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The Lydian King Croesus minted the first silver and gold coins. He was famous for his extraordinary wealth, but after his defeat by Cyrus in 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy. The Persian conquerors of Lydia continued to strike the same Croesus' silver half siglos and gold stater types. This coin is an early example issued under Croesus. We can tell it is an early example because the lion and the bull were struck separately, with one punch at a time. Later examples appear to have been struck with single punch only made to look like two separate punches.GA33281. Silver siglos (half-stater), BMC Lydia p. 7, 45, pl. 1, 18; SNG Cop 456; SNG Kayhan 1024; SNG Ashmolean 762; SNGvA 2877; Rosen 663; SGCV II 3420, gVF, weight 5.375 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, probably Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 561 - 546 B.C.; obverse on the left, forepart of a roaring lion right, confronting, on the right, the forepart of a bull left; reverse two incuse square punches, of unequal size, side by side; SOLD
Persian Empire, Judaea (Yehudah), 375 - 333 B.C.
Minted in Judaea while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest.
SH36158. Silver hemiobol, Meshorer TJC 16, Hendin 429v, VF, weight 0.270 g, maximum diameter 7.5 mm, die axis 135o, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse oriental style head of Athena; reverse "YHD" (Yehudah), falcon with wings spread, head right; rare; SOLD
Eryx, Sicily, c. 344 - 339 B.C.
Eryx was founded by Elymians on the summit of a mountain in northwest Sicily, about 10 km from Drepana (modern Trapani), and 3 km from the sea-coast, at the site of modern Erice. The Elymians maintained friendly relations and alliances with Carthage and came into frequent conflict with the Greeks. In 397 B.C., however, Eryx joined Dionysius I of Syracuse. It was speedily recovered by Himilco the following year. It again fell into the hands of Dionysius shortly before his death in 367 B.C., but was soon recovered by the Carthaginians, and probably was subject to their rule until the expedition of Pyrrhus in 278 B.C.GS84640. Silver litra, Campana CNAI 47; Jenkins I pl. 24, 24; SNG ANS 1348; Jameson 1894; Winterthur 630; HGC 2 324 (????) corr. (male head/man-faced bull); SNG Cop -, VF, toned, tight flan, obverse slightly off center, weight 0.567 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 270o, Eryx (Erice, Sicily) mint, Punic rule, c. 344 - 339 B.C.; obverse head of nymph left, hair in a bun at the crown, wearing triple-pendant earring and necklace; reverse bull standing left, Punic "RK" above; from the Nicholas Molinari Collection; very rare; SOLD
Orthagoreia, Thrace, c. 350 - 330 B.C.
All the references given, except SNG Cop, include Orthagoreia in Macedonia. See Psoma Maroneia, pp. 193Ė204, for the redesignation of Orthagoreia from Macedon to Thrace.SH86789. Silver hemidrachm, SNG ANS 7.1 564 (same dies); SNG Cop 690; SNG Ashmolean V.2 2356; AMNG III-2, 3; BMC Macedonia p. 88, 5; HGC 3.1 600 (R1), Choice aEF, attractive style, well centered, nice toning, slight porosity, weight 2.571 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 15o, Orthagoreia mint, c. 350 - 330 B.C.; obverse facing head of Artemis, facing slightly left,, wearing triple-drop earring and pearl necklace, quiver on left shoulder; reverse OΠΘAΓO−ΠEΩN, facing ornate Macedonian helmet with cheek pieces, and star ornament crest; scarce; SOLD
Ionia, c. 540 - 520 B.C.
Very rare early electrum fraction.SH21302. Electrum 1/36th stater, Mitchiner ATEC I, p. 391, 845, F/VF, weight 0.419 g, maximum diameter 5.67 mm, uncertain mint, c. 600 B.C.; obverse goose; reverse incuse square punch with three pellets; nice gold color; very rare; SOLD
Chalkidian League, Macedonia, 432 - 348 B.C.
In 432 B.C. Olynthos broke away from Athens and, with several other cities, formed the Chalkidian league. In 393, Amyntas III of Macedonia temporally transferred territory to Olynthos when he was driven out of Macedonia by Illyrians. When he was restored and the league did not return his lands, he appealed to Sparta. Akanthos and Apollonia, also appealed to Sparta, claiming league membership was not voluntary but enforced at the point of a sword. After a long war, in 379 these cities were made "autonomous" subject allies of Sparta. Weakened by the division, the league was destroyed by Philip II of Macedon in 348 B.C.SH58584. Silver tetrobol, SNG ANS 517; SNG Cop 238; BMC Macedonia p. 68, 15; SGCV I 1425, Choice VF, weight 2.414 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 90o, Olynthos mint, c. 430 - 420 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left, ∆ behind; reverse XAΛKI∆EΩN, kithara, squared legend around, all within a linear square border inside a shallow square incuse; ex Ralph Demarco; scarce; SOLD
Messana, Sicily, c. 450 B.C.
Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century B.C., Messina was originally called Zancle, from the Greek meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbor (though a legend attributes the name to King Zanclus). In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it in honor of the Greek city Messene.SH19449. Silver litra, BMC Sicily 63; SGCV I 849, EF, weight 0.711 g, maximum diameter 13.3 mm, die axis 45o, Messana mint, obverse hare leaping right, scallop below; reverse MEΣ in wreath; toned; SOLD
Thucydides lists Pherae among the early Thessalian supporters of Athens at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War (History of the Peloponnesian War 2.22). Toward the end of the war Lycophron established a tyranny at Pherae. On his death his son Jason became dictator and by around 374 B.C. extended his rule throughout Thessaly. After Jason's assassination and that of his two successors Alexander ruled Pherae with great harshness until he was killed by his wife, Thebe, in 359 B.C., and Thessaly was conquered by the Thebans. Philip of Macedon conquered Pherae in 352 B.C. and subjected Thessaly to Macedonian rule.SH47897. Silver obol, BCD Thessaly I 1313; HGC 4 580; SNG Cop 244; Traitť IV 618 & pl. CCXCIV, 19, VF, weight 0.698 g, maximum diameter 10.3 mm, Pherai mint, obverse wheel of four spokes; reverse labrys (double ax), A−ΛE curving below divided by handle; very rare; SOLD
Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.
King Kroisos minted the first silver and gold coins. He was famous for his extraordinary wealth, but with his defeat by Kyros in 546 B.C. Lydia became a Persian satrapy.GA75195. Silver 1/3 stater, Traitť I 412, Rosen 666, Boston MFA 2071, Sunrise 12, SGCV II 3421, SNG Kayhan -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, VF, toned, lightly etched, weight 3.461 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 550 - 546 B.C.; obverse on the left, forepart of a roaring lion right, confronting, on the right, the forepart of a bull left; reverse two incuse square punches, of unequal size, side by side; SOLD
Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Drachm
Struck during Athens' Golden Age, when great thinkers, writers, and artists flourished in the city. Herodotus, the father of history, lived and wrote in Athens. Socrates, the father of philosophy, taught in the marketplace. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, practiced there. The sculptor Phidias created his great works for the Parthenon on the Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. Democritus envisioned an atomic universe. Aeschylus, Euripedes, Aristophanes, and Sophocles wrote their famous plays and Pindar his Odes. This legacy would continue as, later, Plato would found his Academy outside the walls of Athens in 385 B.C. and, later, Aristotle would found his Lyceum in the city center.GS53290. Silver drachm, SNG Cop 41; Kroll 10; Dewing 1601; Svoronos pl. 11, 20; HGC 4 1631, aVF, porous, weight 4.056 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves & floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair across forehead in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, to left olive sprig and crescent, all within incuse square; nicely centered with full crest; scarcer denomination; SOLD