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A small coin for a small forum ( but with a ferocious bite...)


DANTE
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Hi all

A new forum, a new(ish) member, a new obol.

And don't be fooled by the name, most of you will know me from CT as Ignoramus Maximus.  The old name was perhaps  seen as (unintentionally) self-deprecating, so I'm happy to start with a new one. 

 

Without further ado, my latest acquisition:

 

2703981_1649150841.thumb.jpg.26ad91dafc88c9f1414d0ada3ae7ca02.jpg

 

Caria, unknown. Obol, 5th century BC. 7mm. 0,61gr.

Obv: stylized head of griffin.

Rev: facing head of panther.

Seller's ref: cf. Karyan 983

 

It is a variety of Kayhan 983, an obol that usually has on the obverse either the forepart of a roaring lion or, sometimes, a female head acsearch.info - Auction research ). The reverse is always a facing panther's head (except a few specimens, where it has an incuse square, suggesting it's an oldie). I haven't been able to establish exactly what led to the attribution of this type to Caria, but the style of the roaring lion on Karyan983 does bear a strong resemblance to other coins from Caria (Kaunos and Mylasa come to mind). I don't know the distibution of the find-spots, but they will undoubtedly be in Caria.

Why I bought the coin? Really? There is absolutely no way I could resist this specimen. This griffin is as ferocious as they come! I simply love the close-up of the face, that big eye floating in its socket and, of course, that one menacing, spiking tooth rising from his lower jaw! ( and don't ask how this breed of griffin ended up with a spiking tooth. All griffins I have seen on coins all have a long tongue sticking out of their mouth, none have teeth).  I had come across this variety with griffin-head only once before in an auction but sadly ended up the underbidder there, so when I this second chance came along (it's not a common coin) I placed a (ridiculously) high pre-bid and hoped for the best. Fast forward three weeks and here we are. 😊

Thanks for looking, and feel free to share your comments, your griffins, your obols or whatever you feel is (ir)relevant.

 

And three cheers for @Restitutor for starting this forum!👍👍👍

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Here is a guitar shaped tetartemorion

image.png.3bd35eb910da56ad4bb6f87c810e71ef.png

IONIA, Phokaia. Circa 521-478 BC. AR Tetartemorion. Head of griffin left / Incuse punch. Cf. SNG Kayhan 514–6 (hemidrachms) and 1428 (diobol). It is possible that this issue may belong to Abdera or Teos, both of which also issued early silver coins with griffins on the obverse.
0,18 g, 7 mm

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Lovely coin! I don't even have a griffin yet, although I love mythical creatures on ancient coins, but here's my smallest Greek fraction so far - a very common and well known Kyzikos Hemiobol. It's also one my first fractions (got a few since then) which is nice. 

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 20.17.53.png

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This tiny coin came today:
tinyGreek.jpg.021a2b5a61f7e508a92196b14a20f6b6.jpg

It is only 4.2-4.8 mm and 0.18 grams. A "tetartemorion" (one quarter of an obol).
The seller described it as "Head of a griffin(?)" possibly for Teos. I didn't think it was and bought it just for it size. At some angles it almost looks like a lion's head left. But, upon close inspection and at this angle I think the most visible thing on it is a large human ear, so it is really an archaic head left, crowded so the tip of the nose, chin, and neck are not on the flan.
  It turns out that SNG Turkey I, the Kayhan collection, has #348 from Kolophon, Ionia, "late 6th century" is just like it, including the weight, and several similar coins of the weights 0.12 to 0.24 grams. It is too small to expect the weight to be precise.  SNG Danish V Colophon [same place, spelled with a "C"] 133-134 "c, 525-490", are it, with the head named Apollo (0.25 and 0.15 grams). It is really hard to see the photos there. (I wish publications would use x2 or x3 photos for tiny coins.) The coin is tiny and the photos are dark. SNG von Aulock IV 7801 is close (and 0.18 grams), but with only an eye instead of a head.  I didn't find it in Klein or Rosen. 

Well, I wanted a tiny coin and I got one. 

 

Edited by Valentinian
corrected typo
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Here's a griffin that hasn't yet been posted:

image.thumb.jpeg.467353b18911592d261124123ab78111.jpeg

Like many of the others it's from Phokaia. 2.16g and 13mm.

I think my smallest coin is this tetartemorion from Athens (390-353 BCE) at 4.8mm and 0.17g:

image.thumb.jpeg.68366ed0656b31c79a391840afe8358f.jpeg

7 hours ago, TheTrachyEnjoyer said:

Constans II Rome Mint “Papal” siliqua issued under popes St Martin, St Eugine, and St Vitalian.

Wow, that is a phenomenal coin, @TheTrachyEnjoyer!

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4 hours ago, Valentinian said:

This tiny goin came today:
tinyGreek.jpg.021a2b5a61f7e508a92196b14a20f6b6.jpg

It is only 4.2-4.8 mm and 0.18 grams. A "tetartemorion" (one quarter of an obol).
The seller described it as "Head of a griffin(?)" possibly for Teos. I didn't think it was and bought it just for it size. At some angles it almost looks like a lion's head left. But, upon close inspection and at this angle I think the most visible thing on it is a large human ear, so it is really an archaic head left, crowded so the tip of the nose, chin, and neck are not on the flan.
  It turns out that SNG Turkey I, the Kayhan collection, has #348 from Kolophon, Ionia, "late 6th century" is just like it, including the weight, and several similar coins of the weights 0.12 to 0.24 grams. It is too small to expect the weight to be precise.  SNG Danish V Colophon [same place, spelled with a "C"] 133-134 "c, 525-490", are it, with the head named Apollo (0.25 and 0.15 grams). It is really hard to see the photos there. (I wish publications would use x2 or x3 photos for tiny coins.) The coin is tiny and the photos are dark. SNG von Aulock IV 7801 is close (and 0.18 grams), but with only an eye instead of a head.  I didn't find it in Klein or Rosen. 

Well, I wanted a tiny coin and I got one. 

 

Wow, mine is just a couple Kayhan numbers down from yours...

[IMG]
Iona Kolophon 
AR Tetartemorion 
530-520 BCE 
Archaic Apollo 
Incuse Punch 
0.15g 4.5mm- 
SNG Kayhan 343

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Great coins everyone,  thank you for sharing your small beauties!👍👍👍

@Alegandron,that tetartemorion with astagalos from Assos just makes me envious! Cool scorpion from Mylasa, @Ryro! It's been on my wishlist for a while, but I have yet to get one. Very nice coins, @Severus Alexander, the smallest I had seen from Athens was a hemiobol, I didn't know they had tetartemorions as well. And I agree that your griffin is an archaic Apollo from Kolophon, @Valentinian. @ambr0zie, When I see a small silver griffin from Iona in a listing, I have a difficult time guessing where it's from, Teos, Abdera, or Phokaia. And when I guess, I usually get it wrong!😊  I've never seen that griffin/lion combo before, @Spaniard. Is it Lycian?

 

I might as  well post a few more of my small critters:

 

4mm. diameter, and yet, surprisingly, well centered:

1509159289_CariaMylasatetartemorion.png.e6aee069688f04386e4a196b4a6015d4.png

And my lightest, weighing in at .14gr. ,still a heavyweight compared to a hemitetartemorion.

1076990999_CiliciatetartemorionGreatPersianKing..thumb.jpg.f46f6703a723c364ceb3cb94d38faeaf.jpg

 

 

 

 

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I really enjoy these Persian King Tets, @DANTE!  As well as the Lion/Bird from Caria... just cool!

 

image.jpeg.cfe43d9201651397a4046de9526b6a53.jpeg

CILICIA Uncertn Early-mid 4th C BCE  AR Tetartemorion 5mm 0.17g Persian king running dagger and bow - Crowned hd  Achaemenid king CNG E239 Troxell Kagan 4

 

1953467211_MylasainCariaorIoniaMiletosARTetartemorion5_6mm0.21gRoaringLionHd-BirdKlein430SNGKay941.JPG.d405b047422ced0c8fe33e1aa58a7453.JPG

Mylasa in Caria, or Ionia Miletos AR Tetartemorion  5.6mm 0.21g Roaring Lion Hd - Bird Klein 430 SNG Kay 941

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@DANTE and @Alegandron - mine is smaller! (and of course I mean the lion/quail coin!)

My variation (attributed by the house as Miletos but I know things are not 100% clear and it could be a Mylasa)

image.png.859d983799abf1aba45f99efa28e7a79.png

is 5 mm (so a little larger) but ...0.08 g.

I thought the auction house made a mistake. Nope, checked it on my scale. Weight is correct. Checked in on another one. This is one of my favorite coins.

 

Edited by ambr0zie
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4 minutes ago, ambr0zie said:

@dante - mine is smaller! (and of course I mean the lion/quail coin!)

My variation (attributed by the house as Miletos but I know things are not 100% clear and it could be a Mylasa)

image.png.859d983799abf1aba45f99efa28e7a79.png

is 5 mm (so a little larger) but ...0.08 g.

I thought the auction house made a mistake. Nope, checked it on my scale. Weight is correct. Checked in on another one. This is one of my favorite coins.

 

I betcha yours is a HEMItetartemorion, as it is <0.9g  VERY cool, @ambr0zie!

image.thumb.png.ea42f4b01d553c4d49ae908b1c8b32b4.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_coinage

Edited by Alegandron
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2 minutes ago, ambr0zie said:

"very small coin that might be lost for good if dropped on the carpet".

 

2 minutes ago, ambr0zie said:

I knew about this (excellent) denomination table but I know it's very difficult to establish the denomination in these cases. I prefer to call it "very small coin that might be lost for good if dropped on the carpet".

LOL, OR!  "I will never vacuum my carpet EVER again !!!😄

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Here is something different for yall, my tiny celtic gold stater :

Celtic 1/24 stater! From the Boii, a celtic tribe from central europe.
Reverse: Athena advancing left, holding spear and shield
Obverse: Blank
0,34g

Screenshot 2022-05-27 222539.png

stater.jpg

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