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Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.
During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War. GS94303. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, F, high relief, tight flan, banker's mark, test cut, bumps and marks, lightly etched, weight 16.775 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; $325.00 SALE |PRICE| $260.00
Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, 114 - 95 B.C.
In Greek mythology, Eros was the Greek god of love. His Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire"). According to Hesiod (c. 700 B.C.), one of the most ancient of all Greek sources, Eros was the fourth god to come into existence, coming after Chaos, Gaia (the Earth), and Tartarus (the Abyss or the Underworld). Parmenides (c. 400 B.C.), one of the pre-Socratic philosophers, makes Eros the first of all the gods to come into existence. In early Greek poetry and art, Eros was depicted as an adult male who embodies sexual power. But in later sources, Eros is represented as the son of Aphrodite, whose mischievous interventions in the affairs of gods and mortals cause bonds of love to form, often illicitly. Ultimately, by the later satirical poets, he is represented as a child, the precursor to the chubby Renaissance Cupid. GY91911. Bronze AE 19, Houghton-Lorber II 2388(8) (otherwise unpublished, 7 specimens cited from private collections), aVF, mottled garnet and black patina, marks, some porosity, beveled obverse edge, weight 5.785 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain probably Phoenician mint, c. 113 - 100 B.C.; obverse winged bust of Eros right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY on right, ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ on left, Nike advancing left, wreath in extended right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two downward lines on right, ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ in downward line on left, monogram outer left (control), B and symbol (controls) in exergue; $32.00 SALE |PRICE| $25.00
Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.
After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king. GY91905. Bronze serrated AE 21, cf. Houghton-Lorber II 2006, SNG Spaer 1771, Babelon Rois 1007, SNG Cop 304, HGC 9 143 (C-S), F, corrosion, weight 6.793 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. mid-143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wearing ivy wreath; obscure countermark; reverse elephant walking left, holding torch in trunk, BAΣIΛEΩS ANTIOXOY above, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY in exergue, ΣTA over uncertain second control symbol right; scarce; $35.00 SALE |PRICE| $28.00
Magnesia ad Meandrum, Ionia, c. 145 - 70 B.C.
Magnesia ad Maeandrum was an inland city of Ionia, located on a small tributary of the Maeander River about 12 miles southeast of Ephesus. "..the temple of Artemis Leukophryene, which in the size of its shrine and in the number of its votive offerings is inferior to the temple at Ephesos, but in the harmony and skill shown in the structure of the sacred enclosure is far superior to it. And in size it surpasses all the sacred enclosures in Asia except two, that at Ephesos (to Artemis) and that at Didymoi (to Apollo)" -- Strabo, Geography 14. 1. 40. GB91731. Bronze AE 21, SNGvA 2041, SNG München 602, SNG Fitzwilliam 4514, Lindgren III 371, SNG Cop -, Choice VF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 12.257 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, c. 145 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Artemis right, bow and quiver behind shoulder; reverse stag standing right on meander pattern, head down, MAΓNHTΩN above, ΠAYΣANIAΣ / MHTPO∆ΩPOΣ (Pausanias, son of Metrodoros [magistrate]) in two lines in the exergue; only three sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $200.00
Koinon of Macedonia, Reign of Severus Alexander, c. 222 - 231 A.D., Alexander and Bucephalus
Plutarch tells the story of how, in 344 B.C. Philonicus the Thessalian, a horse dealer, offered a massive wild stallion to Alexander's father, King Philip II. Since no one could tame the animal, Philip was not interested. Alexander, however, seeing that the horse was afraid of his own shadow, promised to pay for the horse himself should he fail to tame it. He was given a chance and surprised all by subduing it. Alexander spoke soothingly to the horse and turned it towards the sun so that it could no longer see its shadow. Eventually, Bucephalus allowed Alexander to ride him. Embarrassed, Philip commented, "O my son, look thee out a kingdom equal to and worthy of thyself, for Macedonia is too little for thee." Alexander named the horse Bucephalus because the horse's head seemed "as broad as a bull's." Bucephalus died of battle wounds in 326 B.C., in Alexander's last battle. Alexander gave Bucephalus a state funeral and founded the city of Bucephala (thought to be the modern town of Jhelum, Pakistan) in memory of his wonderful horse. GB92375. Bronze AE 27, SNG Cop 1357 (same dies), AMNG III 323, BMC Macedonia -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Saroglos -, Lindgren -, F, dark green patina, scratches, weight 13.898 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, c. 222 - 231 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, diademed head of Alexander the Great right, club below bust; reverse KOIN-O-N M-AKE∆O,NΩN (last three letters in exergue), Alexander standing right, nude but for cloak flowing out behind him, taming Bukephalus who rears left; fantastic "story coin" type; scarce; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $95.00
Caria (Uncertain City), c. 460 - 440 B.C.
Troxell notes that hoard provinces indicate this type was struck in Caria, however, the issuing city remains unknown. SNG Kayhan identifies the denomination as a Milesian standard tetartemorion. SNG Keckman lists it as a Persic hemiobol. GS92103. Silver hemiobol, Troxell Carians 11C, SNG Keckman 913 ff.; cf. SNG Kayhan 968 ff. (no star), SNG Tüb 3329 (same), BMC Caria -, F/VF, obverse off center, light marks, light encrustations, weight 0.265 g, maximum diameter 6.9 mm, die axis 0o, Carian mint, c. 460 - 440 B.C.; obverse foreparts of two bulls confronted; reverse forepart of bull left, star below; ex Civitas Galleries; scarce; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $95.00
Thracian Tribes, c. 400 - 338 B.C., Imitative of Chersonesos
This "barbarous imitation" was likely minted by a Thracian tribe living near the Greek colony of Cherronesos. Imitative tribal coinage such as this was common in the outlying regions of the classical world as peoples who traded with the ancient Greeks and Romans, also emulated their ways. The coin's simplified style is typical of such coinage. Tribal coinage has not been as well studied or documented and apparently no Cherronesos imitatives are listed in the references held by Forum. GS91085. Silver hemidrachm, cf. McClean II 4079; BMC Thrace p. 183, 11; SNG Ashmolean 3589; Weber 2419; SNG Cop - (Chersonesos prototype), VF, uneven obverse strike, porous etched surfaces, weight 2.374 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, tribal mint, c. 400 - 338 B.C.; obverse lion forepart right, head turned back left; reverse quadripartite incuse square with alternating shallow and deeper sunken quarters, pellet in one sunken quarter, bunch of grapes in the opposite sunken quarter; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $200.00
Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.
This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C. GS91475. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XII, monogram 6, 786 (O AE5 / R 624); SNG Cop 1040 ff. (Thasos), aVF, old cabinet toning, well centered, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 16.517 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $190.00
Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
In 275, Aurelian prepared a campaign against the Sassanids in Asia Minor. In Thrace, while waiting to cross the Bosphorus with his army, he ordered severe punishments for corrupt soldiers and made a list of high-ranking officers marked for execution. In September, Aurelian fell victim to a conspiracy of the Praetorian Guard and was murdered near Byzantium (Istanbul, Turkey). RX91483. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5477; Geissen 3096; BMC Alexandria p. 306, 2362; Milne 4456; Curtis 1773; SNG Cop 883; Kampmann 106.54; Emmett 3923, EF, well centered, excellent portrait, edge splits, weight 7.948 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 274 - 28 Aug 275 A.D.; obverse A K Λ ∆OM AVPHΛ IANOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ETOVC S (year 6), eagle standing left head turned back, wreath in beak; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $100.00
Pella, Macedonia, c. 148 - 31 B.C.
Pella was founded in 399 B.C. by King Archelaus (413 - 399 B.C.) as his capital. It was the seat of Philip II and of his son, Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C., it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later the city was destroyed by an earthquake. By 180 A.D., Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants." The reverse type alludes to a local tradition that the original name of Pella was Bounomos, which means "grazing ox." GB91496. Bronze AE 20, cf. SNG Cop 266 ff. (various monograms); SNG ANS 598 ff. (same); BMC Macedonia p. 91, 17 ff. (same); HGC 3 615, F, dark patina, porous, light earthen deposits, obverse off center, weight 8.681 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Pella mint, under Roman rule, c. 148 - 31 B.C.; obverse head of Athena Parthenos right, wearing crested Athenian helmet adorned with a griffin and foreparts of horses (as on contemporary Athenian tetradrachms); reverse ox grazing right, ΠEΛ/ΛHΣ above and below, monograms right and below (controls); from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.00
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