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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |North Africa||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of North Africa
Kyrene, Kyrenaika, North Africa, c. 37 - 36 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Kyrene,| |Kyrenaika,| |North| |Africa,| |c.| |37| |-| |36| |B.C.|, |quadrans|
This is perhaps the last numismatic depiction of a silphium plant.

The Crassus in named on this coin cannot be the wealthy triumvirate colleague of Julius Caesar and Pompey, who died in 53 B.C., long before this coinage. This Crassus is almost certainly his grandson, Marcus Licinius Crassus the Younger. He fought with Sextus Pompey but transferred his loyalty to Marc Antony in c. 36 B.C. Under Mark Antony he was responsible for Crete and Cyrene. Shortly before Actium, Crassus defected to Octavian. He was consul in 30 B.C., triumphed in 27 B.C., and died long after.
GB96100. Bronze quadrans, RPC Online I 918 (12 spec.); BMC Cyrenaica p. 64, 26; Asolati 149a-b; SNG Cop 1312; Müller Afrique -, VF, brown tone, well centered, porous, edge cracks/splits, beveled obverse edge, weight 3.366 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, magistrate Crassus, c. 37 - 36 B.C.; obverse KPA (Crassus), head of Libya right, with corkscrew curls; reverse silphium plant, K-Y/P-A (Kyrene) flanking in two divided lines; rare; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00


Kyrene, Kyrenaika, N. Africa, c. 325 - 313 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Kyrene,| |Kyrenaika,| |N.| |Africa,| |c.| |325| |-| |313| |B.C.|, |AE| |19|
Cyrene was an ancient Greek and later Roman city near present-day Shahhat, Libya. It was the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. It gave eastern Libya the classical name Cyrenaica that it has retained to modern times. Cyrene lies in a lush valley in the Jebel Akhdar uplands. The city was named after a spring, Kyre, which the Greeks consecrated to Apollo. It was also the seat of the Cyrenaics, a famous school of philosophy in the fourth century BC, founded by Aristippus, a disciple of Socrates.
GB91338. Bronze AE 19, Asolati 18 var.; Buttrey Cyrene 139 var.; SNG Cop 1219 var.; BMC Cyrenaica p. 58, 277 - 278 var.; Müller Afrique 93 var. (all no caduceus/trident), gVF, very nice for the type, caduceus and trident not visible on other examples known to FORVM, light deposit, edge crack, weight 8.525 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, c. 325 - 313 B.C.; obverse head of Ammon with horn and beard right, small caduceus before; reverse shield (or wheel?) with handle and six ribs, small trident to right, shallow incuse; very rare; $650.00 SALE |PRICE| $585.00


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

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |IV| |Philopator,| |221| |-| |204| |B.C.|, |AE| |29|NEW
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.
GP96452. Bronze AE 29, Svoronos 994/1151; SNG Cop 215; BMC Ptolemies p. 75, 73 (Ptolemy V, 193 - 181 B.C.); Weiser 98 (Ptolemy V, 204 - 202 B.C.); Hosking -; Noeske -, aEF, very attracitve toned bare metal surfaces, well centered, double struck obverse, beveled obverse edge, central depressions, weight 23.930 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 204 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, filleted double cornucopia on right shoulder, Σ or ΣE monogram between legs; scarce; $360.00 SALE |PRICE| $324.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy X Alexander, as King of Cyprus, 113 - 105 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom,| |Ptolemy| |X| |Alexander,| |as| |King| |of| |Cyprus,| |113| |-| |105| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|NEW
Mĝrkholm in "The last Ptolemaic silver coinage in Cyprus" in Chiron 13 (1983), dated the last coinage of Ptolemy X from Paphos to his year 9 (106 - 105 B.C.). Svoronos 1757 was not addressed, presumably because the only specimen then known was not illustrated and was found in Alexandria. Matt Kreuzer attributes this coin as Svoronos 1757, struck for Ptolemy X as King of Cyprus at Paphos. If he is correct, this confirms that Paphos, like Salamis (see Svoronos 1784) and Kition (Mĝrkholm Cyprus pl. 2.11,12), was under the control of Ptolemy X at least early in his Year 10 (105 - 104 B.C.). Kreuzer notes specifically that this is not Svoronos 1671, Year 10 of Ptolemy IX (108 - 107 B.C.) at Alexandria, which has a different style including a perky nose.
GP96458. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1757 (only 1 specimen known to Svoronos, and not in the plates), VF, areas of coppery corrosion and pitting, weight 12.840 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, c. late summer - autumn 105 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy X right, wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, LI (regnal year 10) left, ΠA right; extremely rare; $325.00 SALE |PRICE| $292.00


Kingdom of Mauretania, Juba II and Cleopatra Selene, 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.

|Mauretania|, |Kingdom| |of| |Mauretania,| |Juba| |II| |and| |Cleopatra| |Selene,| |25| |B.C.| |-| |24| |A.D.|, |AE| |27|
After his father's defeat and suicide, Juba II was take to Rome and paraded in Caesar's triumph. He was then raised in Caesar's household where he and Octavian became lifelong friends. He accompanied Octavian on campaigns after Caesar's death even fighting at the battle of Actium against his future wife's parents. Cleopatra Selene was the daughter of Cleopatra VII by Marc Antony. After the battle of Actium, she was raised by Octavia, Octavian's sister. Augustus restored Juba II as the king of Numidia c. 28 B.C. and later arranged for him to marry Cleopatra Selene II giving her a large dowry and appointing her queen.
SL95881. Bronze AE 27, Alexandropoulos 209, Mazard 351 (RRR), SNG Cop 605, De Luynes 4013, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 2/5, lt. smoothing (5872605-040), weight 18.59 g, maximum diameter 27 mm, die axis 90o, Caesarea (Cherchell, Algeria) mint, 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.; obverse REX IVBA, diademed and draped bust right, club over shoulder; reverse BACI−ΛICCA / KΛEOΠATPA, headdress of Isis, with stalks of grain, crescent above; NGC| Lookup; very rare; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


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

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |IV| |Philopator,| |221| |-| |204| |B.C.|, |triobol|
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.
GP93832. Bronze triobol, Lorber CPE B494, Svoronos 1128, SNG Cop 203, SNG Milan 213, Weiser 52, Hosking 51, Noeske 146, Malter 155, gVF, attractive toned copper surfaces, well struck, flow lines, light marks, small edge cracks, central depressions, beveled obverse edge, weight 33.775 g, maximum diameter 32.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 221 - 219 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, ΛI between eagle's legs; from a New England collector; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00


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

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |IV| |Philopator,| |221| |-| |204| |B.C.|, |triobol|
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.
GP96510. Bronze triobol, Lorber CPE B494, Svoronos 1128, SNG Cop 203, SNG Milan 213, Weiser 52, Hosking 51, Noeske 146, Malter 155, Choice VF, well centered, some light corrosion, reverse center weakly struck, central depressions, beveled obverse edge, weight 31.538 g, maximum diameter 32.1 mm, die axis 340o, Alexandria mint, c. 221 - 219 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, ΛI between eagle's legs; $225.00 SALE |PRICE| $203.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.|, |diobol|
Cathy Lorber notes that the Svoronos specimen actually has an A control letter and confirmation of the type with ∆ is required. This coin is less than perfectly clear, but it does appear to be ∆.
GP93408. Bronze diobol, Lorber CPE B170; Svoronos 563 (1 spec.); Picard-Faucher 154, gF, well centered, green and brown patina with buff earthen highlighting, weight 15.593 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 274 - 264 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, ΣΩ monogram above shield left, small ∆ between legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |III| |Euergetes,| |246| |-| |222| |B.C.|, |triobol|
Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response, he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch, and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9. The Ptolemaic kingdom reached the height of its power during his reign.
GP93834. Bronze triobol, Lorber CPE B936; Svoronos 965; SNG Cop 173; Weiser 72; BMC Ptolemies p. 55, 89; SNG Milan 166; SNG Blackburn 1165; Noeske 120; Hosking 31; Weber 8259, Choice VF, well centered, centers flatly struck, darker toned fields with rubbed brassy high points, scratches, central depressions, weight 34.106 g, maximum diameter 34.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 246 - 222 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, chi-rho monogram between eagle's legs; from a New England collector; $190.00 SALE |PRICE| $171.00


Kyrene, Kyrenaika, N. Africa, c. 325 - 313 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Kyrene,| |Kyrenaika,| |N.| |Africa,| |c.| |325| |-| |313| |B.C.|, |AE| |15|
Silphium, which is now extinct, was so critical to the Kyrenian economy that most of their coins depict it. The plant was used as a spice and to treat all kinds of maladies including cough, sore throat, fever, indigestion, pain, and warts. It was so widely used as a contraceptive that it was worth its weight in denarii. The traditional heart shape, the symbol of love, is probably derived from the shape of the silphium seed due to the use of silphium as a contraceptive.

"By the next day this maiden and all her girlish apparel had disappeared, and in the room were found images of the Dioscuri, a table, and silphium upon it." - Description of Greece, Pausanias 3.16.3, 2nd Century A.D.
GB91339. Bronze AE 15, Asolati 12; Buttrey Cyrene 12, SNG Cop 1226; BMC Cyrenaica p. 45, 198, F, green patina, earthen encrustations, reverse off center, weight 3.690 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, 325 - 313 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo Carneius right, THP (magistrate) upward behind; reverse K-Y-P, triple silphium plant, seen from above; rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00




  






REFERENCES|

Alexandropoulos, J. Les monnaies de l'Afrique antique: 400 av. J.-C. - 40 ap. J.-C. (Toulouse, 2000).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Falbe, C. & J. Lindberg. Numismatique de L'Ancienne Afrique. (Copenhagen, 1860-1862).
Müller, L. et. al. Numismatique de l'ancienne Afrique. (Copenhagen, 1860-1862).
Roman Provincial Coinage Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Strauss, P. Collection Maurice Laffaille - monnaies grecques en bronze. (Bàle, 1990).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 8: Egypt, North Africa, Spain - Gaul. (1994).

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