20070730

Greece/Acarnania; Oiniadai BCE 219-211



AE 22 6.76g 22mm

GCV 2298 v , SNG Cop. 400var., Mio S. III, 471, 125var.

A similar example is noted in the MÜNZEN & MEDAILLEN GmbH auction of the SAMMLUNG BCD GRIECHISCHE MÜNZEN AKARNANIENS UND AITOLIENS (18 October 2007), specifically Lot 345, which has an estimate of € 150 in Gutes sehr schön. It is also noted that the coin is considered Selten. BCD's example was purchased from A. H. Baldwin in London in 1972.
This example is 23 mm and weighs 5.67 g.

OBS: Hd of Zeus rt.
REV: forepart of man headed river god Achelous, rt.

ΟΙΝΙΑΔΑΝ above and AΚΑΡ in monogram (though is not clear on the coin due to wear)

Ex: Ancient Byways

Acquisition: 2006


area underlined in red denotes location of Acarnania

Greece/ Ionia, Ephesus c.BCE 387-289


AE 11 1.39g 11mm
similar to SNG Von Aulock 7823
OBS: Bee, on opposite sides of bee are E/Φ
REV: forepart of stag
Ex: Ancient Byways
Acquisition: 2006

Roman Provincial; Moesia Inferior CE 217-218


Marcianopolis (now Devnya, Bulgaria)
Macrinus & Diadumenian CE 217-218
AE Pentassarion 12.59g 28mm
Moushmov 532 v
Legate P. F. Pontianus c. 217-218 CE
OBS: confronted heads of Macrinus & Diadumenian
AVT K OППE CEVH MAKPINOC K M /OППEΛ ANTΩ/NINOC ΔIA/ΔOMEN
REV: Diana standing right with bow, hound at her feet
VП ПONTIANOV MAPKIANOПOΛEIT/ΩN E in field
Ex: AAH
Acquisition: 2006
Despite the general condition of this coin, I've always liked the reverse motif particularly the loyal hound at Diana's leg.

20070709

Greece/ Argolis, Argos c.320s-c.270s BCE


AR Tetrobol, 13 mm, 2.68 g. c. 320s-c.270s BCE (according to BCD Peloponnesos)

SNG Copenhagen 33 (variant), BCD Peloponnesos 1075.7 variety, BMC-, Mycenae (Lambropoulos, 1896) pl. 30, 29 v., Grose 6806.
Obv: Forepart of wolf left

Rev: Large A; N I above on either side; club below; bunch of grapes to right; all within shallow incuse square.


Dealer noted: “Toned, Good VF, a little porous flan. Scarce”


EX: Ancient Numismatic Enterprise/ Svetolik Kovačević (Canada)


Ex: BCD Collection


Ex: The Patras Hoard of 1850 (IGCH 186)

Acquisition: 2007


In the Numismatic Chronicle Vol. XVI (1853-1854) the following is noted by W.S. W. Vaux dated 27 May 1852, entitled "Extract of a letter from Chas. T. Newton, Esq., Her Majesty’s Vice Consul at Mytilene, to Mr. Burgon, of the British Museum, chiefly relating to a hoard of coins of Alexander the Great, discovered near Patras, in 1850

“These coins are said to have been found in a vase by a peasant. With them were found a number of tetradrachms of Athens, two tetradrachms of Sicyon, several tetradrachms of Aetolia and other silver coins, and also, it is said, some gold coins of Alexander the Great, but these have not been preserved.”

(NC XVI; 29-37)


also cf. Newton's own text where he describes the find (though not much differently from the description in the NC eleven years earlier) in his Travels & Discoveries in the Levant (London; Day & Son, 1865, in two vols) cf. vol. 1, pp. 26-28.

Here is the link to the Google Books version:

http://books.google.com/books?id=0R0GAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA27&dq=patras+hoard#PPR3,M1










Charles T. Newton 1816-1894

The following information is from : http://eng.archinform.net/arch/58477.htm
As is the illustration of C.T. Newton

Sir Charles Thomas Newton (September 16, 1816 – November 28, 1894) was a British archaeologist.
Newton was born at Bredwardine in Herefordshire, and educated at Shrewsbury School and Christ Church, Oxford. He entered the British Museum in 1840 as an assistant in the Antiquities Department. Antiquities, classical, Oriental and medieval, as well as ethnographical objects, were at the time included in one department, which had no classical archaeologist among its officers.
In 1852 Newton left the Museum to become vice-consul at Mitylene, with the object of exploring the coasts and islands of Asia Minor. Aided by funds supplied by Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, then British ambassador at Constantinople, he made in 1852 and 1855 important discoveries of inscriptions at the island of Calymnos, off the coast of Caria; and in 1856-1857 achieved the great archaeological exploit of his life by the discovery of the remains of the mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. He was greatly assisted by Murdoch Smith, afterwards celebrated in connection with Persian telegraphs. The results were described by Newton in his History of Discoveries at Halicarnassus (1862-1863), written in conjunction with R. P. Pullan, and in his Travels and Discoveries in the Levant (1865).


These works included particulars of other important discoveries, especially at Branchidae, where he disinterred the statues which had anciently lined the Sacred Way, and at Cnidos, where Pullan, acting under his direction, found the colossal lion now in the British Museum.In 1855 Newton declined the regius professorship of Greek at Oxford. In 1860 he was made British consul at Rome, but had scarcely entered upon the post when an opportunity presented itself of reorganizing the amorphous department of antiquities at the British Museum, which was divided into three and ultimately four branches. The Greek and Roman section naturally fell to Newton, who returned as Keeper, and held the office until 1885, declining the offer of the principal librarianship made to him in 1878. The Mausoleum Room, to accommodate the treasures he had found in Asia Minor, was built under his supervision, but the most brilliant episode of his administration was the acquisition of the Blacas and Castellani gems and sculptures. The Farnese and Pourtals collections were also acquired by him. He took a leading part in the foundation of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, the British School at Athens, and the Egypt Exploration Fund. He was Yates professor of classical archaeology at University College, London, from 1880 to 1888. His collected Essays on Art and Archaeology were published in 1886. When, on his retirement from the Museum, his bust by Boehm, now placed in one of the sculpture galleries, was presented to him as a testimonial, he desired the unexpended balance to be given to the school at Athens. After his retirement he was much occupied with the publication of the Greek inscriptions in the British Museum, but his health failed greatly in the latter years of his life. He died at Margate. He married in 1861 the daughter of his successor in the consulate at Rome, the painter Joseph Severn, herself a distinguished artist. She died in 1866.

Additional Notes:

Patras hoard is assumed to have been buried during the invasion by Philip V in 219 B.C. according to one source, though according to IGCH, the date was BCE 218 and it is credited to Troxell.



In Peter Green's book Alexander to Actium, the following chronology is provided for the period of BCE 219-218 that make both appear as equally likely candidates for deposition; BCE 219: Lycurgus (King of Sparta) invades Argolid, declares war on Achaea. Philip V (of Macedonia) invades Aetolia and Acarnania. BCE 218: Philip V's invasion of Aetolia and Laconia.











The IGCH further reports that the contents of the hoard found c. 1850 in Patras consisted of a 125 coin + pot hoard. Apparently there appear to be some discrepancies that might raise the estimate to 155+ at most.



In the Troxell article from ANS Museum Notes 17 (1971), Hyla Troxell writes on pp. 86-88 about the Patras Hoard.

She describes the hoard as "A large and important hoard containing several miscellaneous earlier silver coins, possibly several staters of Alexander, 5 Aetolian pseudo-Alexanders, and 92-127 Alexanders (there is some uncertainty about three classes), most of the Peloponnesian." (p.86)

She continues writing: The hoard has been dated by Newell to the late Third century B.C. ...and to the third quarter of the third century by Hackens....although, in discussing possible occasions for its interment, Hackens goes as late as 220, strictly speaking later than the "third quarter".


I prefer to date the Patras Hoard's burial even a few years later. Granted that any coastal town near Aetolia must have had constant reason for guarding its possessions, the prime period for hoard burial in the late third century must have been the time of the Social War. Polybius lists any number of possible occasions during these troubled years for our hoard's burial: 220: Aetolians' pillage of Patras....;Aetolians and Illyrians march through Achaea, and back again...;219: Aetolians and Eleans battle with Dyme, Pherae, and Tritaea,...;218: Philip marches through Patras and Dyme to Elis.....;Philip sails from Corinth to Patras with 6000 Macedonians and 1200 mercenaries.....; winter 218-7: Aetolians and Eleans pillage territory of Dyme, Pherae and Patras.....; spring 217; Aetolians and Eleans march from Elis through territory of Pherae and Aegium....


The period of the Social War thus seems the most likely time suggested by historical considerations for the Patras Hoard's burial. (p. 87)



Peter Green refers to the Social War by also calling it the "War of the Allies". (Green, p. 286) The war began in BCE 221 and lasted until 217. In short the was was between the Achaean and Aetolian leagues and resulted in Philip V of Macedon defeating Sparta and her allies. (New Century Classical Handbook, p. 1018).

It appears that the most reliable source identifying this coin as having originated in this hoard is BCD himself, whose cabinet card notes this coin's origin with the Patras Hoard.

The wolf is the well-known symbol of Apollo Lykios, whose worship at Argos dates from very remote times. http://www.snible.org/coins/hn/peloponnesus.html#Argos

Lycius, Lyceius or Lyceus. An epithet of Apollo meaning “wolfish” or “wolf-god”. It refers to his function (as god of shepherds and herdsmen) as wolf-slayer…Danaus made the original temple of Apollo Lycius,…at Argos. ----p. 654 The New Century Classical Handbook, 1962. There is also an allusion to Apollo appearing in the guise of a wolf or that he had sent a wolf to aid Danaus to become king.

Therefore the coin depicts the city’s patron Apollo in the guise of a wolf or the wolf that was sent to aid Danaus in becoming the legendary King of Argos after fleeing Egypt.


CNG sold a similar coin Auction #15 and noted the following citations: Cf. BMC Peloponnesus p. 141, 65 (no grapes); cf. SNG Copenhagen 33 (same)



A Google Earth Map showing the city of Argos as it is situated in the Peloponnesus:



20070708

Judea; Second Revolt CE 132-135



AR Zuz, 19 mm, 3.46 g. undated but acknowledged as "Year 3" CE 134-135
Hendin 734, Meshorer 274b, SNG VI: 561-565v, Mildenberg 183 this coin.
overstruck on an uncertain drachm or denarius.

O: bunch of grapes, Hebrew inscription "Shim'on"
R: 3 string Kinor with Hebrew inscription "L'Herut Yerushalem"

Ex: Beit Mirsim Hoard (Israel) 1973-1974

ex: Leu AG stock 1973, 3.46 [the gram wt.] (Switzerland)

Mildenberg 183 plate coin (1984)

Ex: Bromberg II, 524 (this coin) Superior Galleries (10 December 1992) according to the prices realized this coin brought $357.50+10% in this auction. It's interesting to note that similar coins without the detailed provenance are now fetching nearly 300%+ or more these days. I suspect that this would likely be priced similarly considering where the market is presently.


Acquisition: 2007





Tantalus ID#35523


On August 4, 2007, David Hendin wrote that this is "...quite a nice coin, " but when asked about rarity, he suggested that I take a look at Leo Mildenberg's The Coinage of the Bar Kokhba War (Typos VI; 1984). I then requested a copy from the Library.


While reviewing the copy, I came across the plate that pertained to this particular type of coin namely Mildenberg 172-186. When I looked at the photo for Mildenberg 183 (actually 183.7), I was utterly astonished. It was indeed the same coin. I compared photographs, then the coin to the plate, then enlarged the plate photo, comparing various points of reference. To me, all points of reference matched. I then contacted David Hendin again, and provided him with the photo that appears above and then an enlargement of Mildenberg 183 for comparison. He wrote back to say "i'd say that's a match". (cf. enlargement of Mildenberg 183 below) Mildenberg noted only 15 coins from these same dies:





The next question that arose was, now that it is identified as a Mildenberg plate coin, how did Mildenberg come by it. According to the notes adjacent to 183.7 (this coin) is that it was in the stock of Leu AG, Zurich 1973, 3.46 [the gram wt. , which was confirmed when I weighed the coin upon receipt]. More importantly, it was noted as Ex: Beit Mirsim.


In early 2009, I was able to purchase a set of the catalogues from the Abraham Bromberg Collection, on a hunch that based upon the fact that this coin had been a Mildenberg plate coin, and that it was in superb condition, I had a suspicion that this coin was perhaps a part of the Bromberg Collection on that basis alone. The hunch proved correct as the coin was in fact Bromberg II, 524 though apparently wrongly identified in the catalogue as El Fawar Hoard.

Mildenberg listed Beit Mirsim as Hoard #19 from among the 29 hoards noted from 1889-1982 (pp. 54-57). Regarding Beit Mirsim, which I suspect has a deposition of circa CE 135 at the latest, Mildenberg writes (p. 56):


"Beit Mirsim 1973/1974, In the Hebron hills, about 17 km SSW of Idna. During December 1973 through January 1974. At least 100 Bar Kokhba silver coins (tetradrachms and denarii) and some bronzes together with Roman issues: 1 aureus of Vespasian, about 100 denarii from Vespasian to Trajan including 1 Julia Titi, 30 Hadrianic denarii, 150 Syrian tetradrachms and a few tridrachms from Caesarea Cappadociae. (Nearly all the Trajanic drachms were of the Arabia type with the camel.)"



According to Carta's Official Guide To Israel (1983) Beit Mirsim is an "Arab village on border of Hebron Hills and Judean Foothills. Pop.: 200. Nearby is Tell Beit Mirsim."



Under the reference for Tel Bet Mirsham (Tell Beit Mirsim) Carta's Guide notes "Ancient settlement ruin 20 km. SW of Hebron, alongside village of Beit Mirsim. Excavations uncovered remains of Iron Age walled city built over remains of even older towns from Early Bronze, Middle Bronze, and Late Bronze Ages."


A Google Earth Map showing location of Beit Mirsim/Bet Mirsham :





Town underlined in yellow is site of Beit Mirsim where this coin was found in a hoard in 1973-74.


Coins of Modern Israel influenced by the illustrated coin of Bar Kokhba. On the left is a 25 prutah utilizing the bunch of grapes motif. This coin was currency from 1950-1980. On the right is a 25 agorot utilizing the 3-string Kinor motif from the same coin. This coin was currency from 1960-1980.



Meshorer writes about the musical instruments depicted on the Bar Kokhba coins thusly, that the musical instruments "...express his yearning for the rebuilding of the Temple and the renewal of ritual. The musical instruments symbolize prayers in the Temple, which were carried out on musical instruments played by the Levites, the Temple's bards. The singing of Psalms in the Temple was accompanied by musical instruments, and the anticipated dedication of the new Temple would have been celebrated with the Levite's instruments."


Meshorer A Treasury of Jewish Coins, page 148.






photo adapted from one appearing at www.moneymuseum.com, a recommended site.






Boscoreale Fresco showing woman playing a kithara (Collection of MMA)

Greece; Kings of Macedon; Posthumous Alexander the Great



Alexander III BCE 336-323 minted under Philip III BCE 323-319
AR Drachm, 18 mm, 4.17g, Colophon mint
Price 1762

O: Hd of Herakles r in lion’s skin

R: Zeus std l holding eagle, AΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟY, fish in left field and spearhead in r to right of inscription.

Ex: Ancient Byways/Copper Penny

Ex: card accompanying coin indicates that it was purchased from Blanchard & Co by a prior owner, perhaps as an investment, card notes “Alexander the Great Drachm No. 79055”.
Blanchard & Co is a numismatic investment firm in Louisiana, USA, a call to them revealed that the ID number (as I suspected) did not mean anything to them. In fact, they have not sold these coins for 15 or 20 years and have no records relating to them according to the CSR who responded to my questions. The CSR inquired if I would like to know the value of the coin, if so I would have to send it to him and he would in turn send it out to an ancients dealer for appraisal.
I thanked him and said that it would not be necessary. A tetradrachm of similar origin had a different ID number from Blanchard, which obviously means nothing by way of provenance either.

Acquisition: 2007

Portion of map from:




map showing location of Colophon where this coin was minted, highlighted in red
Sear writes in his Greek Coins & Their Values (Vol. II; p. 399) that Colophon (spelled by him Kolophon) was "...situated several miles inland, on the river Halesos, Kolophon was an important city and claimed to be the birthplace of Homer. The famous oracle of Apollo Klarios was within its territory."


Peter Green in his Alexander to Actium (p. 59) notes that Epicurus (BCE 341-271/270) was residing in Colophon at the time the coin illustrated above was minted, noting that Epicurus resided there from BCE 321-306 after being exiled for a second time from Samos.

20070701

China; Zhou Dynasty BCE 1122-221

AE Square Foot Thin Spade, Single weight, 30 x 41 mm, 5.68 g, possibly TaoYang or seal script version of An Yang, after BCE 257

Reverse is blank

S. 13-28 v; Ding Fubao 167 v(?)

Ex: F. S. Robinson

Acquisition: 2001

cf. Calgary Coin website for additional info re: these and other interesting Chinese coins:
http://www.calgarycoin.com/reference/china/china1.htm

http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/china/map/map.html