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Is this coin what I think it is?


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Recently, I purchased a coin that I'm extremely curious about. I suspect the attribution, but I want to be much more cautious after what happened the last time. Luckily, I paid very little for it so I'm not going to be devastated if I got it wrong. Here's the coin in question along with its original attribution.


Thessaly, Skotussa circa 400-375 BCE
Chalkous Æ 15 mm, 2,38 g


In this case, I can certainly see why it was attributed to Skotussa, and that may be correct. Here's a very nice copy of the coin type that led them to this. NOTE: NOT MY COIN


Chalkous (Bronze, 12mm, 1.87 g 3). Head of youthful, beardless Herakles to left, wearing lion skin headdress. Rev. Σ - Κ Kantharos. BCD II, 739.1 


Here are other copies of the same type.


Given the  Σ - Κ underneath the kantharos and the original attribution from BCD, who I presume had a find location, I would agree with the attribution of Skotussa. However, I'm not entirely sure my coin is of the same type.

What intrigued me is there appears to be some lettering to the right of the portrait on the obverse. Although this could just be wishful thinking, it certainly resembles to me a ΠΡ. I'm therefore wondering whether it could be this very rare type from Tziambazis.


I know of one example of this coin that has sold - https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=5704499

The reverse is unfortunately too off center and worn to display either the Σ - Κ that would align it with Skotussa or the BA that would push it to Praxippos. The obverse of my coin does not resemble Herakles to my eyes, but I'm also not absolutely sure it's Apollo. The ΠΡ is not visible on Roma's coin, but can be seen on Tziambazis' coin and seems to be on mine.

What do you think? Am I tripping? As I mentioned, I spent very little on it. If my guess of an attribution is correct, this would be an extremely important acquisition. If I'm wrong, then I spent less than a typical order of fries, so it's fine.


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I can't really see any distinguishable letters although it does look like something is there. However the style of the bust looks more like Apollo to me, and the shape of the kantharos handles suggest a similarity to the Praxippos specimen to my eye.

~ Peter 

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I also think that your variant fits better: no sign of the lion headdress, the angle between head and back of the neck fits, the two extremes of the neck truncation look nothing like the lion headdress type, the lettering is there and it does look like ΠΡ.

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I think you are right, @kirispupis. As others have noted, it certainly doesn't look like a lionskin headdress, and it does match the Roma coin extremely closely in my opinion, to the extent that I wonder if the two are obverse die matches? I could be wrong but the angles do seem to match very well.

The presence of the letters behind the bust seem to match your attribution as well.


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Wow! I'm still trying to hold back a bit after what happened last time, but I'm beginning to get excited!

The funny thing is I almost didn't bid on this coin. I went through the auction several times without noticing it, and I was planning to not participate because I didn't see anything other than the Philetairos tet that went for 6k (I didn't even try bidding for it). When I noticed this coin, I figured it couldn't possibly be. I went through my notes on the type and looked up the Roma coin and it certainly looked intriguing. I then found myself wishing I could find a copy of Tziambazis online, but then remembered that I'd actually bought a copy some time ago.

This coin was on my Priority 1 list, consisting of people around the time of Philip II, Alexander III, and the Era of the Diadochi. It was one of five coins on that list and all are enormously difficult. I wasn't collecting ancients when the Roma coin came up for sale, so I wasn't sure whether I'd have an opportunity even to bid on a Praxippos coin in my lifetime. In that respect, it's an even bigger catch than the Mykonos coin that turned out to be Skamandros - since even Mykonos was a Priority 2.

For those unfamiliar with Praxippos, he was the last independent king of Lapethos (Cyprus). Unlike several other kings of Cyprus, there's no evidence that he participated in the Siege of Tyre. However, after Alexander's death he allied with Antigonos I Monophthalmos, but switched sides again when he was besieged by Seleukos. That last part (Seleukos) is from Who's who of Alexander and his Successors. Tzambiazis, however, mentions he was deposed by Ptolemy I, which makes more sense. Ptolemy sent his brother Menelaos to conquer the island, and those kings who allied with Antigonos were put to death.

With this coin, I've now completed my collection of ancient Cypriot kingdoms. There were twelve kingdoms around the time of Alexander the Great.

Chytroi, Ledrai, and Tamassos did not mint any coins I'm aware of
Marion, Paphos, Kourion, Amathos, Kition, Salamis, Soloi, and now Lapethos I have
Idalion ceased minting coins in 445 BCE per Tziambazis and therefore does not fall in my collection period

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