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Have a heart - An Athenian classical owl with an apparent heart-shape counterstamp


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This coin arrived today by way of MA Shops.  While this is a typical standardized classical Athenian owl, it does have one interesting aspect: a counterstamp in what seems to be the shape of a heart within an incuse circle

Attica, Athens, classical owl, 440-404 BC, with heart-shape counterstamp.

17.06 grams


Here's the counterstamp rotated:


I have one other owl with a heart-shape counterstamp:

Attica, Athens, intermediate owl, possible imitation, 4th century BC, with a heart-shape counterstamp.

16.3 grams



This heart counterstamp has significance due to the lucrative trade in the medicinal and extinct plant silphium, whose fruit had the shape of a heart. Now I am fairly certain the the first owl has a heart counterstamp, but it could be something else; what that could be I am not sure.

So, what do you think?  Are there other interesting counterstamps out there?




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9 minutes ago, kirispupis said:

Nice find! Is there any literature out there that discusses a heart-shaped countermark on Athenian owls?

None that I know of.  Generally there doesn't seem to be much information about countermarks. 

Here are some tables from some documented hoards.  The closest one resembling the countermark on the classical owl is #43 from the 1989 Syria Hoard.



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