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Ancient Coins of Greece

Macedonian Kingdom, Kassander - Antigonos II Gonatas, 310 - 275 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander the Great

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This coin was struck during a chaotic time when the Greece and Anatolia were the battlegrounds of Alexander's successors. The old men, once comrades in Alexander's army, along with their children, fought each other to death to expand their kingdoms. Cities, such as Lampsacus, in territory that might change hands after the next battle, struck coins in the types and name of Alexander, perhaps as much to maintain neutrality and some continuity, as to honor the deified king.
GS91302. Silver tetradrachm, Price 866, Müller Alexander 914, SNG München 395, Meydancikkale 492 - 495, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, well centered, somewhat crude style, mild die wear, light scratches, weight 17.065 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, Greece or Macedonia, uncertain mint, 310 - 275 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Pegasos forepart left in lower left field, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; $350.00 (€308.00)


Itanos, Crete, c. 320 - 270 B.C.

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The ancient Itanos was one of the strongest cities in Crete in Hellenistic and Roman times. The city flourished due to fishing, and its trade in glass and Tyrian purple die. Koufonissi Island, owned by Itanos, was famous the purple die made from shellfish. The nearby temple of Diktaean Zeus also brought pilgrims and the tourist trade. An earthquake in 795 precipitated a significant decline. An Arab attack in the 9th century destroyed much of the city, but Itanos was not abandoned until the 15th century, when successive Arab raids forced its residents to abandon the coast and move inland.
GB92189. Bronze AE 17, Svoronos Numismatique 42, SNG Cop -, BMC Crete -, F, brown patina, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 2.987 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, Itanos (near Paalekastro, Eastern Crete) mint, c. 320 - 270 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena left; reverse sixteen-pointed star with pellet-in-annulet at center; ex CNG e-auction 246 (15 Dec 2010), lot 84; only two sales of this type (and one is this coin) recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $300.00 (€264.00)


Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece, c. 510 - 490 B.C.

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The turtle coin type is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors because Aegina was probably the first place in Europe to issue coinage.


Click here to read about Greek Turtles.
GA91781. Silver stater, SNG Delepierre 1670, Dewing 1657, SNG Cop 503, SGCV I 1849 (none with this countermark), F, banker's marks, weight 12.170 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, Aigina mint, c. 510 - 490 B.C.; obverse sea turtle, straight raised collar and row of dots down the middle of the shell, countermark: head (female?) right; reverse incuse square of "Union Jack" pattern; $270.00 (€237.60)


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 100 - 60 B.C.

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The affectionate dove, the bird of love, was sacred to the goddess of love, Venus (Aphrodite). Doves were said to draw her heavenly chariot, and the Syrian Aphrodite Ashtarte was said to have been hatched from an egg and nursed by doves. The phrase attributed to Jesus, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10.16), was no random metaphor but a traditional Syrian invocation.
GS92987. Silver triobol, SNG Cop 99, BMC Peloponnesus p. 52, 196; HGC 5 217 (S); BCD Peloponnesos 342 var. (Θ vice T), EF, well centered, attractive toning, die wear, weight 2.237 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sikyon mint, magistrate Kleandros, c. 100 - 60 B.C.; obverse dove flying right, olive branch held in beak, T left between wing and tail; reverse large Σ, KΛE/A-N/∆POΣ (magistrate) in three horizontal lines, all within incuse square; $250.00 (€220.00)


Thespiai, Boiotia, Greece, Early 4th Century B.C.

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Thespiae stood on level ground commanded by the low range of hills which run eastward from the foot of Mount Helicon to Thebes, near modern Thespies. During the Hellenistic Period, Thespiae sought the friendship of the Roman Republic in the war against Mithridates VI. It is subsequently mentioned by Strabo as a place of some size, and by Pliny as a free city within the Roman Empire, a reward for its support against Mithridates. Thespiae hosted an important group of Roman negotiatores until the refoundation of Corinth in 44 B.C.
GS92209. Silver obol, BCD Boiotia 599; SNG Lockett 1763; SNG Cop 401; SNG Berry 606; BMC Central p. 90, 4; HGC 4 1402, VF, light toning, weight 0.780 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, Thespiai (near Thespies, Greece) mint, early 4th century B.C.; obverse Boiotian ox-hide shield; reverse ΘEΣ (bottom stroke on Σ missing), ethnic above and within crescent with horns upward and composed of three lines, all within a shallow round incuse; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher), ex BCD Collection; scarce; $220.00 (€193.60)


Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece, 550 - 456 B.C.

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Aegina was probably the first place in Europe to issue coinage. As the first European coin, the turtle type is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors.
GA91477. Silver obol, Milbank pl. I, 7; HGC 6 450 (S); BMC Attica p. 135, 115; SNG Cop 511; SNG Delepierre 1530; Weber 3616, F, dark old cabinet toning, light marks, tiny edge split, weight 0.692 g, maximum diameter 8.0 mm, Aegina mint, 550 - 456 B.C.; obverse sea turtle with smooth shell and row of dots down the middle; reverse incuse punch, five compartments divided by broad bars into a skew pattern; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $200.00 (€176.00)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.

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BCD Thessaly II notes this obverse die appears to have been altered (reworked).
GS73413. Silver drachm, Lorber-Shahar early group 3 (O25/R6), BCD Thessaly II 197 (same dies), Lorber Early 11.- (same obverse die), F, etched surfaces, die wear, weight 5.793 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly right, partially radiate hair with hornlike locks of hair on crown above ampyx, drop earring, plain necklace; reverse horse grazing right, legs straight, ΛAPI above; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "T/ne ex Thessaly, Sept. 2004, €55.-" ; $180.00 (€158.40)


The Perrhaiboi, Thessaly, Greece, 4th Century B.C.

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The Perrhaiboi were a Pelasgian (indigenous non-Greek) tribal people who lived in Perrhaibia, north of Thessaly proper and bordering Macedonia. Their capital was Phalanna, and their most significant town was Olosson. In the Iliad, Homer wrote of "the valiant Perrhaiboi, who dwelt about wintry Dodona, and held the lands round the lovely river Titaresios, which sends its waters into the Peneus." The Perrhaiboi fought in the Battle of Thermopylae. Through most of their history they were overshadowed and controlled by Thessaly, although they had two votes at the Delphic Amphictyony. Philip II of Macedon took their kingdom and it remained under Macedonian control until the Roman conquest in 196 B.C.
GB92798. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly I 1244, BCD Thessaly II 558, Rogers 439, Traité IV 582, SNG Cop 196, HGC 4 156 (S), BMC Thessaly -, gVF/VF, smoothing, weight 6.392 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 255o, Olosson (Elassona, Greece) mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse veiled head of Hera facing slightly left, wearing necklace; reverse Zeus standing left, nude, thunderbolt in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, star ΠEPPAI/BΩ-N (downward in two lines, the first on the right, the second divided on the left); ex BCD Collection with his round tag noting, "found near Phalanna, Dec. 1996, SFr. 110.-"; $180.00 (€158.40)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 369 - 360 B.C.

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The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
GS73410. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly I 1146, HGC 4 439 (R1), BCD Thessaly II 281 - 282, F, etched obverse surface, punch on obverse left eye, weight 5.906 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 369 - 360 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly right, hair floating freely, round curl on right, neck truncation elongated and very gently bow-shaped; reverse ΛAPI above, horse grazing right with straight legs; ex BCD Collection with his tag; $160.00 (€140.80)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.

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This obverse is described in Lorber Early as wearing a taenia instead of an ampyx.

The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
SH73427. Silver drachm, Lorber-Shahar early group 1 (O7/R2); Lorber Early 29.5 (same dies); BCD Thessaly II 217 - 218; HGC 4 432, F, corrosion, weight 5.382 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing taenia and necklace, hair floating freely; reverse horse grazing left, legs straight, short forelegs, shoulders lower than rump, grass under nose, ΛAPIΣAI above; ex BCD Collection; $160.00 (€140.80)










REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
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