Featured AMCC 2: My First BCD Coin! Post your examples also!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Curtisimo, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    My AMCC 2 wins arrived earlier this week and I was excited to receive my first ever coin from the famed BCD collection. This coin has a lot of eye appeal to me and depicts an interesting subject.

    Thessaly_Krannon_AE_Chalkous_CSH.jpg
    Thessaly, Krannon
    AE Chalkous, struck ca. 350-300 BC
    Dia.: 15.4 mm
    Wt.: 2.41 g
    Obv.: Thessalian rider and horse, rearing right
    Rev.: KPAN Bull butting right, trident above
    Ref.: BCD Thessaly II 118.5; HGC 4, 391
    Ex zumbly collection; Ex BCD collection with tag stating “V. Ex Thess., Apr. 94, DM 35”; Ex AMCC 2, Lot 5 (Nov. 9, 2019)


    The Thessalian Taurokathapsia
    In ancient mythology, the plain of Thessaly was once a giant lake surrounded on all sides by mountains. Poseidon, in his role as the god of earthquakes, split open an outlet through the mountains by which the lake was drained and the land of Thessaly was created.

    In gratitude to Poseidon, the Thessalians held festivals in his honor where a very unique form of bull fighting called the taurokathapsia was held. The participant would leap from a horse onto the back of a bull and wrestle it to the ground.

    Many of the coins of Thessaly show a snapshot in the sequence of this game. Some show the moment when the participant wrestles the bull to the ground as the horse gallops away on the reverse. My example shows the horse rider in the moments before he leaps from his horse onto the back of the bull. On the reverse the bull butts his horns in an intimidating manner in order to highlight the courage and valor of the participant. The trident above references that all is done in honor of Poseidon, the cleaver of rocks, the giver of springs and the creator of Thessaly.

    @zumbly had an excellent write up on this for the 2018 Imperator Tournament that is definitely worth a read.

    My Attempts at Online Archeology
    Ancient Krannon (Crannon) may have been a relatively important place in archaic and classical Greece as it was home to a branch (the Scopadae) of the most powerful family in Thessaly (the Aleuadae). However, today it is a very small village and the ancient remains are not well excavated and very difficult to find information on. I like being able to visualize the places from which I own coins so I resorted to a bit of online archaeology.

    Krannon_Map-1.jpg
    About a mile and a half southwest of the modern village of Kronnonas is the remains of what I believe may have been the acropolis of Krannon based on my survey of the area looking at Google Earth satalite images. Krannon was said to be situated near the source of the ancient Onchestus River and I believe there may be the remains of an ancient river (possibly spring fed in antiquity?) just southwest of the presumed site of the acropolis. It has been suggested that this river may be the same river that Herodotus notes was temporarily depleted of water by the army of Xerxes I during his invasion.

    Krannon_Acropolis-1.jpg
    Here is a better view of the area that I believe made up the site of the old acropolis. Reading through some old books on geography from the early 1800s it was noted that at a place called “Paleolarissa” remains of the acropolis and agora of Krannon could be found. At the bottom right hand corner of this image there are obviously some ancient remains. Perhaps these are the remains of a building in or near the ancient agora of Krannon. The location would certainly make sense relative to the acropolis.

    Krannon_Acropolis-2.jpg
    Finally, here is a photo taken from Google street view that shows the mound of the presumed acropolis of Krannon. This image gives you a good feel for the plain of Thessaly showing farmland surrounded by mountains without a lot of modern buildings to clutter it up. I fortunately got to visit Thessaly a few years ago but unfortunately I didn’t know to stop at Krannon. Perhaps next time.

    The city seems to have been in decline by the 1st century BC according to Catullus. I don’t know when the site was abandoned but my guess would be sometime during the chaos of the late Roman period and the migrations that followed.

    Provenance
    As stated above I am extremely pleased to have acquired an ex BCD example with his distinctive tag.

    BCD_Tag_2.41.jpg

    I am assuming that “V. Ex Thess., Apr. 94, DM 35” means that this was part of a hoard found in Thessaly and was purchased in April 1994 for 35 Deutschmarks. Does anyone know if this might be in reference to a specific hoard?

    ........................................​

    This coin also comes with the added bonus of having been in the collection of my friend zumbly. Just like last time I bought a coin from him he forgot to include his very distinctive, and completely non self-aggrandizing tag! Lucky for me he shared his beautiful template with me earlier and I was able to modify accordingly… :woot:

    zumbly tag-Krannon_chalkous.jpg

    Z, you know I am printing these out and including them with the coins from your collection now, right? :eek::troll::p Some future collector is not going to know what to make of our coin shenanigans… :D

    Some Further Reading
    http://snible.org/coins/hn/thessaly.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull-leaping

    So now that I have shown you my new example please feel free to show your examples from the BCD collection.

    Also feel free to show your;
    • bull fighting / leaping coins
    • Coins from Thessaly
    • Horse / bull / rider
    • Anything relevant I haven't thought of
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..thats a nice'un..um...what BCD?!?...(British College Dept??)
     
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  4. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight I AM the Senate! Supporter

    I think this Diocletian was ex-BCD (edit: was wrong, it’s ex-JB, sorry for the error).

    1809E178-A8FA-42C4-A6F1-742BA2C1BE68.jpeg

    This one I just remembered is ex-BCD.

    Philip III Arrhidaios, Macedon
    AE unit
    Obv: Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin
    Rev: AΛEXANΔΡOY, bow in bow case above, club and grain ear below
    Mint: Miletos (struck under Asandros)
    Date: 323-317 BC
    Ref: Price 2102

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  5. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    BCD, a collector/numismatist noted for his extensive, well-organized collection of certain regions of Greek coins and for his large numismatic library.

    Catalogs of certain BCD sales have become reference books for coins of those regions:

    BCD Corinth. Numismatik Lanz. Münzen von Korinth: Sammlung BCD. Auction 105, München, 26 November 2001.

    BCD Euboia. Numismatik Lanz. Münzen von Euboia: Sammlung BCD. Auction 111, Munich, 25 November 2002.

    BCD Olympia. Leu Numismatics. Coins of Olympia: The BCD Collection. Auction 90, Zürich, 10 May 2004.

    BCD Boiotia. Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Boiotia. Triton IX Auction, Session 1, New York, 10 January 2006.

    BCD Peloponnesos. LHS Numismatics. Coins of Peloponnesos. The BCD Collection. Catalog of public auction 96, Zürich, 8-9 May 2006.

    BCD Peloponnesos II. Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of Coins of the Peloponnesos, Part II. Mail Bid Sale 81/2, 20 May 2009.

    BCD Akarnania. Münzen & Medaillen (Deutschland). Sammlung BCD : Akarnanien und Aetolien. Auction 23, Stuttgart, 18 October 2007.

    BCD Lokris. Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG. The BCD Collection, Lokris - Phokis. Auction 55, Zürich, 8 October 2010.

    BCD Thessaly. Nomos AG, Auction IV. Coins of Thessaly, The BCD Collection. Zürich, 10 May 2011.

    BCD Thessaly II. Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction, New York, 3 January 2012.



    I wish he'd stop by CoinTalk more often and share more stories, like this one. :)

    That is so funny :D. I love this place :joyful::joyful:
     
  6. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ah, thanks very much for enlighting me. :)
     
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  7. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    This one was ex-BCD. If memory serves, it has now gone on to @dadams. Had the round collection tag, too.

    Check out ol' "Thessalos Thunder Thighs" here.

    Kp05QttjTZmIV3ZX1nCo_Thessaly, Pharkadon-hemidrachm.jpg
     
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  8. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Nice coins VK. That is a nice Diocletian from the J.B. Collection. Your Alexander is excellent as well. The portrait is very artistic.

    Nice coin @lordmarcovan . I bet that was a hard one to let go but at least it went to a friend. Do you get visitation rights at least? :p:)
     
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  9. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Excellent post @TIF . The collection places value on everything from the perfectly preserved masterpieces to the humble but interesting examples which is something I greatly admire about the collector / collection.

    There are several of the auction catalogs you mention that I would love to get my hands on, especially the BCD Peloponnesos catalogs. Some of them seem all but impossible to find and even if you do the prices are sky high. I wonder if anyone has thought about taking the time to digitize them? I would be up to the task if I had them available.

    Also great link to that old BCD post which might shed some light on my above question. He seems to reference a specific Thessaly hoard that was cataloged by Price. I wonder if that is what is meant by the note on the tag?

    I hope Mr. BCD decides to stop by and offer some clarification.
     
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  10. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I understand preferring actual catalogs for important sales but until you secure copies you can find all of these auctions on ACsearch :). I'll link them here for convenience.

    Also, digital copies of many CNG's catalogs can be found on Issuu.com. Various other auction houses also post virtual catalogs there.

    BCD Corinth. Numismatik Lanz. Münzen von Korinth: Sammlung BCD. Auction 105, München, 26 November 2001.

    BCD Euboia. Numismatik Lanz. Münzen von Euboia: Sammlung BCD. Auction 111, Munich, 25 November 2002.

    BCD Olympia. Leu Numismatics. Coins of Olympia: The BCD Collection. Auction 90, Zürich, 10 May 2004.

    BCD Boiotia. Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Boiotia. Triton IX Auction, Session 1, New York, 10 January 2006.

    BCD Peloponnesos. LHS Numismatics. Coins of Peloponnesos. The BCD Collection. Catalog of public auction 96, Zürich, 8-9 May 2006.

    BCD Peloponnesos II. Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of Coins of the Peloponnesos, Part II. Mail Bid Sale 81/2, 20 May 2009. (MBS 81; MBS 82)

    BCD Akarnania. Münzen & Medaillen (Deutschland). Sammlung BCD : Akarnanien und Aetolien. Auction 23, Stuttgart, 18 October 2007.

    BCD Lokris. Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG. The BCD Collection, Lokris - Phokis. Auction 55, Zürich, 8 October 2010.

    BCD Thessaly. Nomos AG, Auction IV. Coins of Thessaly, The BCD Collection. Zürich, 10 May 2011. Virtual catalog

    BCD Thessaly II. Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction, New York, 3 January 2012. Virtual catalog
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  11. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I have a fair number of ex-BCD tasty treats but don't have photos of all of the accompanying ephemera and my coins are thousands of miles away until I finish moving.

    Here's one of my first and a favorite. Isn't the posture of the charging bull magnificent? You can almost hear him snorting and stamping his foot as he prepares to charge.

    Phliasia-RT.jpg
    PHLIASIA, Phlius
    400-350 BC

    AR obol, 11 mm, 0.84 gm
    Obv: forepart of butting bull left
    Rev: large Φ surrounded by four pellets
    Ref: SNG Copenhagen 8-9
    from Triskeles Auctions, Oct. 2013
    ex BCD Collection, not in previous BCD sales.
    Handwritten round tag and auction clipping indicates that BCD acquired this coin from Sotheby's, 26-27 May 1976, lot 88, for £55 + 10% VAT

    [​IMG]


    Some currently produced wines from the Cooperative Winery of Nemea show a Phliasian coin on the label :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    The BCD collection demonstrates a level of completeness not common in the hobby. As must any serious study group, he had common, rare, beautiful and ugly coins in numbers that make me wonder if the rarity to select is a provenanced coin of the region that proves it was not his.:shame: I know we should take note of any coin of the region he failed to own. Who can show an example of a not-in-BCD type?
     
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  13. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    That would be quite a feat!
     
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  14. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Very nice win @Curtisimo! and a nice provenance from both BCD and zumbly as well. I also enjoyed the write up, thank you.

    Here is my only BCD coin:
    [​IMG]
    Sikyonia, Sikyon. Æ Chalkous (Circa 250-200 B.C.)
    Obverse: Dove flying right.
    Reverse: ΣI within wreath tying above.
    Reference: Warren, Bronze 4C.7β; BCD Peloponnesos 317.12-3.
    2.05g; 11mm

    Located in the northeast of the Peloponnesos, Sikyonia was a fertile territory stretching some sixteen miles. Sikyon, the area’s most important city and one of the Mediterranean’s most well-renowned artistic centers, was the site where legend holds that Prometheus famously deceived Zeus. The city joined Sparta during the Peloponnesian War and provided the bulk of the coinage used by the Peloponnesian League. In 303 BC, Demetrios Poliorketes re-founded Sikyon further inland, giving it the short-lived name of Demetrias. Sikyon’s output of coinage was large and uninterrupted from the 5th-1st centuries BC. The city’s status was diminished when Corinth was made a Roman colony and, aside from a small issue under Nero, Sikyon did not mint coins until the reign of Septimius Severus.

    I bought the coin from a seller in the Netherlands and I received some additional CNG labels as well.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Beautiful coin @Curtisimo

    I have only one ex-BCD

    [​IMG]
    Thessaly, Larissa, AE 20-22 400-344 BC
    Head of the nymph Larissa facing
    ΛΑΡΙ - Σ - ΑΙΩΝ parly retrograde, Horse trotting right
    8.88 gr
    Ref : Sear # 2131

    Q
     
  16. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    I didn’t even think about trying to cobble together some of the old catalogs using ACSearch! :banghead::facepalm::oops::oops:

    If you weren’t vehemently opposed to it I would give you a “Best Answer” for that. :troll::D Seriously though thank you for taking the time to link to those. This thread will be one of my bookmarks now :)

    Great coin, great provenance! Now I’m going to have to try that wine to see if the taste can back up that ancient coin label braggyness ;)
     
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  17. SeptimusT

    SeptimusT Well-Known Member

    I think our coins are siblings, @Curtisimo. I haven't had time to research it properly, but this one is ex-BCD (my only one from the collection), and came from Holding History. What a fantastic write up you've put together, thanks!

    BCD.jpg
     
  18. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Here's one I owned that never got identified. As much as I like Peloponnesian AE I was offered enough to part with it. From what's left of inscription I was leaning towards Tegea, Arkadia.

    uncertianCaracalla5.jpg
     
  19. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    I really liked that one and am glad to see you’re the one who picked it up. :) I wouldn’t have let it go, except I have another very similar one, and altogether too many Thessalian coins already. :shame: Great pics, btw!

    Here’s my latest Krannon, the reverse showing their famous rain-making hydria on a cart. It’s ex BCD as well, but unlike many of his I have that seem to have been acquired in Greece itself, his tag on this one notes that he purchased it from the notorious Bruce McNall in 1975.

    9412505F-C3B8-4C2B-ACB2-3A594D97AADE.jpeg
    THESSALY, Krannon
    AE Dichalkon. 4.38g, 16.8mm. THESSALY, Krannon, circa 4th century BC. BCD Thessaly II 119.2; HGC 4, 385. O: Thessalian warrior on horse rearing right. R: K-PA/NNO, hydria on cart with long handle to left.
    Ex BCD Collection, with his tag noting, "Bought from Bruce McNall June 1975”
     
  20. VD76

    VD76 Active Member

    2CB866D9-B53D-4AB0-A5A7-1D8245979BEF.jpeg Thessaly, Krannon, 400 - 350 BC
    AE Chalkous, 15mm, 2.02 grams
    Obverse: Head of Thessalos right wearing petasos, head and neck of horse beside, all within linear circle.
    Reverse: Bull butting right with trident right above, KPA in exergue.
    BCD Thessally II, 115.4

    ex BCD Collection
    AC870B6F-227F-4E82-9815-7E048D7A034F.jpeg
     
  21. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Cool amateur archaeology, @Curtisimo! And a great coin with an even better provenance. (Especially the @zumbly part with that tag. :D I note he didn't mention it in his post just now, which makes me wonder if he is maybe regretting that joke. I don't think we'll let him forget it. :hilarious:)

    Here's a quickie cell phone photo of my most recent ex BCD (not that I have many):

    Screen Shot 2019-11-24 at 4.29.04 PM.jpg
    Similar to @VD76's above, though allegedly showing the hero Gyrton with his horse, and the nymph Gyrtone.
     
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