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Greek, Nikomedes II of Bithynia (149-127 BC)
Bithynian Kingdom, Nikomedes III Euergetes, 127-94 BC, AR Tetradrachm struck 126/5 BC
Diademed head of Nikomedes II right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ EПiΦANOYΣ NIKOMHΔΩΣ.
(The reverse is Zeus standing left holding sceptre and laurel wreath capping Nikomedes name, eagle standing left on fulmen in inner left field above monogram ΩΓYE, dated below BOP = Bithynian era year 172 = 126/5 BC).
De Callatay pl. XV, D12-R1a (this coin); SNG von Aulock 6894 (same reverse die); Sear GCV 7274 (date variant).
(33mm, 16.68 g,11h)
Jencek; ex- Noble Investments (UK) PLC; ex- Spink Sale 5014 (28 September 2005) Lot 121; ex- Monnaies et Medailles (19-20 June 1975) lot 163; ex- Bank Leu Auction 2 (25 April 1972) lot 224

This coin holds it own amongst the masterpieces of late Hellenistic portraiture. The obverse image is that of a confident and contented ruler, Nikomedes II (149-127 BC), comfortable in his role leading a client state of Rome, while secure in the knowledge that the military might of the latter underpinned his position. Following Nikomedes II reign, the portrait on the obverse of the kingdomís coinage continued unchanged, through the reign of his son (Nikomedes III) and grandson (Nikomedes IV). However, the issuing king can be readily identified by the date on coins and to a lesser degree by the style of the obverse.

Nikomedes II commenced the practice of dating Bithynian coinage, with reference to the era commencing 297/6 BC, this date being the date of foundation of the Bithynian Kingdom by Zipoetes. This coin was struck shortly after the death of Nikomedes II and the portrait closely resembles that on coins struck during his reign. It is an accurate portrayal of Nikomedes II. With time the portrait became increasingly stylized so that some examples struck toward the end of the kingdomís existence bear only a passing resemblance to the original portrait.
File information
Filename:Nikomedes_III_AR_Tetradrachm~1.jpg
Album name:Lloyd T / Superb and Masterpiece Portraits Gallery
Rating (1 votes): (Details)
Keywords:Nikomedes II Bithynia Bithynian kKngdom
File Size:25 KB
Date added:Jun 06, 2011
Dimensions:372 x 367 pixels
Displayed:184 times
URL:http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-68201
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Bruno V.  [Jul 19, 2011 at 12:03 AM]
Sublime
Pscipio  [Jul 19, 2011 at 06:54 AM]
Very nice indeed. I am not always fond of late hellenistic silver, but this is a great coin.