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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Numismatics ▸ Barbaric & ImitativeView Options:  |  |  |   

Barbaric and Imitative Coins

Danubian Celts, West Noricum, Late 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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SH21611. Silver tetradrachm, Kugelrelter type; Gbl Noricum DnT 8 (IId/8); Lanz 111; Dembski 783; Gbl OTA 560; De la Tour 9910; Allen-Nash 55; CCCBM I -, Choice EF, weight 11.829 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 0o, obverse wreathed, diademed, and beardless head left; reverse Celticized rider on horseback left, headdress decorated with three balls (kugeln); SOLD


Gaza(?), Philistia or Arabia, c. 353 - 330 B.C., Imitative Athenian Pi-Style Tetradrachm

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This coin is from the hoard containing at least 76 Athenian-type owls, both Athenian issues and Egyptian and Levantine imitations, and two silver "dumps" cataloged and discussed by Peter G. van Alfen, in "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05), pp. 47-61, and pl. 6-13. The hoard is rumored to have come from the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

The obverse of this coin is die linked to examples with the Aramaic letter mem on the reverse (van Alfen style group Ia, Gitler and Tal V.17), which may abbreviate Marnas, the patron deity of Gaza.
Temple of Fortuna
SH66392. Silver tetradrachm, Van Alfen New, Semitic Style Group Ia, p. 56 and pl. 11, 56 (this coin); cf. Gitler and Tal V.17 (with mem on reverse, Gaza), VF, weight 16.178 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 270o, Gaza(?) mint, c. 353 - 330 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent; ex Amphora Coins, catalog 98, 150, Van Alfen New plate coin; rare; SOLD


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

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Some numismatists believe Athens tetradrachms on which Athena has this droopy eye, thick lips, and big chin are imitatives struck in either Asia Minor or Egypt. Most references and sales catalogs, however, list coins with this portrait style as ordinary Athens mint issues.
SH71562. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Mnchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, Nice VF, small flan flaw reverse center, weight 17.154 g, maximum diameter 23.7 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; no test cuts!; SOLD


Persian Empire, Mesopotamia(?), Imitative Pi-Style V Tetradrachm, c. 350 - 332 B.C.

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Although the style is very good and similar coins are often identified as official, this coin was probably not struck in the ancient Athens mint. The ancient Athens mint had a secret mark for this Pi style type. The top side of the A would ALWAYS hit the side of the owl EXACTLY in the angle between the head and the body. The top side of the A on this coin hits the side of the owls head. It is too high. The mint that struck this coin is uncertain but most likely this coin is an imitative that was struck in Persian Empire.
GS85441. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Delepierre 1476 (high A, very similar); Svoronos Athens pl. 20, 16 (high A, clearly imitative); SNG Mnchen 99 (high A, plated), Choice gVF, well centered and struck on a tight flan, bumps and marks, test cut reverse center, weight 16.736 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 225o, uncertain mint, c. 350 - 332 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and pi-style floral scroll, pellet above earring; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent, pellet above the owl's eyes, two rows of feathers (dots) to the right of the owl's beak; SOLD


Levant, Egypt or Arabia, Imitative Athenian Transitional Style Tetradrachm, c. 350 - 330 B.C.

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This coin is from the hoard containing at least 76 Athenian-type owls, both Athenian issues and Egyptian and Levantine imitations, and two silver "dumps" cataloged and discussed by Peter G. van Alfen, in "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05), pp. 47-61, and pl. 6-13. The hoard is rumored to have come from the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
SH66406. Silver tetradrachm, Van Alfen New p. 58 and pl. 12, 67 (this coin), VF, test cut on reverse, weight 16.983 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 270o, non-Athenian Eastern mint, c. 353 - 294 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent; Van Alfen New plate coin; very rare; SOLD


Mesopotamia, Levant, Arabia, or Egypt, Imitative Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 450 - 350 B.C.

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From Mesopotamia, across the Levante and Arabia, to Egypt, Persian satraps and local rulers struck imitative Athenian type tetradrachms. Some were struck with styles much different from the Athenian originals. Some included monograms or inscriptions in Aramaic or other local scripts. The style of this coin is close to the original Athenian but unusual enough that we are convinced it is an imitative. In particular, Athena's face is distorted and the owls eyes are unusually large.
GS86605. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Dewing 1622; SNG Cop 40; Svoronos Athens pl. 17, 18; SNG Mnchen 56; HGC 4 1597; SGCV I 2526, gVF, centered on a tight flan, bumps and marks, punch on obverse, banker's mark on reverse, tiny edge cracks, weight 17.243 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 225o, unofficial mint, c. 450 - 350 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 into ear; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; SOLD


Southern Danubian Celts, c. Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

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The earliest Celtic imitations of Philip II tetradrachms are very similar to the Macedonian originals. It isn't always completely clear if a coin is a Celtic imitative or an oddly engraved Macedonian original. Fairly quickly the imitative inscriptions were shortened and then blundered. Over time the head of Zeus was increasingly "Celticized" and eventually both the head of Zeus and the horseman devolved into barely recognizable abstract forms. This coin is similar to the original but, with a rather exotic head of Zeus, could never be confused with the Macedonian prototype.
SH66568. Silver tetradrachm, CCCBM I 7 var. (very similar obv, different rev symbols), Gbl OTA 18/2 var. (similar rev), Lanz 360 var. (similar rev), VF, weight 13.957 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 135o, tribal mint, c. late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; obverse Celticized laureate head of Zeus right, dot border; reverse ΦIΛIΠ−Y, naked youth on horse pacing right holding palm frond, Λ over torch below, uncertain object (dolphin?) below raised foreleg, dot border; derived from the Macedonian Kingdom tetradrachms of Philip II; SOLD


Southern Danubian Celts, c. Late 4th Century B.C.

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The earliest Celtic imitations of Philip II tetradrachms are very similar to the Macedonian originals. It isn't always clear if a coin is Celtic, or an oddly engraved Macedonian original, especially when the inscription is complete. The head of Zeus on this coin is just odd enough to indicate this is a Celtic coin.
SH66570. Silver tetradrachm, Forrer Keltische pl. XXIX, 75; Gbl OTA.14/4; Lanz -; Pink -; Castelin Zrich -, VF, weight 14.148 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, tribal mint, c. late 4th century B.C.; obverse Celticized laureate head of Zeus right, dot border; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠO−Y, naked youth on horse pacing right holding palm frond, Λ over torch below, YE monogram below raised foreleg, dot border; derived from the Macedonian Kingdom tetradrachms of Philip II; SOLD


Celts, Danube Region, Imitative of Philip II of Macedonia, c. 4th - Early 3rd Century A.D.

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SH14671. Silver tetradrachm, SGCV I 203 var., De La Tour II -, Lanz -, Choice VF, weight 13.903 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 225o, obverse laureate head of Zeus right, dot border; reverse ΦIΛIΠ, naked youth on horse pacing right holding palm frond, snake below, dot border; scarce variety; SOLD


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit

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The Paris coin referenced by RIC, RSC, BMCRE and Cohen is listed as issued by the Laodicea ad Mare mint, but it is also undoubtedly an ancient counterfeit.
SH28321. Silver denarius, RIC IV 355 var., RSC III 20 var., BMCRE V p, 300 var., Cohen 20 var. (all refer to a single Paris coin Laodicea ad Mare mint, CERERI FRVGIS revs), gVF, frosty surfaces, weight 3.873 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, illegal mint, obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped young bust right; reverse CERERI FRVGTI (sic), Ceres seated left, stalks of grain in right hand, long scepter vertical in left; extremely rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Thursday, April 25, 2019.
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Barbaric and Imitative