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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. 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


Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Second| |Democracy,| |466| |-| |405| |B.C.||litra|
The style of the obverse die closely resembles coins signed by Phrygillos, especially his signed bronzes and tetradrachms such as Tudeer 5.
SH16523. Silver litra, SNG ANS 282, SNG Cop 676, gVF, weight 0.740 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 225o, Syracuse mint, 415 - 405 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣION, head of nymph Arethusa right, hair bound in sphendone, dolphins around; reverse octopus; lightly toned, flan crack, some porosity, ex CNG; 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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