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Author Topic: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?  (Read 146 times)

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Online Molinari

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Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« on: November 16, 2022, 11:03:44 am »
I saw this coin in one of the slides of Dr. Wartenberg's recent lectures, and immediately thought a facing head of Acheloios (note the close proximity of the eyes, and what appears to be the remnants of a human nose).  There is another in the Pozzi collection.  Does anyone have the Pozzi plate so I can compare--I do not have a catalog number, unfortunately.

Nick

Half-stater, some provenance details here:

http://numismatics.org/collection/2016.28.1?lang=en


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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2022, 11:22:21 am »
I see at least one catalog of some of his coins is online, which I will now search over lunch.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015025914790&view=1up&seq=25

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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2022, 11:26:53 am »
Found it:


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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2022, 11:36:53 am »
I wonder if the artist was using one of the many Rhodian or Samo-Milesian Acheloios heads as a model.  These date c. 570 to 550.


Offline Keles

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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2022, 12:03:24 pm »
Very interesting hypothesis. However, the eyes are not human-shaped. Acheloios is one possibility, but I think a lion's head cannot be ruled out, see the attached examples.

https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=3363805

https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=1325016

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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2022, 02:33:10 pm »
Thanks Keles.  There are certainly many lion types from Samos but on the ANS example (I think) you can see bovine ears and horns (see my red lines).  In fact, Dr. Wartenburg said to ignore the write-up on the ANS database because it accidentally lists lion per the Pozzi specimen (she thinks it is a bull herself, but is interested in the Acheloios idea). Perhaps the similarity in eyes is due to the engraver being used to engraving lion eyes (but either way I believe they are far too close together for bull eyes).

Offline Keles

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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2022, 04:59:37 pm »
I agree that a bull can also be seen in it, but it's not very likely because the eyes are really too close together. It seems to me that if there are indeed bull horns on top, then they are placed a little too far forward and low. The large size of the eyes, which do not have a human shape, is strange. The reason for all the peculiarities may really be an inexperienced engraver. I dare not draw any conclusions based on these two specimens.

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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2022, 05:02:54 pm »
There is a 1/24th stater of this type in SNG Rosen but I don’t have that, and I think some others too.  Will update when I get more pictures.

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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2022, 05:12:01 pm »
In the meantime, a hemidrachm from Oiniadai featuring a broad-horned Acheloios, c. 420 BC.

Offline Altamura

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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2022, 06:40:21 am »
... I agree that a bull can also be seen in it, but it's not very likely because the eyes are really too close together. ...
I am skeptical too :-\.

We have three specimes with extremely similar obverses and nearly the same weights:
ANS/Bolaffi with 8,18 g, see above and here: https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=1342&lot=562
Pozzi with 8,04 g: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k9779820r/f283.item.texteImage.zoom
Greenwell/Babelon with 8,15 g: https://archive.org/details/thirdnumismatic10royauoft/page/n255/mode/2up

Only one shows these supposed traces of horns, but all three have the same eyes, the same nose and the same kind of reverse. In my eyes this is one and the same type.

... There is a 1/24th stater of this type in SNG Rosen but I don’t have that, ...
The Rosen Collection can be found here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015013532091&view=1up&seq=7
but I didn't understand which coin you mean :-\.

Regards

Altamura

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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2022, 10:09:57 am »
Thank you for these additional specimens!  You don't think the bovine ears and horns are clear on the ANS specimen? At the very least I think it is a bull--whether or not a man-faced bull, I do not know.

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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2022, 10:43:12 am »
Looking at a Milesian lion (our coin is not on the Milesian standard) I now see how some facing lion's heads could appear to have bovine ears and horns.  See below:


Offline Keles

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Re: Samos? Facing head of Acheloios?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2022, 11:23:59 am »
Looking at a Milesian lion (our coin is not on the Milesian specimen) I now see how some facing lion's heads could appear to have bovine ears and horns.  See below:

Yes, I think a lion is a likely possibility. By the way, the hemidrachm from Oiniadai is awesome.

 

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