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Modern History of Ancient Coins: Plate Coins & Old Collections


Published coins and those with documented provenances are not only artifacts of antiquity, but artifacts of modern efforts to understand antiquity (through scholarship, collecting, museum exhibits, and so on). In other words, the coins (and associated literature and documentation) illustrate what we know about the ancient world and how we know it. In my view the two are inseparable; we can always better understand each in light of the other. (Note: I've moved most ex-BCD coins to their own album.)

27 files, last one added on Sep 01, 2023
Album viewed 65 times

Barbarians, Captives, and Enemies on Roman Coins ("BCE Collection")


sort by Position for chronological arrangement, illustrating how "B-C-E" imagery unfolded over more than 500 years

The concept of “The Barbarian” – βάρβαρος (Bar-Bar-os) in Greek – expresses neatly how the Greeks and Romans viewed outsiders. From its inception, the notion of Barbarian was closely tied to warfare, slavery, and political power. It defined who was “us” (deserving of respect and power) and who was “them” (deserving of conquest and submission). Much like modern ethnic stereotypes, it was a pejorative term connoting weakness, childishness, dirtiness, unsophistication, and lack of “civilization.” Being an imperial society, built upon the progressive conquest of new neighbors – and their frequent enslavement – the distinction between the Roman and the Barbarian was something like a national ideology.
My collection site on this topic: LINK.

38 files, last one added on Jul 25, 2023
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Animals & Mythical Creatures


9 files, last one added on Mar 22, 2023
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Greek (Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic)


Greek coins of all types that don't fit into my other albums...

13 files, last one added on Apr 02, 2023
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BCD Collection-Collection: Central Greece & Peloponnesos (incl. Roman Provincial Coins)


sort by Position to see coins properly arranged by region

"BCD" formed one of the most important private collections of Greek coins ever, and one of the most extensive private libraries of classical numismatic literature. (Annotated bibliography of the BCD Coll., on my external website: [LINK].) He made his coins available to researchers; many are also published in die-studies & other ancient coin references.

At present, I have c. 100 ex-BCD coins (plus dozens of old auction catalogs & other literature ex-BCD Library). Of the ten major catalogs, I now have at least one coin from each: BCD Akarnania, BCD Boiotia, BCD Corinth, BCD Euboia, BCD Lokris-Phokis, BCD Olympia, BCD Peloponnesos, BCD Pelo. II, BCD Thessaly & BCD Thess. II. (And duplicates from each collection's later sales.)

32 files, last one added on Jul 24, 2023
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Errors, Preparation Marks, Alterations, Damage & Other Physical Characteristics


Sort by "Position"

The coins are organized into the following categories, roughly organized by their placement within the "lifecycle" of a coin (I'll welcome any suggestions or corrections!):

A. Flan Preparation
B. Minting Process
C. Modifications (Ancient)
D. Environmental Damage
E. Modifications (Modern)

18 files, last one added on Sep 20, 2023
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6 albums on 1 page(s)

Last additions - Curtis JJ's Gallery
C. Holed in Antiquity: Antoninus Pius Alexandrian DrachmEgypt, Alexandria. Antoninus Pius Æ Drachm (35mm, 22.25g, 12h), struck 146/7 CE (Dated Year 10).
Obverse: ΑVΤ Κ Τ ΑΙΛ ΑΔΡ ΑΝΤΩΝЄΙΝΟϹ CЄΒ ЄVC Laureate head of Antoninus r.
Reverse: L ΔЄΚΑΤΟV. Zeus, holding patera and sceptre, reclining l. on eagle.

Reference: Kellner Teil 7, Abb. 26 (this coin illustrated); RPC IV.4 1010 [LINK].
Provenance: ex AK Collection, Triton XIX (4 Jan 2016), Lot 448 (part); acq. from F. Sternberg; ex A. Voirol Collection; ex H. Steger Collection, Munzhandlung Basel 6 (18 Mar 1936), Lot 725 (not illustrated)

Notes: Alexandrian Drachms are often found pierced twice, perhaps for use as (funerary?) amulets. The placement of the piercings makes clear that the reverse was usually used as the "face" of the amulet. (Almost always at 3h & 9h, preserving the rev. devices.)
Curtis JJSep 20, 2023
Michael Molnar's Published "Star of Bethlehem" Bronze from Syria, AntiochSyria, Seleucis and Pieria. Antiochia ad Orontem Æ Trichalkon (21.5mm, 8.29 g, 12h), temp. Augustus, naming Q. Caecilius Metellus Creticus Silanus, legatus Augusti pro praetore, struck 13/14 CE (dated Actian Year 44).
Obv: Laureate head of Zeus right.
Rev: EΠI ΣIΛANOY ANTIOXEΩN / ΔM (date). Ram leaping right, head turned to look back at star above. (Aries and the Star of Bethlehem?)
Ref: McAlee 99; RPC 4269; Molnar p. 52, Fig 9 (this coin).
Prov: Ex Dr. Michael Molnar (1945-2023) Collection, acq. for $50 at a NY coin show (before 1991). CNG e-Auction 543 (1 Aug 2023), Lot 319.

Note: At some point it appears that the artificial desert patina was removed from this coin, so the surfaces appear slightly different now.

Provenance Notes: This is the very coin that reportedly inspired Michael Molnar's theory that the "Christmas Star" or "Star of Bethlehem" was an astronomical event (the conjunction of Jupiter & Aries on 17 April 6 BCE) commemorated on Roman Provincial coins of Antioch.

He first published this coin & theory in The Celator vol. 5, n. 8 (Dec 1991), this coin illustrated on p.8 [LINK]. He also published it on his popular website [ARCHIVED] & in his book, The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the Magi (Rutgers: 1999), which was reprinted & translated many times (this rev. ill. on p. 52). The hypothesis received enduring enough attention to be the subject of a 2014 scholarly colloquium at Groningen University, w/ conf. proceedings published in 2015 [LINK].

Molnar's theory was also widely reported in the popular press. Among many other publications, this coin was illustrated in a 21 Dec 1999 New York Times story, “Coin May Link Star of Bethlehem to King of Planets” (actually illustrated twice, as Molnar's portrait shows him holding up this coin's plate from the book) [ARCHIVED].

See also: T. Cartwright's (2014) "Star of Bethlehem" paper on Numiswik, which gives considerably more detail on Molnar's theory & the many related coin types:
2 commentsCurtis JJSep 01, 2023
Victory Crowning Emperor over Captives: Elagabalus, Nikopolis AE TetradrassarionRoman Provincial. Elagabalus AE Tetrassarion (26mm, 11.89g, 9h), Moesia, Nikopolis ad Istrum (Novius Rufus, Legate), 218-222 CE.
Obv: AVT K M AVPH ANTΩINOC. Laureate, draped bust right, seen from behind.
Rev: VΠ NOBIOV POV ΦOV NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC ICTP / O-N. Emperor standing left, holding spear and sword, foot on captive, crowned by Nike, between them a captive cowering beneath shield.

Ref: HHJ (, 2015-2021 eds., 2014 Addenda III, #149 [LINK]) = RPC VI 1197 (Temp.) ex. 1 [LINK] = Wildwinds (Elagabalus [LINK] / Moesia, Niko. [LINK]) = this coin illustrated.​
Prov: Ex zumbly; George Spradling (Agora 38, 174 = Coinproject 38-074 [LINK]); J. Winnett Collection (Tantalus 16683, 26 Jun 2006) [LINK]; Heather Howard Collection (Elag.125 on her archived Elagabalus Page [LINK]); Henry Clay Lindgren (1914-2005) Collection Duplicates (unpublished, Antioch Associates BBS 42 [15 Nov 2002], 72).

Many thanks to Jochen for help cataloging this coin.
Curtis JJJul 25, 2023
Thessaly, Phalanna AE Chalkous, Zeus Peloris & Nymph Seated w/ Stork (Ex BCD Collection)Photo credit: CNG
Thessaly, Phalanna AE Chalkous (15mm, 2.27g, 9h), mid-late 4th cent. BCE.
Obv: [ΠΕΛΟΡEΣ off-flan?] Laureate head of Zeus Peloris right. (Apparent countermark over ear/cheek.)
Rev: [Fragmentary ΦΑΛΑNN or ΦAΛANNAIΩN ?] Nymph seated right (feeding stork?).
Ref: BCD Thessaly 1260; BCD Thessaly II 574; Rogers 458; Papaevangelou-Genakos 17.
Prov: Ex BCD Collection (w/ collector tags), acq. by him from CNG e-Auction 183 (5 Mar 2008), Lot 54 [LINK]

Notes: According to his handwritten tag, BCD at first thought it was a countermark but later changed his mind. To me, it does seem to be a countermark. Other examples from his collection have banker’s marks in the same place, e.g., CNG 360 (30 Sep 2015), 55 [LINK]
Curtis JJJul 24, 2023
Olympia, Elis AR Obol, Hera & Eagle (BCD Olympia 126 = HGC 472) Photo Credit: Elsen [LINK].
Greek (Classical). Olympia, Elis AR Obol (12mm, 0.86g, 5h), 105th Olympiad, c. 360 BCE.
Obv: Head of Hera or the nymph Olympia to right.
Rev: F / A (to l. & r.). Eagle w/ closed wings standing right.
Ref: BCD Olympia 126 (this coin); Hoover, HGC (5) 472 (this coin illustrated).
Prov: Ex BCD Collection BCD Collection (Leu 90 [Zurich, 10 May 2004], Lot 126 [LINK];
Mar Bar (1921-2015) Collection (Elsen 155 (16 Jun 2023), Lot 140 [LINK]).

Notes: I’m not sure of the significance of this disagreement, but Oliver Hoover (HGC) identifies the obverse figure as Hera; Alan S. Walker (BCD Olympia) calls her “the eponymous nymph Olympia” (both describing this specimen).

ASW comments (p. 63) that he IDs those wearing a stephane as Hera, those without (hair in rolls) as Olympia. Importantly, there is an AR Stater w/ a Zeus obv. & the nymph on the rev. (BCD Olympia 118 [LINK], pp. 52-3), along w/ a rev. inscribed OΛYMΠIA, apparently naming her. ASW writes: "Both the legend and the lack of the stephane prove that she's not Hera: she reappears, in a more mature and commanding way, on the contemporary issues of the Hera mint (see below, lots 122-127)" [i.e., including my coin, 126].
4 commentsCurtis JJJul 21, 2023
Boiotia, Tanagra AR Obol, Shield & Horse (BCD Boiotia 277) Greek (Classical). Boiotia, Tanagra AR Obol (8.5-11mm, 0.90g), early-mid 4th century BCE.
Obv: Boiotian shield.
Rev: T / A (above l./below r.). Forepart of rearing horse right; all within incuse concave circle with curved edge.
Ref: BCD Boiotia 277 (this coin); see also SNG Cop 230; Head, Boeotia p. 52; Dewing 1499.
Prov: Ex BCD Collection (Triton IX [10 Jan 2006], Lot 277 [LINK]); HJB 223 (22 Jun 2023), Lot 67 [LINK] (corr.; die match to, not ex, V. Luneau, Platt 27 Mar 1922, 494).
2 commentsCurtis JJJul 21, 2023
A. Overstrike: Bar Kochba AE over Flavian AE, Hendin Plate CoinPhoto Credit: NYS (edited).
Judaea, Bar Kochba Rebellion AE Middle Bronze (25mm, 9.88 g, 6h; undertype Agrippa II – Titus [87/8 CE]), 133/4 CE.
Obv: 'Sma' (abbreviating Simon; Paleo-Hebrew). Seven-branched palm tree, two bunches of dates.
Rev: 'Year two of the redemption of Israel' (Paleo-Hebrew). Grape vine leaf on tendril. Undertype portrait of Titus visible.
Ref: Hendin GBC2, 160a (this coin illustrated).
Prov: Ex David Hendin Collection (w/ his tag), Goldberg Sale 21 (15-17 2003, Pre-Long Beach Auction), Lot 1607; CNG e-538 (10 May 2023), Lot 244.
Also: NY Sale 48 (14 Jan 2020), Lot 90; Goldberg 116 (2 Jun 2020), Lot 894; CNG e-486 (24 Feb 2021), Lot 245; NY Sale 54 (11 Jan 2022), Lot 105.

Notes: A fascinating overstrike with visible Flavian bust, probably a “Judaea Capta” issue of Agrippa II struck in Caesarea Paneas, 75/6 CE. In my opinion, the undertype is RPC II 2285 & the bust of Titus is a die match to ex. 7 (ex Galst).
2 commentsCurtis JJJul 21, 2023
Thessaly, Phalanna AE Chalkous, Zeus Peloris & Nymph (Ex BCD Collection)Thessaly, Phalanna AE Chalkous (14mm, 2.71g, 12h), mid-late 4th cent. BCE.
Obv: ΛΟ below [ΠΕΛΟΡΙΣ, fragmentary]. Head of Zeus Peloris right.
Rev: ΦΑΛΑ to right. Head of nymph right.
Ref: BCD Thessaly II 589.3; cf. BCD Thessaly I 1259.2; Rogers 455; Papaevangelou-Genakos 16.
Prov: Ex Tom Mann (Frascatius), previously BCD Collection (w/ collector tags), acq. “V. ex Thess. Nov. 1991, Sfr. 120.—”; prob. from CH8.132: “Phalanna (?), Greece, 1991” Hoard of 600+ Phalanna AE.

Notes: A scarce type (w/ many rare sub-types), very rare before the BCD Coll. was dispersed, many of which likely came from the CH8.132, Phalanna 1991 Hoard, which may correspond to his tickets for coins "ex. Thess." c. "1991" (perhaps the hoard report came from Lorber via BCD?).

The fragmentary ΛΟ (from ΠΕΛΟΡΙΣ) is actually a substantial obv. inscription for these. Most have no obv. legend; it seems to never be complete. Combined with the lovely deep blueish patina, a very nice example of this type despite the wear.
3 commentsCurtis JJJul 21, 2023
Egypt, Alexandria. Hadrian AE Drachm (Year 6), Euthenia. Ex Dattari (1901) Plate II, No. 1703Egypt, Alexandria. Hadrian Æ Drachm (35mm, 22.07g, 12h), struck 121/2 CE (Dated Year 6).
Obv: Laureate head of Hadrian, r., drapery on l. shoulder.
Rev: Euthenia reclining on sphinx, l., holding ears of corn. Exergue: L Ϛ.

Published: Dattari (1901, v.2) Pl. II, 1703 (this obverse illustrated) [LINK]; Dattari-Savio (1999/2007) Pl. 81, 1703 (this coin illustrated); Figari-Mosconi 312 (this coin illustrated); Vogt II (1924), Alexandrinischen: p. 45 (this coin cited); RPC III 5352.9 (this coin, illustrated online) [LINK].
Provenance: Giovanni Dattari (1858-1923) Collection; Anonymous German collection, formed late 1960s-1970s [acquired: Peus 283 (14 May 1974), 213 (corr.); sold: Kunker 389 (23 Jun 2023), 2026], with the collector's ticket & clippings from Peus 283.

Notes: While RPC catalogs this coin identically will several other examples of a roughly similar obverse bust type, this particular obverse die seems quite distinctive to me. (Dattari must have thought so also, as he chose this portrait for one of his four exemplars of Hadrian in the plates of his 1901 catalog.)

The half-length nude bust of Hadrian (drapery on shoulder) illustrates much more of his chest and shoulders than the others, which are all truncated at the collarbone. In fact, when looking through all of Hadrian's Alexandrian coinage, I've been unable to find another bust quite like it. (This style was, however, common for Trajan and Antinoos.) If other types/examples like it are out there, I'd like to know!
1 commentsCurtis JJJul 18, 2023
E. Tooling: Clodius Albinus, Rare Saeculum Frugiferum AE Sestertius, 194/5 CESorry, not a good photo; the video is clearer:

Roman Imperial. Clodius Albinus AE Sesterius (29mm, 17.9g, 12h), Rome, 194/5 CE.
Obv: D CLODIVS ALBINVS CAES. Bare head of Clodius Albinus r. (Legend tooled.)
Rev: SAECVLO FRVGIFERO COS II / S-C. Saeculum Frugiferum radiate, standing l., holding caduceus (perhaps winged or between corn ears?) in r. hand & trident pitchfork in l.
Ref: RIC 56; Cohen 71; Banti 22. Cf. RIC 50 for Clodius Albinus' Year 1 (193/4 CE) AE Sestertius w/ full name "CLODIVS" obv. legend (Minerva rev.).
Prov: Group lot from a major auction house in 2019, purchased "as is," so no blame to the auctioneer.

Notes: Clodius Albinus was born in Hadrumetum, N. Africa, where Saeculum Frugiferum was the patron god, making this reverse type particularly relevant for him. The rev. legend can't be fully made out, but it is only known for COS II (194/5 CE, his second year).
However, for Sestertii, the obverse legend with his full name spelled out (D CLODIVS ALBINVS CAES) is known only on a very rare type from his first year, 193/4 CE, also known as the "Year of of the Five Emperors." To find a new, unpublished Sestertius for Clodius Albinus from such a historically important year -- and with a reverse of personal biographical significance to him -- would be quite the exciting discovery!
Unfortunately (but predictably), this coin is not a spectacular unicum, but a moderate rarity that has been tooled. The lettering style is a bit clumsy, but more decisively, the legend breaks are in the wrong place.
Based on weights reported in ACSearch, this example is lighter than almost 90% of Clodius Albinus Sestertii; part of that weight loss may be due to tooling.
Many thanks especially to Curtis Clay for feedback and suggestions, also to Julius Germanicus, both on [CT 374682 (Feb 2021)], and for checking Banti, absent from my library. (This is one of several coins on my list to bring along next time I visit Chicago.)
Curtis JJApr 05, 2023
E. Jewelry, "Edge Altered": Syracuse Tetradrachm, c. 450 BCEThis coin also in my "Greek Coins" Album, w/ notes on its unpublished (unique?) die pair:

Greek (Classical). Sicily, Syracuse, AR Tetradrachm (16.19g, 28mm, 12h), Second Democracy (466-405 BCE), c. 450 – 440.
Obv: Charioteer, wearing long chiton, holding kentron and reins, driving slow quadriga right; above, Nike flying right, crowning with wreath a horse to outside left, rearing up to receive it; in exergue, Pistrix (Sea serpent or ketos) right; all within pearl border, except the charioteer, whose head breaks the dotted circle.
Rev: ΣVRAKOΣ-IO-N. Head of Arethusa facing right, wavy hair rolled up in back under a thin band (or diadem), wearing beaded necklace with a jewel, and loop-and-pendant earrings; four dolphins around, facing clockwise.
Ref: Böhringer series XV, unlisted die pair (V274/R378). Only known example to my knowledge, in trade or published. Cf. SNG ANS 177; du Chastel 28-29 type; HGC 2, 1311; BMC 85; SNG München 1018-9; McClean 2663.
Prov: Ex Goldberg 84 (27 Jan 2015), Lot 3010 [LINK]; NGC #3763070-001 (XF; Strike: 4/5, Surface: 2/5, Edge altered), encapsulated by 2014 [LINK].

Notes: The NGC tag indicates "edge altered." Although the reason for alteration is not suggested, jewelry seems most likely. Syracuse tetradrachm flans from this period rarely approximate a perfect circle, so this coin's edges were likely shaved to fit a circular bezel. I see no tool marks on the edges or periphery, so I'm not sure whether there was also some smoothing. Despite being exceptionally broad, the weight is 0.5-1.0g too light (it should weigh ~16.7 - 17.4g), suggesting metal was removed. (Of course, I'd really like to be able to double-check NGC's weight and make sure a digit isn't in error!)
Assuming the toning is natural, I'd guess the housing was from the 19th century, but that's just speculation until I find a prior provenance (a long shot, since Boehringer didn't find it) or get a technical opinion based on how the coin was modified.
Curtis JJApr 05, 2023
E. Jewelry, Loop Removed: Q. Titius Denarius, 90 BCE, ex FAC (c. 2005-10)Roman Republic. Q. Titius AR Denarius (3.98g, 19.5mm, ~1.5h), Rome mint, 90 BCE.
Obv: Head of Bacchus or Liber right, wreathed with ivy.
Rev: Q•TITI inscribed on tablet beneath Pegasos rearing, preparing to fly right.
Ref: Crawford 341/2; SRCV 239; Sydenham 692; Titia 2.
Prov: JJ family collection, acq. by CSJ (my father) from Forum Ancient Coins (Inv. RR43729), c. 2005-10. I can't find it in FORVM's archive, but remarkably, the listing appears in a contemporary document on Scribd ("Coins Rome General," 24 Oct 2010, uploaded by Chiara Scantamburlo [?],

Notes: Signs of alteration from jewelry & its removal can be seen on the edges ~12h & in the toning, where a loop was firmly soldered so the coin could be worn as a pendant. My impression is that the soldering was old, but not ancient (maybe 19th/early 20th cent.?), and that the loop may have been removed decades ago, but I need to research it (I have a jeweler/goldsmith uncle who has also contributed some coins to the collection).

When someone says their coin's defect "gives it character," I usually think they're just trying to make peace with an otherwise undesirable situation. In this case, though, the "damage" never bothered me. If anything, it's an additional point of curiosity, another "object biography" chapter to contemplate and research. And I like the way it looks; I'm a fan of patina/toning, and there is plenty of color & complexity to this one.
Curtis JJApr 05, 2023

Random files - Curtis JJ's Gallery
Otacilia Sestertius, Ex Salton & George H. Earle, Jr. CollectionsRoman Imperial. Otacilia AE Sestertius (30mm, 21.92g, 6h), Rome, c. 245-7 CE.
Obv: MARCIA OTACIL SEVERA AVG. Bust of Otacilia Severa, diademed, draped, on crescent, right.
Rev: CONCORDIA AVGG S C. Concordia, draped, seated left, holding patera in right hand and double cornucopiae in left hand.
Ref: RIC 203a.
Prov: Mark M. Salton-Schlessinger (1914-2005) & Lottie Salton (née Aronson, 1924-2020) Collection Part IV, with their ticket & tag [Künker Auction 377 (20 Oct 2022), Lot 5990], reportedly George H. Earle, Jr. (1856-1928) Collection [Henry Chapman 25 June 1912 Auction, Lot 703].

Notes: David Fanning (2020) described Henry Chapman's 1912 Earle Sale as the most important catalog in his Ancient Coins in Early American Auctions, 1869-1939. George H. Earle, Jr. was an important Philadelphia lawyer and politician, with an even more notable family. His father, G. H. Earle Sr., was an important abolitionist, friend of Abraham Lincoln, and founder of the Republican party in the United States. His son, G.H. Earle III, was a diplomat and Governor of Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, the present coin was not illustrated in the sale's 9 plates of ancient coins [LINK to the hand-named Harry Bass-Dan Hamelberg copy]. Nor is the weight given. It appears that Henry Chapman may have bought the coin, but no indication for whom. The Salton collector tag & envelope both note "Ex Earle Collection," but not how they know, the envelope penciled later with a question mark (by catalogers at Künker/Stack's or by the Saltons?).

Mark Salton's collection is known for its richness in coins from old collections & notable publication histories (but many unmentioned in the Künker & Stack's sales; see my disc. post for a few examples [LINK]). He reportedly spent decades after WWII tracking down coins & numismatic literature looted by the Nazis from the business of his father, Felix Schlessinger. Are any of these coins with reported pre-war provenances among those he recovered?
1 commentsCurtis JJ
Two Captives-and-Standard: Crispus' Alemanni (?), Cloke & Toone plate coinPhoto credit: CNG (edited)
Roman Imperial. Cripus Silvered AE Follis (19.5mm, 3.14g, 6h), London, c. 320 CE.
Obv: CRISPVS NOBIL C. Helmeted, cuirassed bust right.
Rev: VIRTVS EXERCIT. Two captives seated on either side of vexillum inscribed VOT XX. Exergue: PLON.
Ref: RIC 188; Cloke & Toone LMCC 9.02.016 (this coin illustrated).
Prov: Ex Paul DiMarzio Collection (CNG EA 516 [18 May 2022], 631), acq. from Lee Toone, 28 May 2018; published as “CT Collections” [Cloke-Toone], w/ L. Toone's collector tag, acq. 15 Jan 2010 from Dei Gratia Coins (Dave Shelley) at York Coin Fair.

Notes: Victor Clark has suggested that these coins are celebrating Crispus' victorious "military operations against the Franks and Alamanni in A.D. 318 and 320" [LINK]. It would be interesting to see if any details of their appearance/garb might test or confirm this hypothesis. The captive on the right has very distinctive hair and/or headwear (frequently used by engravers to indicate tribal/ethnic membership)....
2 commentsCurtis JJ
Thessaly, Lamia AE Chalkous, Mythological Philoktetes hunting birds on Lemnos (Ex BCD Collection)Greek (Classical). Thessaly, Lamia. AE Chalkous (14.5mm, 2.89g, 12h). 4th century BCE.
Obv: Helmeted head of Athena right
Rev: MAΛIEΩN. Philoktetes standing right, drawing bow with arrow; to right, a bird of Lemnos falling above quiver.
Ref: Georgiou, Mint 16; Rogers 384 (Malia); BCD Thessaly II 125.
Prov: Ex-BCD Collection (with his hand-written tag; acquired May 1993, "V. ex Thess."); CNG e-Auction 455, Lot 89 part (30 Oct 2019).

Notes: Struck in the name of the Malians, a local tribe residing in the area.
In various Greek traditions (including Homer’s Iliad and the plays of Sophocles), the mythological archer Philoktetes (Philoctetes), in possession of Herakles’ bow and arrows, became stranded on the island of Lemnos en route to the Trojan War. There the invincible weapons of Herakles served the lowly purpose of hunting birds. In some tellings, Philoktetes, once retrieved from Lemnos, would kill Paris, son of Priam, and hide inside the Trojan Horse.
Curtis JJ

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