Athena looking wrong way??

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Steven Michael Gardner, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    This is one of the few Athena / Lion coins that has the bust facing left, at least that I have come across, this ref is from Lysimachos, Thrace and it's very strange as I notice everyone of the coins on this ref page at wildwinds ( )
    Athena is always facing right (see attached)???

    Is this something of a peculiar rarity with Athena facing left or not?, can some one show me a reference for this particular look??
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  3. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    I'm not sure if this is the explanation, but I notice there are gaps in the Mueller numbers on the page you showed. Right-facing busts generally outnumber the left-facing ones, so it's possible a couple of the missing coins had left-facing busts.

    It's not unusual for obverse or reverse devices to change direction over time on the coinage of a Greek city state. Sometimes it was done to denote a new magistrate or leader. More often though, the reason for the change isn't known; it may be just random.
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  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That is apparently a rarity. In over 300 auction listings for these bronzes of Lysimachos, only one left-facing one comes up in a search and it's for an imitative issue. The auction house lists SNG Cop 1149-1151 as its exemplar, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the three coins in SNG Copenhagen have left-facing busts. You'd have to confirm this.
  5. curtislclay

    curtislclay Well-Known Member

    SNG Copenhagen 1149-51 all show the normal right-facing head of Athena.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  6. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    So nobody is able to come up with an example reference with a left facing
    Athena...??? Very curious as I have never stumped coin talk in this manner previously, I feel kinda honored with this accomplishment....
    I personally feel that it is not an imitative issue due to the high quality
    of design, but that's just me....
  7. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Yours is an attractive example, but some of the imitative examples are of a decent style.

    Here is an article I found on them:

    Here is mine - pretty crude with a countermark (right facing though):


    Eastern Celts Æ 18
    Imitation of Lysimachos (Thrace)
    countermarked for Odessos
    (c. 297-250 B.C.)

    Helmeted head of Athena (youth?) right / Blundered legend, lion leaping right, spearhead below.
    Countermark: River god (Odessos/Theos Megas?) reclining left, Δ below in 9 x 7 mm oval.
    (4.04 grams / 18 mm)
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  8. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Mine is right...

    I hope yours is a cool LEFTY! Nice to have a hard to get issue, @Steven Michael Gardner

    What are the specs?

    I have found that other Greek bronze issues that I have, will have a left and right issues for differing size / denominations of an AE coin.


    Thrace - Lysimachos 305-281 BCE AE20 Sysimachia mint 4.64g 19.5mm Athena - Lion Spearhead below SNG Cop 1153 Muller 76
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2021
  9. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Cool south paw rarity!
    Mine is alright:
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  10. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    I think her right side profile is her more flattering side, tell you the truth. :)
  11. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Athena facing left Didrachm:
    Lucania, Velia, ca 440 - 400 BC

    19 mm, 7.689 g
    Sear Greek Coins and their Values sg0453; HN Italy 1270;

    Ob.: Head of Athena left, wearing laureate Attic helmet decorated with Pegasus and laurel wreath; monogram behind neck
    Rev.: YЄΛHTΩN Lion attacking stag to right; letter Φ below
    upload_2021-1-28_15-12-21.png upload_2021-1-28_15-12-31.png
  12. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

  13. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    Yea but
  14. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the Reference, an extremely cool reverse of a Lion downing a stag along with the left facing Athena, wow!
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  15. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    AE: Size: / Weight: 4.5gm Sorry, I realize that I should always include
    this info when posting about a coin...
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  16. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    It goes a long way towards determining a denomination (or a relative value). Sometimes ancient coins would be by weight to determine denomination, and/or a left or right facing device.

    The Bull Butting RIGHT seems scarcer, perhaps being smaller, and more difficult to find. Or, being lesser valued, probly not hoarded as much, and more apt to be spent on daily purchases.

    Sicily Syracuse Hieron II 275-269 BC AE 15 Persephone Bull RIGHT Rare

    Sicily Syracuse 317-289 BC AE 23 Hemilitron Agathokles Kore Bull Dolphin Left

    Sicily Syracuse Hieron II compare Butting Bulls Right and Left Rev
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