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

Ancient Coins of North Africa

Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Otho ruled for just a few months. The mint of Alexandria struck coins with his name, though the portrait bears little resemblance to those of the other mints. It is possible that Alexandria produced coins without having an image of the new emperor.
RP84745. Bronze hemidrachm, RPC I 5364 (3 spec.); Geissen 257; Dattari 336; BMC Alexandria 26, 217; Milne 376; SNG BnF 710; Kampmann-Ganschow 18.13; Emmett 189 (R4); SNG Milan -, F, attractive brown tone, flan crack, light scratches, smoothing, weight 16.768 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 69 A.D.; obverse AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, beveled edge; reverse bust of Nilus right, wearing papyrus diadem, cornucopia behind right shoulder, date LA (year 1) before; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $1300.00 (1157.00)


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt, Ancient Counterfeit

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J. G. Milne wrote in 1933, "There are scarcely any counterfeits or forgeries of Alexandrian coins in existence, other than those made in modern times." This is an ancient counterfeit Alexandrian tetradrachm of Nero struck with unofficial dies shared with counterfeit coins published by William Metcalf in "Two Alexandrian Hoards." The first of the two hoards, a "Hoard of Forgeries from Luxor" was acquired by E. T. Newell at Luxor in March, 1908. The American Numismatic Society Collection includes 76 pieces from the hoard. The counterfeits were probably struck c. 138 A.D., the date of the latest official prototype imitated in the hoard. The die combination of our coin is upublished.
RX85240. Billon tetradrachm, Metcalf Two, part 1. A Hoard of Forgeries from Luxor, Obv. IV / Rev. 8 (unlisted die combination); cf. Dattari 246, RPC I 5293 (official, Alexandria), VF, attractive dark toning, well centered and struck on a tight flan, weight 13.386 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, unoffical counterfeiter's mint, c. 138 A.D.; obverse NEo KΛΛV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEPM, radiate bust right, wearing aegis; reverse AVTO KPΛ, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Roma right, L IΓ (year 13 = 29 Aug 66 - 28 Aug 67 A.D.) to right; very rare; $580.00 (516.20)


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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This variety with a simpulum on the reverse is much rarer than the same type without this control symbol. RPC reports only 5 specimens with the simpulum and 17 specimens without it. This variety is missing from the important collections in Cologne, Paris, and Milan, and we know of only one example offered at auction in the past two decades (CNG 76, 12 Sep 2007, lot 3152, VF, $430 plus fees).
RP84748. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 359; RPC I 5354 (5 spec.); Dattari 327; BMC Alexandria p. 25, 208; Curtis 238; Kampmann 18.6; Emmett 184; Geissen -; SNG BnF -; SNG Milan -, F, toned, light encrustations, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, weight 12.583 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 15 Jan 69 - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse AYTOK MAPK OΘΩNOΣ KAIΣ ΣEB, laureate head right, LA (year 1) lower right; reverse EΛEY-ΘEPIA, Eleutheria (Liberty) standing left, wreath in extended right hand, scepter in left hand, leaning with left elbow on column, simpulum (ladle used for tasting and pouring sacrificial libations) left in lower left field; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare; $500.00 (445.00)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C., Tyre, Phoenicia

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Svoronos 1013 has Θ (theta) between the legs of the eagle. This specimen appears to have an MY monogram engraved over a partially effaced Θ. The MY monogram is not listed in Svoronos for year two, but we know of two other examples, both Θ and the MY monogram are published in Svoronos for year three.
GP84108. Silver tetradrachm, unpublished, cf. Svoronos 1013 (Q between legs), SNG Cop 499 (same), Cohen DCA 30, BMC -, SNG Milan -, Malter -, Hosking -, Noeske -, Weiser -, gVF, excellent portrait, off center, bumps, scratches, darker areas, weight 14.194 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 29 Aug 246 - 28 Aug 245 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis; reverse PTOLEMAIOU SOTHROS (of Ptolemy the savior), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, head left, Tyre monogram over club, B (year 2) over I right, MY monogram over Θ over effaced between legs; ex CNG e-auction 375 (1 Jun 2016), lot 48; Dennis Rider Collection of the Coins of Tyre; extremely rare; $480.00 (427.20)


Roman Egypt, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D.

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Both the obverse and reverse types on this tessera are published but the combination does not appear to be published. Nor did we find another example online. According to Milne, lead tesserae served as local small change in Egypt during the first to the third century A.D.

Euthenia is the Greek personification of abundance or plenty. To the Romans she was Abundantia. Her attributes are grain and the cornucopia. On Roman coins of Alexandria she often appears to be the spouse of the Nile; yet, in the Egyptian pantheon Euthenia did not exist and the Nile had no consort.
RX90574. Lead tessera, Unpublished; cf. Dattari 6444 and Geissen 3584 (for obverse type) and Dattari 6493 and 3575 (for reverse type), VF, weight 5.107 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 270o, Alexandria(?) mint, Nov 130 - c. 138 A.D. (possibly later); obverse Antinous on horseback right, wearing hem hem crown, caduceus in right hand; reverse Nilus reclining left on crocodile right below, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, reeds in his right hand, cornucopia in left; before him at his feet stands Euthenia (prosperity) wearing chiton and peplos, offering wreath held in right hand; extremely rare; $300.00 (267.00)


Kyrene, Kyrenaica, North Africa, Ptolemaic Rule, c. 300 - 275 B.C.

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Magas was the stepson of Ptolemy I, the son of Berenice I, and half-brother to Ptolemy II. In 276 B.C., he crowned himself King in Kyrene, married the daughter of Antiochos I and invaded Egypt with his Seleukid allies. The Seleukid army was defeated by Ptolemy II and Magas faced an internal revolt of Libyan nomads. Still, Kyrene remained independent as long as he lived.
GS75115. Silver hemiobol, BMC Cyrenaica pl. XXV, 8 (plates only, missing from text); Mller Afrique -; SNG Cop -; SNG Milan -, gVF, toned, scratches, weight 0.419 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, Kyrene mint, Magas, as Ptolemaic governor, c. 300 - 275 B.C.; obverse diademed male head right; reverse star of eight narrow rays around central pellet; ex Roma Numismatics E-sale 17 (April 2015), lot 375; extremely rare; $250.00 (222.50)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C.

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Cleopatra VII originally shared power with her father Ptolemy XII and later with her brother-husbands Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. Her relationship with Julius Caesar led to sole rule. After Caesar's assassination, she aligned with Mark Antony. Her reign marks the end of the Hellenistic Era and the beginning of the Roman Era. She was the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.
GI85343. Bronze hemiobol, Svoronos 1872; Weiser 184; SNG Cop 422; BMC Alexandria p. 123, 5; Noeske 383; Sear CRI 949, aF, bumps, scratches, corrosion, flan crack, weight 8.383 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Cleopatra right, characteristic melon coif; reverse KΛEOΠATPAΣ BACIΛICCHC, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, head left, cornucopia left, M (40 drachms = hemiobol) right; $250.00 (222.50)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
SH66838. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5342; Geissen 2982; Kampmann-Ganschow 91.47; SRCV III 10716; BMC Alexandria p. 2266; Milne 4140, Choice aEF, weight 11.345 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 266 - 28 Aug 267 A.D.; obverse KOPNHΛIA CAΛWNEINA CEB, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in horizontal ridges and in plait looped below ear; reverse Tyche reclining left on couch, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, LI∆ (year 14) above; $200.00 (178.00)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IX Soter II (Lathyros), 2nd Reign, 88 - 80 B.C.

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Ptolemy IX Lathyros was king of Egypt three times with intervening periods ruled by his brother, Ptolemy X Alexander. His first reign ended when his mother and co-regent Cleopatra III claimed that he tried to kill her and replaced him with Alexander, her favorite son. Ptolemy IX, replaced the gold sarcophagus of Alexander the Great with a glass one and melted the original to strike gold coinage. The citizens of Alexandria were outraged and he was killed soon after.
GP84839. Bronze AE 34, Svoronos 1696 (only 1 specimen), SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, Weiser -, Hosking -, Noeske -, Malter -, Cox Curium -, F, dark green patina, porous, reverse a little off center, irregular flan with pre-strike casting sprues, weight 16.863 g, maximum diameter 33.7 mm, die axis 0o, Cypriot mint, c. 87 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, two eagles standing left on thunderbolt, petasos with diadem and straps (control symbol) left; extremely rare; $200.00 (178.00)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt, Portrait of Galba

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This type was struck at the beginning of Vespasian's reign. The portrait resembles Galba because it was struck before the mint had a portrait of the new Emperor.

In Greek mythology, Nilus was a son of Oceanus and Tethys. He was the god of the Nile River, equivalent to the Egyptian god Hapy.
RX85349. Bronze hemidrachm, Dattari 396, Geissen 271, BMC Alexandria p. 32, 269; Emmett 211 (R4), F, dark glossy surfaces, scratches, light encrustations, weight 12.426 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, Jul 69 - 28 Aug 69 A.D.; obverse AYT TIT ΦΛAYIO YEΣΠAΣIAN KAIΣ, laureate head right, portrait resembling Galba; reverse bust of Nilus right, wreathed with papyrus, cornucopia on left shoulder, date LA (year 1) before; very rare; $200.00 (178.00)




  







Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
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North Africa