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A Troublesome Tripod


kirispupis

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Recently, while going through an auction, I noticed this coin that caught my interest.

Bisanthe_2.jpg.1fa9d1d133655967a09a434d10016ce5.jpg

Bisanthe, Thrace
circa 300-200 BCE
Æ 13mm, 1,40g
Laureate head of Apollo to right / 
ΒΙΣΑΝΘΗΝΩΝ, tripod.
HGC 3.2, 1369

The coin was marked as "Asia Minor. Uncertain mint" and I recall clearly that it took all of two minutes to figure out the attribution, and that the type was quite rare. So, I put it on the list as something to pick up if it didn't go too high but no big loss otherwise.

Sure enough, it didn't go very high and so I picked it up. When the coin arrived, I stared at it for some time. Where was it from? I spent hours poring through various tripods, but couldn't find it. Eventually, this coin gave me the clue, since it had a better preserved inscription. Ironically both were sold by the same auction house one week apart.

The full ethnic of ΒΙΣΑΝΘΗΝΩΝ leaves little dispute that this is a coin of Bisanthe in Thrace (so the "Asia Minor" part was wrong). 

Bisanthe was at the beginning of the 4th century under control of the Odrysian kings. Xenophon wrote of Seuthes II promising him Bisanthe as a marriage present, which was described as ” the very fairest of all the places I have upon the seacoast.” Later on, Seuthes reneged from the deal.

The coin obviously depicts a tripod, which was a household item for prayer. One thing I learned from the re-research of this coin was that nearly every city had its own form of tripod. While there were many cities that used tripods on their coins, every one looked different in some way.

From the handful (5) of these that I could find at auction, there appear to have been three denominations. This was the smallest, and then there was a 3.5g and 5g denomination, though bronze coins had a very high standard deviation at the time. 

Feel free to share your coins with tripods!

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12 minutes ago, kirispupis said:

Recently, while going through an auction, I noticed this coin that caught my interest.

Bisanthe_2.jpg.1fa9d1d133655967a09a434d10016ce5.jpg

Bisanthe, Thrace
circa 300-200 BCE
Æ 13mm, 1,40g
Laureate head of Apollo to right / 
ΒΙΣΑΝΘΗΝΩΝ, tripod.
HGC 3.2, 1369

The coin was marked as "Asia Minor. Uncertain mint" and I recall clearly that it took all of two minutes to figure out the attribution, and that the type was quite rare. So, I put it on the list as something to pick up if it didn't go too high but no big loss otherwise.

Sure enough, it didn't go very high and so I picked it up. When the coin arrived, I stared at it for some time. Where was it from? I spent hours poring through various tripods, but couldn't find it. Eventually, this coin gave me the clue, since it had a better preserved inscription. Ironically both were sold by the same auction house one week apart.

The full ethnic of ΒΙΣΑΝΘΗΝΩΝ leaves little dispute that this is a coin of Bisanthe in Thrace (so the "Asia Minor" part was wrong). 

Bisanthe was at the beginning of the 4th century under control of the Odrysian kings. Xenophon wrote of Seuthes II promising him Bisanthe as a marriage present, which was described as ” the very fairest of all the places I have upon the seacoast.” Later on, Seuthes reneged from the deal.

The coin obviously depicts a tripod, which was a household item for prayer. One thing I learned from the re-research of this coin was that nearly every city had its own form of tripod. While there were many cities that used tripods on their coins, every one looked different in some way.

From the handful (5) of these that I could find at auction, there appear to have been three denominations. This was the smallest, and then there was a 3.5g and 5g denomination, though bronze coins had a very high standard deviation at the time. 

Feel free to share your coins with tripods!

Nice pick up, also interesting research. I didn't know about the tripod thing thanks for sharing.

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25 minutes ago, kirispupis said:

nearly every city had its own form of tripod

Do you have any more on this please as that suggests a lot of different types? Here's  one of the better-known types, a tripod-lebes from Kroton. An early version,  incuse and with the koppa.

 

Stater. Circa 530-505 BC. Tripod-lebes, legs terminating in lion paws, with ornaments on and serpents rising from the bowl; ϘPO upwards to left / Incuse tripod, legs terminating in lion paws, ornaments and serpents in relief.

 

12100-42-39-1_orig1.jpg.eabc2d261588e78e3add7c5991564261.jpg

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My favorite tripod coin is this Pius dupondius.

image.png.9a46da8747937df3b2ae43c7176a300f.png

27 mm, 12,01 g.
Antoninus Pius 137-161. Ӕ dupondius. Rome. 158-159.
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XXII, head of Antoninus Pius, radiate, right / VOTA SVSCEPTA DEC III COS IIII S C, Antoninus Pius, standing left, sacrificing with patera over tripod, left arm at side.
RIC III Antoninus Pius 1020.

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52 minutes ago, Deinomenid said:

Do you have any more on this please as that suggests a lot of different types? 


I don't have any specific article. This was just my observation from spending several hours looking through them. 🙂 What I don't know is whether each city had their "traditional tripod" or whether each die maker had a different idea when told to engrave a tripod...

FWIW, here are the other tripods I have.

Kallatis.jpg.93e6ab286e5c53b09538b9b75d12ce70.jpg

Thrace, Kallatis
Circa 250 BCE
Bronze 25mm 9.74g
Laureate head of Apollo right
Tripod “KA??A-TIANON” “A?O?A” below
HGC 3.2, 1828

 

Kyzikos_2.jpg.5a5eadd3ed2c12be810845759bee8764.jpg

Mysia. Kyzikos
circa 300-200 BCE
Æ 11mm, 1,16g
Obv: Head of Kore Soteira right.
Rev: KY - ZI, Tripod.
Nomisma X 1; SNG BN 43

 

Philippi.jpg.13c8ad26157a5c2e7c059d261179f9f9.jpg

Macedon, Philippoi
c. 356-345 BCE
AE 18mm, 5.70g, 11h
Head of Herakles r., wearing lion’s skin. R/ Tripod; to l., monogram above grain ear.
SNG ANS 666; BMC 11

 

Phytia.jpg.6fbfca7b8ca0b99a3fd4e188ac8630bc.jpg

Akarnania, Phytia
Circa 300-250 BCE
AE 16 mm, 2.78 g, 4 h
Laureate head of Apollo to right.
Rev. ΦΥ-ΘΕ Tripod; in upper left field, monogram of ΔΙ.
BCD Akarnania 354 var. (arrangement of legend). HGC 4, 906. Imhoof-Blumer, Akananien, 155, 7

 

Smyrna.jpg.b92a347434615ef2a0b69a39b7d9b157.jpg

Ionia, Smyrna (as Eurydikeia)
AE 9mm. 0.54g
Circa 290-287/1 BCE.
Veiled head of Eurydike to right / Tripod, [Ε]ΥΡΥΔΙΚΕΩΝ to left.
Milne, Autonomous 5; SNG Copenhagen 1105. 0.54g, 9mm, 6h
Ex Nick Collins Collection
Ex Numismatik Lanz München

 

Kassander_2.jpg.49f94f59e83921e4dd21988177919e74.jpg

Kassander
AE 18 mm, 6.09 g, 11 h
Amphipolis (?)
Laureate head of Apollo to right. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ - ΚΑΣΣΑΝΔΡΟΥ Tripod; to left, monogram; to right, kerykeion.
McClean 3553. SNG München 1030

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9 hours ago, kirispupis said:

I don't have any specific article. This was just my observation from spending several hours looking through them. 🙂 What I don't know is whether each city had their "traditional tripod" or whether each die maker had a different idea when told to engrave a tripod...

FWIW, here are the other tripods I have.

Kallatis.jpg.93e6ab286e5c53b09538b9b75d12ce70.jpg

Thrace, Kallatis
Circa 250 BCE
Bronze 25mm 9.74g
Laureate head of Apollo right
Tripod “KA??A-TIANON” “A?O?A” below
HGC 3.2, 1828

 

Kyzikos_2.jpg.5a5eadd3ed2c12be810845759bee8764.jpg

Mysia. Kyzikos
circa 300-200 BCE
Æ 11mm, 1,16g
Obv: Head of Kore Soteira right.
Rev: KY - ZI, Tripod.
Nomisma X 1; SNG BN 43

 

Philippi.jpg.13c8ad26157a5c2e7c059d261179f9f9.jpg

Macedon, Philippoi
c. 356-345 BCE
AE 18mm, 5.70g, 11h
Head of Herakles r., wearing lion’s skin. R/ Tripod; to l., monogram above grain ear.
SNG ANS 666; BMC 11

 

Phytia.jpg.6fbfca7b8ca0b99a3fd4e188ac8630bc.jpg

Akarnania, Phytia
Circa 300-250 BCE
AE 16 mm, 2.78 g, 4 h
Laureate head of Apollo to right.
Rev. ΦΥ-ΘΕ Tripod; in upper left field, monogram of ΔΙ.
BCD Akarnania 354 var. (arrangement of legend). HGC 4, 906. Imhoof-Blumer, Akananien, 155, 7

 

Smyrna.jpg.b92a347434615ef2a0b69a39b7d9b157.jpg

Ionia, Smyrna (as Eurydikeia)
AE 9mm. 0.54g
Circa 290-287/1 BCE.
Veiled head of Eurydike to right / Tripod, [Ε]ΥΡΥΔΙΚΕΩΝ to left.
Milne, Autonomous 5; SNG Copenhagen 1105. 0.54g, 9mm, 6h
Ex Nick Collins Collection
Ex Numismatik Lanz München

 

Kassander_2.jpg.49f94f59e83921e4dd21988177919e74.jpg

Kassander
AE 18 mm, 6.09 g, 11 h
Amphipolis (?)
Laureate head of Apollo to right. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ - ΚΑΣΣΑΝΔΡΟΥ Tripod; to left, monogram; to right, kerykeion.
McClean 3553. SNG München 1030

Isn't the Smyrna coin supposed to be a lyre/cithara upside down?

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Athens New Style Tetradrachm c125/4 BC

Obs : Athena Parthenos right in tri-form helmet
29mm 16.67g Thompson issue 40
Thompson catalogue : 470f
Rev : ΑΘΕ ethnic
Owl standing on overturned panathenaic amphora on
which month mark Θ control ΜΕ below
3 magistrates : POLEMON ALKETES ARIS
LF symbol : Tripod
All within a surrounding olive wreath

 

Athens New Style Tetradrachm 125/4 BC SOLD Obs : Athena Parthenos right in tri-form helmet 29mm 16.67g Thompson issue 40 Thompson catalogue : 470f Rev : ΑΘΕ ethnic Owl standing on overturned panathenaic amphora on which month mark Θ control ΜΕ below 3 magistrates : POLEMON ALKETES ARIS LF symbol : Tripod All within a surrounding olive wreath SOLD Keywords: TRIPOD ATHENS ATHENA OWL

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Interesting overstrike of Pantikapeion on Pontos Amisos aegis/Nike type:

pantikapion-ae21-both.jpg.b7ef2663521f82f7a0b4e5471186d2fe.jpg

THRACE, Pantikapaion, 85-75 BC, AE21, 8.22g
Jean Elsen, auction 68, December 2001, lot 231

The obverse head is usually described as Apollo or Dionysos, but I wonder if it could be a young Pharnaces II?

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6 hours ago, seth77 said:

Isn't the Smyrna coin supposed to be a lyre/cithara upside down?

Weird. For some reason I posted an ordinary issue of Smyrna. This is the correct one.

111_Full.jpg.4ffc5d06b8ec86e671454afeac10f9c4.jpg

Ionia, Smyrna (as Eurydikeia)
AE 9mm. 0.54g
Circa 290-287/1 BCE.
Veiled head of Eurydike to right / Tripod, [Ε]ΥΡΥΔΙΚΕΩΝ to left.
Milne, Autonomous 5; SNG Copenhagen 1105. 0.54g, 9mm, 6h
Ex Nick Collins Collection
Ex Numismatik Lanz München

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