Attica, Athens: AR Tetradrachm, c. 454-404 BC, Kroll 8, Dewing 1591-8, SNG Copenhagen 31

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Amit Vyas, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. Amit Vyas

    Amit Vyas Well-Known Member

    Attica, Athens: AR Tetradrachm, c. 454-404 BC, Kroll 8, Dewing 1591-8, SNG Copenhagen 31 (17.17 g, 24 mm)

    An iconic type: likely the most well-known of all ancient coinage.

    The obverse depicts Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war, and the patron deity of Athens. The reverse depicts an owl, Athena’s mascot and symbol of wisdom. The significance of the other two symbols on the reverse is less obvious, but each has an interesting story.

    The olive sprig is a reference to the story of how Athena became the patron deity of Athens. She and Poseidon, her uncle and sea god, both vied for the honour. Cecrops, the first king of Athens, announced that whoever gave the city the best gift will be honoured with its patronage. Poseidon created a spring, but its water was salty, like his sea. Athena’s gift was the olive tree, whose fruit, oil, and wood were very useful to the people. Cecrops declared Athena the winner, naming the city after her.

    The significance of the waning-crescent moon is debated: it is suggested to represent night, during which the owl is active, or the Athenian victory at the Battle of Salamis or the Battle of Marathon. Another theory suggests that it is a reference to the Panathenaic festival.

    Obverse: Head of Athena right, in crested Attic helmet ornamented with three olive leaves above visor and spiral palmette on bowl, wearing round earring with central boss

    Reverse: Owl standing to right with head facing, olive sprig and crescent behind, ΑΘΕ before; all within incuse square. Crescent-shaped banker’s mark before owl.

  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Beautiful example with good centering, detail and a nice tone. Well done!

    Here is my example.
    Attica Athens
    AR tetradrachm, Athens mint, struck ca. 454 - 404 BC
    Dia.: 24 mm
    Wt.: 17.10 g
    Obv.: Head of Athena right wearing created attic helmet with three olive leaves above visor and five pronged palmette, round earring with central boss, frontal eye
    Rev.: ΑΘΕ; owl standing right with head facing, olive sprig and crescent to left
    Ref.: Kroll 8, SNG Copenhagen 31
    Seated J, robinjojo, DonnaML and 12 others like this.
  4. Alegandron

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

    Great coin, @Amit Vyas ... very nice.

    My Tet is a little later, and has been around with all the bankers marks... Since the Greek Goddess was slapped in the face a couple times, I doubt if this happened within the Greek World due to fears of offending Athena. That means it probably circulated outside: perhaps Persia? Arabia? Celts? India? Cool to postulate

    Also, since I like everyday trade, I added a couple of the lesser denoms from Athens.


    Athens Owl TET 16.8g 22x6-5mm Late Classical 393-300 BC, Sear 2537, SNG Cop. 63

    Athens Attica 454-404 BCE AR HemiDrachm 16mm 2.08g Athena frontal eye - facing Owl wings closed olive branches COP 70 SG 2528

    Athens 340-317 BCE BC AE 12 Athena attic helmet R- Double bodied Owl with head facing E olive sprigs kalathos RARE BMC 224
    robinjojo, DonnaML, PeteB and 10 others like this.
  5. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    @Amit Vyas Welcome to the Club Tet :D

    Here is my Athenian owl:

  6. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    I recently got this one from CNG. The description said that the scratches were "Aramaic graffiti". If you say so, I guess. Looks like random scratches to me, but I assume they know what they're talking about.
  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  8. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Great specimen! The bankers mark is a perfect match with the coin. I wonder if it design was chosen purposely :)

    0.1 Attica Tetradrachm.png
  9. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    ATTICA, Athens. AR Tetradrachm. Circa 449-413 BC.
    24mm 16.80g
    O: Helmeted head of Athena right, with frontal eye
    R: Owl standing right, head facing, closed tail feathers; olive sprig and crescent to left; all within incuse square.
    HGC 4, 1597
    Alegandron, Amit Vyas, Bing and 3 others like this.
  10. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    I really like your - well centered, good strike, good flan and metal

    Did that coin come from the last Roma auction?

    Here's one my owls that has been paraded before, so, just one more time, with feeling!

    From Roma 62, Athens tetradrachm, circa 454-404 BC.

    17.23 grams

    D-Camera Athens  tetradrachm, mint state, c. 454-404 BC 17.23 g, Roma 62, 12-1-20.jpg

    While I'm at it, here's an intermediate owl.

    Athens tetradrachm, circa 350-294 BC.

    17.12 grams

    This coin might be an imitation - still doing research.

    D-Camera Athens  tetradrachm, possible imitation, c. 350-294 BC 17.12 g  eBay 2020 12-1-20.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  11. Amit Vyas

    Amit Vyas Well-Known Member

    I got it from a 2019 Roma auction.
    robinjojo likes this.
  12. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter


    Roma has had quite a run of Athenian tetradrachms, especially mass production owls.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page