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Author Topic: Ptolemaic Bronze for ID 25mm  (Read 373 times)

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Offline Jschulze

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Ptolemaic Bronze for ID 25mm
« on: May 04, 2019, 02:20:38 am »
Hi all,
I'm looking to ID this scrappy Ptolemaic bronze. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Reverse looks to be two eagles rather than one.

25mm
6.32grams (It has been corroded a bit so I suspect the weight was a bit higher originally)


Offline PtolemAE

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Re: Ptolemaic Bronze for ID 25mm
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2019, 11:47:19 am »
Hi all,
I'm looking to ID this scrappy Ptolemaic bronze. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Reverse looks to be two eagles rather than one.

25mm
6.32grams (It has been corroded a bit so I suspect the weight was a bit higher originally)


Another one you can identify quickly using the photos guide on the

www.ptolemybronze.com

web site.  Late 2nd - 1st C. issue and this condition is decent for the type.

PtolemAE

Offline Jschulze

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Re: Ptolemaic Bronze for ID 25mm
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2019, 01:32:05 am »
Thank you Altamura and PtolemAE!

Josh

Offline Jschulze

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Re: Ptolemaic Bronze for ID 25mm
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2019, 03:00:39 am »
I have found these listed as Svoronos 1842 and Svoronos 1843. What is the difference between the two?

I've also seen some wide-ranging attribution dates, anywhere from Ptolemy VIII-X. 145-88 BC to Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos 55-51 BC. On www.ptolemybronze.com it seems to be listed as Svoronos 1842 as Late 2nd - Early 1st C. BC, covering both date ranges.

What is the most recent consensus on these, anyone know? (I'm sure if anyone, it would be PtolemAE. I'm guessing the date range on his site reflects what is known but I was hoping to hear his or any other thoughts out there) Thank you!

Josh

Offline PtolemAE

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Re: Ptolemaic Bronze for ID 25mm
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2019, 12:24:26 pm »
I have found these listed as Svoronos 1842 and Svoronos 1843. What is the difference between the two?

I've also seen some wide-ranging attribution dates, anywhere from Ptolemy VIII-X. 145-88 BC to Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos 55-51 BC. On www.ptolemybronze.com it seems to be listed as Svoronos 1842 as Late 2nd - Early 1st C. BC, covering both date ranges.

What is the most recent consensus on these, anyone know? (I'm sure if anyone, it would be PtolemAE. I'm guessing the date range on his site reflects what is known but I was hoping to hear his or any other thoughts out there) Thank you!

Josh

My recollection is one may have a symbol or monogram underneath the Isis headdress, the other just has the headdress (like yours).

Dating of the late Ptolemaic bronzes is perhaps better than it was 100 years ago but still relies, imho, on a good bit of educated guesswork.  As some tetradrachms have Isis headdresses, it's natural to think that these bronze coins with similar symbols (not seen on other types) might be made about the same time as the tetradrachms that have dates on them, but, alas, those pesky Egyptians left no explicit written records about the bronze coins and failed to mark them with dates (and yes, a few types of their bronzes are dated so the reason these aren't is a mystery).  We're a bit in the dark but doing the best we can :)  When collecting Ptolemaic bronze coins it might be wise to quickly get over the obsession about 'what king made this coin ?'.  There's no evidence whatsoever for most of the types that production started or stopped with the crowning or death of any king.

PtolemAE

Offline Jschulze

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Re: Ptolemaic Bronze for ID 25mm
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2019, 06:45:42 pm »
Thanks for the follow-up information PtolemAE!

It is hard to not get tied to the idea of knowing "this ruler minted this coin" and accepting the idea that they may have been made over a period of time that is undefined or lasting though several reigns. I really enjoy Ptolemaic coinage but have been spoiled by roman imperial coins where you can narrow mint dates down to specific years, months or even days.

As the details of these issues are being reexamined, I was just hoping there may be a bit more known. I wasn't sure if some of the attributions I was seeing with more narrow attributions may be using newer thinking... but maybe they were just guesses for buyers that want that specific ruler information.

Thanks again!

Josh

Offline PtolemAE

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Re: Ptolemaic Bronze for ID 25mm
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2019, 09:34:09 pm »
Thanks for the follow-up information PtolemAE!

It is hard to not get tied to the idea of knowing "this ruler minted this coin" and accepting the idea that they may have been made over a period of time that is undefined or lasting though several reigns. I really enjoy Ptolemaic coinage but have been spoiled by roman imperial coins where you can narrow mint dates down to specific years, months or even days.

As the details of these issues are being reexamined, I was just hoping there may be a bit more known. I wasn't sure if some of the attributions I was seeing with more narrow attributions may be using newer thinking... but maybe they were just guesses for buyers that want that specific ruler information.

Thanks again!

Josh

It's a coinage that's interesting for many reasons but with few exceptions precise dating is at best iffy.  There's lots of disagreement even between reference books and after much study my expectations of exactness are tempered by reality.  A few can be narrowed down pretty well but most can't.  Your coin at least has a symbol that gives us something to go on.  Many of the later coin types lack any mintmarks or control symbols at all.  There are lots of ancient coinages that are similar in their attribution to fairly wide ranges of dates - e.g. Athenian owls made over 50 year time spans in a single design, etc.  That said, some day someone might find long lost records from a Ptolemaic mint and of course collectors can focus on coins that name the ruler right on them, moreso the Ptolemaic queens like Kleopatra VII.  A few actually have dates.  It's just not that unusual for ancient Greek coins to be a bit vague on dating.  Roman coins are sometimes hard to date as well but more often have ruler portrait and name associated with a relatively brief time period.  But even those are sometimes posthumous issues and only specialists know which are which. 

Ptolemaic coinage, especially bronze coins, are more like U.S. cents - if those didn't have explicit dates on them we'd be hard pressed to know which president made which coin.  And most folks don't associate a 1933 Lincoln cent as 'made by Franklin Roosevelt', anyway. 

How we think about the 'date' and 'ruler' of Ptolemaic bronze coins could say more about us than them :)

PtolemAE


 

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