Cleopatra with Countermark

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Andres2, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Bought this King Amyntas bronze with Cleopatra on the obverse,
    anyone have a clue about the countermark behind Cleo's neck ?

    I think these coins are a good alternative for an Egyptian Cleopatra coin.
    Paid $25 for this one.

    Cleopatra II.jpg
    zumbly, Alegandron, Shea19 and 11 others like this.
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  3. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Andres2 and Roman Collector like this.
  4. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

    Hi @Andres2,

    Can you direct me to a source that gives this portrait to Cleopatra? RPC makes this a bust of Artemis.

    - Broucheion
    Valentinian likes this.
  5. Volodya

    Volodya Junior Member

    The bust is Artemis; that really can't be disputed. The quiver over her shoulder makes it crystal clear. But... It's not so obvious on the OP coin, but the bust on other related bronzes of Amyntas unmistakably wears the features of Cleopatra as presented on the denarii and tetradrachms. That's hardly implausible or inappropriate for Galatia in the 30s BC. I think a description like "Cleopatra in the guise of Artemis" is entirely fair.

    Phil Davis
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  6. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

    Hi @Volodya,

    I see a resemblance but is there any scholarship on such an identification? It may just be that Artemis always looks a bit like Cleo in the 1st century BCE.

    - Broucheion
  7. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ed, thats nice, a Cleo countermark on the portrait of Cleo :)
    Broucheion ,imho the portrait looks in no way as Artemis but as an exact match
    of other Cleo portraits on Egyptean coins.

    Bought this one without a countermark:

    Cleopatra I.jpg
  8. Volodya

    Volodya Junior Member

    I'm not aware of any scholarship discussing this; research on the coins of Amyntas isn't really plentiful anyway. The full text of RPC I (as opposed to the description-only online listing) may touch on it; I'll try to remember to check tomorrow when I'm back in the office. I don't think it matters all that much though. It's pretty hard to see for instance the coin Andres2 posted just upthread as anything other than a portrait of Cleopatra. Here's another example, maybe even clearer, photo courtesy CNG E281, lot 126:

    Cleo as Artemis.jpg

    In the end, any opinion on this--academic or lay--is going to distill down to some version of "compare this bust on the Amyntas/Artemis bronzes to the portraits of Cleo on the silver coins that name her." That, and the inherent plausibility of Amyntas honoring/brown-nosing Cleopatra this way. How else can we proceed but to look at the coins? We're not likely to ever have "proof" of the actual intentions of the Galatian engravers or their bosses.

    If someone prefers a description that flips the emphasis, something like "Bust of Artemis with the features of Cleopatra" to the one I proposed initially, that's fine. I think that choice comes down to a matter of personal taste.

    Phil Davis
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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