon I mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse Zeus on throne, right leg drawn back, eagle in right, long scepter in left hand, MI under throne, monogram in wreath in left field, AΛEΞAN∆POY (Alexander) downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) below; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 245, lot 1213; $750.00 (€667.50)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III and Alexander IV, c. 323 - 317 B.C., In the Name of Alexander

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Struck after Alexander's death, under either Perdikkas or Antipater, regents during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule. Both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Olympias had Philip murdered to ensure the succession of her grandson. But Alexander IV would never rule. In 311 B.C., he and his mother Roxana were executed by the regent Kassander.
SH85062. Silver tetradrachm, Price 113, Müller Alexander 224, Troxell issue H3, SNG Cop 682, SNG Munchen 275, SNG Alpha Bank 503, SNG Delepierre 986, Choice VF, well centered and struck, toned, light marks and scratches, weight 17.205 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Macedonia, Amphipolis mint, c. 322 - 320 A.D.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, throne without back, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Macedonian helmet left; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 245, lot 1209; $675.00 (€600.75)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

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Lifetime or very early posthumous issue struck under Menes or Laomedon.
SH85064. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3332, Müller Alexander 1370, Duyrat series 11, SNG Cop 802, SNG Mun 735, SNG Fitz 2162, SNG Alpha Bank 675, SNG Ash 2991, SNG Saroglos 579, VF, attractive style, bold strike with high relief dies, light toning, bumps, and marks, weight 17.179 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 80o, Phoenicia, Arados mint, c. 324 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus enthroned left, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, long lotus tipped scepter vertical behind in left, kerykeion left, A over P monogram under throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ exergue; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 245, part of lot 1906; $575.00 (€511.75)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

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Lifetime or very early posthumous issue.
GS85061. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3321, Müller Alexander 1363, Demanhur 3405 - 3426, VF, well centered and struck, attractive style, toned, scratches on reverse, weight 17.038 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 45o, Phoenicia, Arados mint, struck under Menes or Laomedon, c. 324 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), ΣΩ left, A/P monogram under throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ exergue; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 245, lot 1203; $550.00 (€489.50)
 


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

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This coin was struck under one of the Macedonian satraps in Babylon: Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I. Perdiccas suspected Archon of colluding in the theft of Alexander's corpse and, in 321 B.C., sent Dokimos to replace him. Archon was defeated and died from battle wounds. Seleucus, made satrap by Perdiccas rival Antipater, arrived in Babylon in October or November 320 B.C. and defeated Dokimos.
SH73195. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3697, Müller Alexander 1542, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 17.067 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 135o, Babylon mint, Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, radiate head of Helios facing on left, KY under throne; scarce; $540.00 (€480.60)
 




  



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Catalog current as of Saturday, May 27, 2017.
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