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Help with references - Dionysius I


bob311

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Posted (edited)

Hi all, 

Thanks for the help in advance! Newish to the hobby and having a blast learning. Trying to find the reference for this coin. I purchased this coin from a dealer on the East Coast of the USA who identified the coin has having the portrait of young Dionysius I himself on the obverse, struck between 425-420 BC. It is bronze, weighing 3.8 grams and 11mm. He noted that this was one of four that are known to exist in this variation. I am trying to find a reference point to that and understand it better. Basically, looking to confirm whether that was true or not (hopefully he was right).

I know a number of octopus coins where struck during Dionysus's reign that included the nymph of Arethusa as the portrait, but this young man looks at least significantly different to me. Also, it seems almost all of the variations have the portrait right facing, while mine faces left. The only one I have found facing left that at least looks like the same portrait is GI69004 from Forum Ancient Coins. That coin lists as the following references -  Calciati II p. 31, 12; HGC 2 1429 (R1, c. 435 - 415 B.C.); overstruck on Calciati II p. 55, 24 (hemilitron, nymph left / dolphin over scallop). 

There are a few others I have found, but the portrait is reversed and appears to me to be different. For example, the coins listed at wildwinds for coins from Dionysius I all appear to be a different portrait. The closest I think seems to be the one referencing to Calciati 11, although the portrait is attributed to Arethusa in wildwinds. I think the hair between that coin and one is different in a number of places. However, I have seen on Magna Graecia that a similar coin references Calciati 11/1 and identifies it as the portrait of Dionysius. Thoroughly confused.

That is a lot of information for me to just say - please help! I don't have any of these references myself, although I did email the guys at the Calciati email address on their website. I probably got taken for a little bit of a ride, just looking for some solid help if anyone can help! If the dealer identified it as 1 of 4, there must have been some reference (I hope). Otherwise, there are other issues I should deal with (although I purchased the coin a few years ago). 

 

IMG_7226.jpeg.353dea535e58d999b3651955fafdb4e8.jpegIMG_7224.jpeg.cb16a2d233e6a2c75541b48ee83fc08e.jpegIMG_7225.jpeg.7bd0aaed20c7578f598886524da8e3f0.jpeg

Edited by bob311
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3 hours ago, bob311 said:

He noted that this was one of four that are known to exist in this variation.

I'm sorry but there are no known portraits of Dionysios on coins.  It would have been an exceptionally unusual thing to  have done then.

Here is HGC2 1429

Screenshot_7-7-2024_205210_.jpeg.3539b4f6e101326b57c210fc39d44bb4.jpegScreenshot_7-7-2024_205220_.jpeg.4c8542b72c26990b5be6b86ae6e3ba7d.jpeg

 

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3 hours ago, bob311 said:

young Dionysius I himself on the obverse, struck between 425-420 BC.

One more thing - just to challenge the coin dealer should you so desire - it can't be both of these. Dionysios  seized power around 406BC.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, that’s really helpful. This was the info card with the coin from the dealer, to the extent that helps. Seems like I got got unfortunately. 
 

I also heard back from the guys at Calciata and they sent the following along. Seems like my coin most closely matches 11. 

IMG_7227.jpegCNSIIIp_31n_11.jpg.eaf5d95d797d373b86194a691ef77588.jpg

Edited by bob311
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3 hours ago, Deinomenid said:

@bob311 I'm not trying to find excuses for your dealer (who was it?) but the ~innocent explanation might be that  he mixed  up Dionysios the man with Dionysos the god. He wouldn't be the first - or last!

I guess that is true! I could have just misheard or misunderstood. 

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