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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Numismatics| ▸ |Signed||View Options:  |  |  | 

Signed Ancient Coins

Some of the finest master die engravers were famous in their own time and even cut dies for several cities. Only the most exceptional die engravers, and even then only rarely, were permitted to sign their work. Most of these "signatures" consist of only a few discrete letters, sometimes hidden in the hair but sometimes more prominent. Examples include KIM for Kimon, FRI for Phrygillos, and EY for Eukleidas.

Syracuse, Sicily, c. 415 - 410 B.C., Double Signed by Eumenes

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |c.| |415| |-| |410| |B.C.,| |Double| |Signed| |by| |Eumenes||tetradrachm|
Boldly signed by the artist Eumenes (Eumenos) on both the obverse and reverse.
SH28067. Silver tetradrachm, Tudeer 17, 23 (same die); SNG ANS 258 (same dies); Rizzo pl. XLII, 12; Jameson 792; Weber 1596, VF, toned, small cut, weight 17.041 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, obverse charioteer driving galloping quadriga left, kentron in right, reins in left; Nike flying above crowning charioteer; signature EVMHNOV in ex; reverse ΣYPAKOΣION (final N retrograde), head of Arethusa left, four dolphins around, EVMHNOV behind; rare; SOLD


Syracuse, Sicily, c. 405 B.C., Signed by Kimon

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |c.| |405| |B.C.,| |Signed| |by| |Kimon||hemilitron|
The finest style by one of the greatest masters of numismatic art. The famous master-engravers who signed their work in gold and silver also signed some bronze coins. This is the first example with a clear KIM signature that we have seen.
SH17090. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II 45, 19 fr 1; HGC 2 1479; SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -; BMC Sicily -, EF, attractive green patina, weight 3.666 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 225o, Syracuse mint, c. 415 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa left, hair bound with ampyx and sphendone, signature KIM in lower right field; reverse wheel of four spokes, ΣY−PA in upper quarters divided by spoke, dolphin head down and inward in each of the lower quarters; SOLD


Naxos, Sicily, c. 415 - 403 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Naxos,| |Sicily,| |c.| |415| |-| |403| |B.C.||litra|
The late fifth century saw an explosion in the quantity and quality of dies engraved for the great cities of Sicily. Among the engravers who signed their works is Prokles, who created dies for both Naxos and Katane, on whose tetradrachms we find his full signature. Though the quality of his work for Katane is equally excellent as it is for Naxos, the quantity of his work at Naxos suggests that this was his home city.
SH86583. Silver litra, Cahn Naxos 134 - 137 (also Π on neck, diff. dies); SNG Cop 496 var. (unsigned); BMC Sicily p. 121, 26 var. (same); HGC 2 975 (R2) var. (same), Choice aEF, superb style, well struck, light toning, lightly etched porous surfaces, weight 0.718 g, maximum diameter 11.4 mm, die axis 0o, Naxos mint, c. 415 - 403 B.C.; obverse NAEΞIΩN, head of young Dionysos left, wreathed in ivy, Π (monogram of master engraver Prokles) on right side of neck; reverse grape bunch on vine, with three leaves and tendrils; extremely rare; SOLD


Syracuse, Sicily, c. 415 B.C.; Signed by Phrygillos

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |c.| |415| |B.C.;| |Signed| |by| |Phrygillos||hemilitron|
Superb style and signed by the master Phrygillos. Calciati referring to this type notes, "Coins exist signed by signed by Kimon (KIM), Phrygillos (ΦPI), Eukleidas (EY) and by an unknown engraver with the letter E (Eumenes?)." The signature on this coin is clear.
GI74382. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 47, 19 fr 4/7 (same dies); SNG ANS 412; BMC Sicily p. 182, 243; SNG Cop 696 (obv. symbol off flan); SGCV I 1186; HGC 2 1479 (S), gVF, beautiful green patina, some light corrosion, reverse 1/4 off-center but mostly on flan, weight 3.768 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 240o, Syracuse mint, c. 415 B.C.; obverse Head of Arethusa left, hair in sphendone inscribed ΦPI, downward dolphin behind; reverse four-spoked wheel, ΣY−PA divided by spoke across upper two quarters, dolphin head down and inward in each of the lower quarters; SOLD







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