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Brennos' Top 10 of 2023


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The year 2023 only brought 36 more coins to my trays, but some of them have a place of honour. The advantage is that selecting the top 10 is an easier task 🙂. I post the acquisitions in chronological order.

 

I had to wait until March to win my first coin, but what a coin! This type has been on my wish list for a long time.


1. CARTHAGE. Circa 270-264 BC. AV  Trihemistater (22mm, 12.48 g). 
O/ Head of Tanit left, wearing wreath of grain ears, triple-pendant earring, and necklace with eleven pendants 
R/ Horse standing right, head left. 
Jenkins & Lewis group IX, 389 (same dies); MAA 26; SNG Copenhagen (North Africa) 181; de Luynes 3749 (same obv. die). 1TrihemistaterG.jpg.ab6273d91bd513f3361cfb1bfd12e789.jpg

An addition to my "Sicilian big bronzes" sub collection, the famous δραχμαὶ καττιτέρου (drachm in tin), the cornerstone of Dionysios of Syracuse's reform of the monetary system.

2. SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. Æ Drachm (28.5mm, 34.15 g). 
O/ ΣYPA. Head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet with neck guard and bowl decorated with wreath 
R/ Sea-star between two dolphins. 
CNS 62; HGC 2, 1436. 

2SyraDrachm.jpg.5d34263baa9ba9a21b5531e7802f01c9.jpg

An interesting addition to my "incuse coinage of Magna Graecia”: A very rare stater of Kroton from the early stage coinage with a spread flan depicting an eagle incuse on the revers.

3. ITALY, Bruttium, Kroton. c. 530-500 BC. AR Stater, (28.0 mm, 7.95g).
O/ ϘPO. Tripod, legs surmounted by wreaths and terminating in lion's feet. 
R/ Eagle flying right, incuse. 
HN Italy 2084; HGC 1, 145.

3CrotoneAigleSpread.jpg.2987986bf1f9ec75080488761655b81d.jpg

4. SICILY, Gela. circa 490-475 BC. AR Didrachm 8.64 g. 
O/ Naked and helmeted rider on prancing horse r., wielding spear in raised r. hand, l. arm behind horse's mane, holding reins. 
R/ CE – ΛΑ partially retrograde Forepart of man-headed bull r.; all within shallow circular incuse. Boston, MFA 241 (these dies). Kraay-Hirmer pl. 55, 156 (these dies). Hunterian 210 (these dies). Jenkins, Gela 28.

4DidrachmeGela.JPG.52da301f3185a5a91d615ea314ace479.JPG

5. KINGS of THRACE. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC. AV Stater (21.0 mm, 8.55 g). Alexandria Troas mint (?). Struck 297/6-281 BC. 
O/ Diademed head of the deified Alexander right 
R/ BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΛYΣIMAXOY. Athena Nikephoros seated left; HE monogram to inner left, eagle head in exergue. 
Cf. Thompson 141 (same obv die). 

5StaterLysimachos.JPG.695bfc501358ab5d2bbfa6a8012efc25.JPG


The next coin comes from the collection of professor, grammarian, hellenist and numismatist Marc Bar which was dispersed by Elsen this year. For many years he edited the "Bulletin du Cercle d'études numismatiques" and donated his collection of Greek bronze coins to the Brussels cabinet which published it (SNG Belgique La collection de Bronzes grecs de Marc Bar) together with interesting personal notes by the collector. 

6. PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter as satrap, 323-305/4 BC, or king, 305/4-282 BC. AR Tetradrachm (29mm, 15.26 g). Ptolemaic standard. In the name of Alexander III of Macedon. Uncertain Mint 3, probably Memphis. Struck circa 306-303 BC. 
O/ Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, wearing elephant skin, aegis around neck 
R/ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔPOY. Athena Alkidemos advancing right; monogram to inner left; to right, monogram and eagle standing right on thunderbolt. 
Svoronos 139; SNG Copenhagen 23

6AlexandreElephant.jpg.fbbb256e07f4b672f39679f69c7c90b8.jpg

another coin that has long been on my wish list.

7. SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. AV 100 Litrai – Double Dekadrachm (13.5mm, 5.79 g). Struck circa 405-400 BC. Unsigned dies in the style of Kimon.
O/ ΣYPAKOΣION. Head of Arethusa to left, wearing triple-pendant earring and necklace, hair in sphendone ornamented with two stars; A behind.
R/ Herakles kneeling right, strangling the Nemean Lion; rocks below.
Bérend 30; Gulbenkian 324 (same dies); SNG ANS 332-333 (same dies) HGC 2, 1275

7Syracuse100Litrai.JPG.dcd665b20b779bac1a58c161602fd142.JPG

SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-400 BC. AV 20 Litrai – Tetradrachm (11mm, 1.13 g). Struck circa 405-400 BC. 
O/ ΣYPA. Head of Herakles left, wearing lion skin 
R/ Quadripartite incuse square, ethnic in quarters; in deeper incuse circle in center, small female head (Arethousa?) left, wearing necklace. 
Bérend pl. XI, 3; HGC 2, 1289

8Syra20litrai3.jpg.fb8153a7e0487c062006d14388556fd0.jpg

MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Alexander III the Great (336-323 BC). AV stater (19mm, 8.64 gm). Posthumous issue of Phoenicia, Tyre, ca. 305-290 BC. 
O/ Head of Athena to right, wearing Corinthian helmet pushed back on head, the bowl adorned with coiled serpent 
R/ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ, Nike standing left, holding wreath in her right hand and stylis with her left; monograms within circles in left field and below right wing. 
Price 3528 (same dies). Müller 1588. 

9AlexStater.jpg.b160f5bd9cbbc2b21d41b36311ead593.jpg

I had no intention of buying the next coin when I attended the sale but I couldn't resist once I had it in hand 😇
An old pedigree was pretty easy to find : a 1932 Bourgey sale, two years too late to be included in the Gallatin's corpus. 

SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. AR Dekadrachm (37mm, 41.65 g). Reverse die signed by Euainetos. Struck circa 405-390 BC. 
O/ Charioteer, holding kentron in extended right hand and reins in left, driving fast quadriga left; above, Nike flying right, crowning charioteer with wreath held in her extended hands; below heavy exergual line, [military harness], shield, greaves, cuirass, and crested Attic helmet, all connected by a horizontal spear; [AΘΛA below] 
R/ Head of Arethousa left, wearing wreath of grain ears, triple-pendant earring, and pearl necklace; ΣΥ-ΡΑ-ΚΟ-ΣΙΩΝ behind hair, four dolphins swimming around, [EY-AINE] along lower edge. 
Gallatin R IV C X; Ex: collection Galice sale Bourgey 4/12/1932

10DekaFac.jpg.cef797e38b6bb70330c4836ac611551f.jpg

 

I wish you all, your family and your dear loved ones a Happy New Year, joy, good health and great acquisitions !

 

Edited by Brennos
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4 hours ago, Brennos said:

The year 2023 only brought 36 more coins to my trays, but some of them have a place of honour. The advantage is that selecting the top 10 is an easier task 🙂. I post the acquisitions in chronological order.

 

I had to wait until March to win my first coin, but what a coin! This type has been on my wish list for a long time.


1. CARTHAGE. Circa 270-264 BC. AV  Trihemistater (22mm, 12.48 g). 
O/ Head of Tanit left, wearing wreath of grain ears, triple-pendant earring, and necklace with eleven pendants 
R/ Horse standing right, head left. 
Jenkins & Lewis group IX, 389 (same dies); MAA 26; SNG Copenhagen (North Africa) 181; de Luynes 3749 (same obv. die). 1TrihemistaterG.jpg.ab6273d91bd513f3361cfb1bfd12e789.jpg

An addition to my "Sicilian big bronzes" sub collection, the famous δραχμαὶ καττιτέρου (drachm in tin), the cornerstone of Dionysios of Syracuse's reform of the monetary system.

2. SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. Æ Drachm (28.5mm, 34.15 g). 
O/ ΣYPA. Head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet with neck guard and bowl decorated with wreath 
R/ Sea-star between two dolphins. 
CNS 62; HGC 2, 1436. 

2SyraDrachm.jpg.5d34263baa9ba9a21b5531e7802f01c9.jpg

An interesting addition to my "incuse coinage of Magna Graecia”: A very rare stater of Kroton from the early stage coinage with a spread flan depicting an eagle incuse on the revers.

3. ITALY, Bruttium, Kroton. c. 530-500 BC. AR Stater, (28.0 mm, 7.95g).
O/ ϘPO. Tripod, legs surmounted by wreaths and terminating in lion's feet. 
R/ Eagle flying right, incuse. 
HN Italy 2084; HGC 1, 145.

3CrotoneAigleSpread.jpg.2987986bf1f9ec75080488761655b81d.jpg

4. SICILY, Gela. circa 490-475 BC. AR Didrachm 8.64 g. 
O/ Naked and helmeted rider on prancing horse r., wielding spear in raised r. hand, l. arm behind horse's mane, holding reins. 
R/ CE – ΛΑ partially retrograde Forepart of man-headed bull r.; all within shallow circular incuse. Boston, MFA 241 (these dies). Kraay-Hirmer pl. 55, 156 (these dies). Hunterian 210 (these dies). Jenkins, Gela 28.

4DidrachmeGela.JPG.52da301f3185a5a91d615ea314ace479.JPG

5. KINGS of THRACE. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC. AV Stater (21.0 mm, 8.55 g). Alexandria Troas mint (?). Struck 297/6-281 BC. 
O/ Diademed head of the deified Alexander right 
R/ BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΛYΣIMAXOY. Athena Nikephoros seated left; HE monogram to inner left, eagle head in exergue. 
Cf. Thompson 141 (same obv die). 

5StaterLysimachos.JPG.695bfc501358ab5d2bbfa6a8012efc25.JPG


The next coin comes from the collection of professor, grammarian, hellenist and numismatist Marc Bar which was dispersed by Elsen this year. For many years he edited the "Bulletin du Cercle d'études numismatiques" and donated his collection of Greek bronze coins to the Brussels cabinet which published it (SNG Belgique La collection de Bronzes grecs de Marc Bar) together with interesting personal notes by the collector. 

6. PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter as satrap, 323-305/4 BC, or king, 305/4-282 BC. AR Tetradrachm (29mm, 15.26 g). Ptolemaic standard. In the name of Alexander III of Macedon. Uncertain Mint 3, probably Memphis. Struck circa 306-303 BC. 
O/ Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, wearing elephant skin, aegis around neck 
R/ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔPOY. Athena Alkidemos advancing right; monogram to inner left; to right, monogram and eagle standing right on thunderbolt. 
Svoronos 139; SNG Copenhagen 23

6AlexandreElephant.jpg.fbbb256e07f4b672f39679f69c7c90b8.jpg

another coin that has long been on my wish list.

7. SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. AV 100 Litrai – Double Dekadrachm (13.5mm, 5.79 g). Struck circa 405-400 BC. Unsigned dies in the style of Kimon.
O/ ΣYPAKOΣION. Head of Arethusa to left, wearing triple-pendant earring and necklace, hair in sphendone ornamented with two stars; A behind.
R/ Herakles kneeling right, strangling the Nemean Lion; rocks below.
Bérend 30; Gulbenkian 324 (same dies); SNG ANS 332-333 (same dies) HGC 2, 1275

7Syracuse100Litrai.JPG.dcd665b20b779bac1a58c161602fd142.JPG

SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-400 BC. AV 20 Litrai – Tetradrachm (11mm, 1.13 g). Struck circa 405-400 BC. 
O/ ΣYPA. Head of Herakles left, wearing lion skin 
R/ Quadripartite incuse square, ethnic in quarters; in deeper incuse circle in center, small female head (Arethousa?) left, wearing necklace. 
Bérend pl. XI, 3; HGC 2, 1289

8Syra20litrai3.jpg.fb8153a7e0487c062006d14388556fd0.jpg

MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Alexander III the Great (336-323 BC). AV stater (19mm, 8.64 gm). Posthumous issue of Phoenicia, Tyre, ca. 305-290 BC. 
O/ Head of Athena to right, wearing Corinthian helmet pushed back on head, the bowl adorned with coiled serpent 
R/ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ, Nike standing left, holding wreath in her right hand and stylis with her left; monograms within circles in left field and below right wing. 
Price 3528 (same dies). Müller 1588. 

9AlexStater.jpg.b160f5bd9cbbc2b21d41b36311ead593.jpg

I had no intention of buying the next coin when I attended the sale but I couldn't resist once I had it in hand 😇
An old pedigree was pretty easy to find : a 1932 Bourgey sale, two years too late to be included in the Gallatin's corpus. 

SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. AR Dekadrachm (37mm, 41.65 g). Reverse die signed by Euainetos. Struck circa 405-390 BC. 
O/ Charioteer, holding kentron in extended right hand and reins in left, driving fast quadriga left; above, Nike flying right, crowning charioteer with wreath held in her extended hands; below heavy exergual line, [military harness], shield, greaves, cuirass, and crested Attic helmet, all connected by a horizontal spear; [AΘΛA below] 
R/ Head of Arethousa left, wearing wreath of grain ears, triple-pendant earring, and pearl necklace; ΣΥ-ΡΑ-ΚΟ-ΣΙΩΝ behind hair, four dolphins swimming around, [EY-AINE] along lower edge. 
Gallatin R IV C X; Ex: collection Galice sale Bourgey 4/12/1932

10DekaFac.jpg.cef797e38b6bb70330c4836ac611551f.jpg

 

I wish you all, your family and your dear loved ones a Happy New Year, joy, good health and great acquisitions !

 

@Brennos

Happy New Year!

I am always excited to see your list and my vote goes for your #1 , Gela didrachm and Lysimachos stater!

 

overall fantastic list, congratulations!

Edited by El Cazador
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Uh-Maziing. Rinse, Repeat.

Since nothing remotely like any of this is anywhere on my real radar, maybe there's enough relative distance to pick an initial three.  Your Punic trihemistater is Perfect.  Period, Full Stop.  ...Maybe a little more anecdotally, I really like how Ptolemy I is still issuing in Alexander's name, but substitutes an elephant headdress for the lion skin one.  I like that a lot.  And a Syracusan ...Dekadrachm.  Just, Get Outta Town.

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Wow, as a collector of Ancient Greek coins, I appreciate every single one of those. 

I tend to arrange my coins in the order of which I like most (be it beauty, historical significance, rarity, mint or a combination of all those). 

I can honestly say your Syracuse dekadrachm and Carthage trihemistater would comfortably sit at number one in my tray. I will never own coins to match those. The Gela didrachm would go close too, as would the Syracuse 100 litrai.

Congratulations on these incredible additions yo your collection.

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