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The Rhodos Plinthophoric Drachm (Coin breakdown #4)


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For the fourth episode of my 'Coin breakdown' series, I analyse the plinthophoric drachm and how it may connect to the construction of the Colossus of Rhodes. As always, I have used a coin from my collection!

(I know that there are no proofs that it represents the actual Colossus, but just let me dream 😉 )

Rhodosfinaleconfirma-LQ.jpg.db6486ddea5615e4c815f6070bc053fd.jpg

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I know that it's a really long shot, but if you take a look at the hair and pay close attention to the waves, you will see a stunning consistency among both the side and front-facing Helios, and even the spikes seem to be in the same number. They could have used the actual Colossus as a reference, since Pliny still described the pieces centuries later, or they simply wanted to maintain consistency among the type.

Whatever the reason, it remains a fascinating coin in my opinion! I cannot believe that people over two millennia ago went around shopping with these mini-masterpieces in their pockets!

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I agree, these Rhodian coins are masterpieces. This Didrachm is one of my favorite Greek coins:


image.jpeg.dd1217f6860bf87560dea67a99478386.jpeg
 


Karia. Rhodes. Circa 305-275 BC. AR Didrachm (6.46g, 19mm). Obv.: head of Helios three-quarters right. Rev.: ΡΟΔΙΟΝ, rose with bud on right, grape cluster in left field, E-Y flanking stem. SNG Helsinki 454; Ashton 158; Weber 6716. VF.

 

Edited by MrMonkeySwag96
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14 hours ago, MrMonkeySwag96 said:

I agree, these Rhodian coins are masterpieces. This Didrachm is one of my favorite Greek coins:


image.jpeg.dd1217f6860bf87560dea67a99478386.jpeg
 


Karia. Rhodes. Circa 305-275 BC. AR Didrachm (6.46g, 19mm). Obv.: head of Helios three-quarters right. Rev.: ΡΟΔΙΟΝ, rose with bud on right, grape cluster in left field, E-Y flanking stem. SNG Helsinki 454; Ashton 158; Weber 6716. VF.

 

Nice one! You can't go wrong with a front facing Helios!

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@AncientCoinnoisseur and I exchanged posts on our plinthophoric drachms recently (here) while looking at overweight specimens. I happen to have re-photographed that drachm and another plinthophoric hemidrachm that I'm simply euphoric to share (sorry). The first one is both plinthophoric and facing head.  

image.jpeg.07971393d5b056aa835dd180e4ce11f9.jpeg    image.jpeg.6c62cf6bf17a564a56ba57fa02d7b4a3.jpeg 

Asia Minor. Caria. 170-150 BC. AR Plinthophoric Hemidrachm (1.21ᵍᵐ 14.2ᵐᵐ 11ʰ) of Rhodes. Radiate head of Apollo Helios, facing slightly to right. / Rose upright in bloom, P-O flanking, club to left, T to lower left. APTEMΩN (magistrate Artemon) above, all in incuse square. VF. SNG Keckman 654-656; HGC 6 #1462; Jenkins Rhodian Group B #44 var (no T); BMC 294 (Rhodos); HGC 6 #1462; HNOnline (Rhodes) 882; SNG Cop 5 (Caria) #842; SNG Delepierre 2777. cf. Harlan Berk Sale 209 #135 (same dies).

image.jpeg.d4a94cc88a667497f9f187fcc1584f7e.jpeg  image.jpeg.6750fef888db62deb7a5126e70d2301a.jpeg 

Asia Minor. Caria. 88-85 BC. AR Plinthophoric Drachm (3.36ᵍᵐ 16.1ᵐᵐ 12ʰ) of Rhodes. Radiate head of Apollo Helios right. / P-O flanking rose in bloom, kerykeion (caduceus) to left. ΚΑΛΛΙΞΕΙΝΟΣ (magistrate Kaleizenos). EF. Bt. Herakles Numismatics, 2008. Ex-CNG Coin Shop #783397. HGC 6 #1461; Jenkins Rhodian Group E #244; SNG Cop 5 (Caria) #819 var ("winged caduceus"); SNG Keckman 684 = HNOnline (Rhodes) 157 (specimen #2); cf. Jenkins, Rhodian, Group E, 244; cf. SNG Keckman 684; Ashton et al. ”The Köycegiz Hoard of Late Rhodian Plinthophoric Drachms” Ch.8 #23; BMC (Rhodus) 267.

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image.png.9ef50ec89bf7a555ce3e8eac433835fb.png

 

CARIA. RHODOS. AR tetradrachm, 408/404 BC; 15.17 g. Helios head almost front//rose, left club, right I (?). Ashton et al., The Hecatomnus Hoard (Appendix) 20 (this specimen); Ashton, The Coinage of Rhodes 2; Bérend 17 (this specimen).
RR Fine patina, irregular planchet, very fine
Specimen from the Phoibos collection.
Specimen from the Auctions AG 6 auction, Basel 1976, no. 222

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Here's something similar. In the style of Rhodes, but believed to be intended for mercenaries fighting in the Third Macedonian War. We see issues attributed by Hoover (HGC 4) to Boiotia (Haliartos #1206-1208 and (tentatively) Larymna #1222-1223), and to Euboia (Chalkis #1478-1479, Eretria #1515, and Histiaia #1528-1529). All dated 171 B.C.  So very unlike the traditional coinage of Boiotia and Euboia. Yet Hoover did not attribute the issue by this particular magistrate.  

image.jpeg.5540c4c1823957f6b37d795886652bfb.jpeg  GM.Perseus.SNG-Keckman795_tag.jpg.4effa25940c376685f8ba479123a065e.jpg  

Kings of Macedon. Perseus. 178-168 BC. AR Drachm (2.74 gm, 17mm, 2h). Thessaly, c. 175-170. Third Macedonian War issue. Head of Helios facing slightly r. / Rose w/ bud to r., ΕΡΜΙΑΣ (Hermias, magistrate) above. Ɪ - Ω (Zoilos) monogram in minute letters on either side of stem. EF. CNG 79 #179. Klein 560; Price Essays pp. 241-242 (N.Greece, plate LV 247). cf SNG Cop Suppl. 358 (Rhodian Peraia); SNG Keckman 793-795 (Thessaly); HGC - . cf. Triton XVII #185; Nomos 18 #88; CNG EA470 #62; CNG EA513 #89 (same dies). 

GM.Perseus.SNG-Keckman795.comment.jpg.f0ef8775ee5f2fe030659978cb79fd5f.jpg

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