Early Cistophoric Coin with Leopard

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sulla80, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Although I happily use digital resources, I do enjoy a nice hardcover book...The Early Cistophoric Coinage by Fred S. Kleiner and Sydney P. Noe, ANS, NY, 1977 arrived in the mail today - a bargain, barely used, for $20 and a complement on the shelf to Metcalf Later Republican Cistophori. Here's the Early Cistophoric coin that came a few days earlier - not quite as good a bargain.
    Ephesus Cisto Leo.jpg
    Obv: Cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a serpent issues to left; all within ivy wreath
    Rev: Two coiled serpents with heads erect; between them an ornamental bow-case with strap at right, containing a strung bow. To left, EΦE, head of leopard right
    Size: 12.77g 29mm
    Ref: Kleiner & Noe: Series 1:1-a p.41
    Kleiner & Noe.jpg
    The 1 (as in 1-b) indicates the obverse die and the b indicates the reverse dies. I find it somewhat surprising that all known dies are in fairly brief book - but sure enough my coin is a double die match with the coin on Plate XI. Kleiner (also available online) mentions that as of publication there were only 11 known coins from Ephesus Series 1 & 2.

    Leopard in general not a common feature on ancient coins. Here's a closer look at the leopard head, tangled with serpent.

    Share your cistophori books or coins, coins of Ephesus, leopards or anything else you find entertaining or interesting.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  3. Alegandron

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


    Nice capture @Sulla80 !

    Mysia, Pergamum (Pergamon) 85-76 BC
    Cista Mystica or Cistophoric
    AR Tridrachmae 12.46g x 26 mm
    Obverse: Cista mystica with serpent; all within oak / ivy wreath
    Reverse: bow-case with serpents, PRE monogram to left, KP / PRY monogram above, serpent-staff right.
    Ref: Kleiner 36
    TheRed, Puckles, Edessa and 10 others like this.
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter


    Antony and Octavia.
    AR cistophorus, 25.6 mm, 11.71 gm.
    Ephesus, 39 BCE.
    Obv: M ANTONINVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT, Jugate heads of Marcus Antonius and Octavia to right; he wears ivy wreath.
    Rev: III VIR RPC, Cista mystica surmounted by figure of Bacchus, standing to left, holding cantharus and leaning on thyrsus; on either side, coiled serpent.
    Refs: SNG Cop. 408; SNG von Aulock 6555; Franke KZR 472; RSC 3; Sydenham 1198; RPC 2202; Sear 1513; BMCRR East 135-137.
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  5. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Here's mine:

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  6. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  7. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Wow, @Sulla80 , I have never seen the leopard symbol.

    Here is an example with the Medusa symbol:

    Mysia, Pergamon, 135-128 BC, Cistophoric tetradrachm 12.38g 27mm
    Obv: Cista mystica with serpent; all within ivy wreath
    Rev: Bow case with serpents; AΣ above, civic monogram to left, gorgoneion to right. Kleiner Series 30, 97a, pl. IX, 1
    ex Empire Coins, Fixed Price List 76 (September 1995), lot 74

    The Medusa symbol is also rare; there is only one other example on ACSearch.

    Noe and Kleiner's book, Early Cistophoric Coinage, has been digitized and can be accessed at http://numismatics.org/digitallibrary/ark:/53695/nnan30795
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  8. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    What a great coin that is! The leopard/panther head is a really cool control symbol, and the detail on it is exceptional.
    Edessa and Sulla80 like this.
  9. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Neat leopard head.

    Pergamon, Mysia (133 - 67 B.C)
    AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm
    O: Cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries.
    R: Two serpents entwined around bow and bowcase; above, ME, prytaneis monogram, and A (controls), (Pergamon monogram) to left, serpent-entwined thyrsos to right.
    Kleiner, Hoard 40; SNG BN 1744

    Ex. Glenn Schinke, March 1995
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  10. Pavlos

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

    Wow! What a great coin. I really like that leopard head popping out between the tangled snake. I have unfortunatly no cistophoric tetradrachm to share.
    Sulla80 likes this.
  11. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Thanks for sharing the great examples - while I don't want to leave the impression that I find these "most uninspiring of all Greek coins designs" (Jenkins) a bit interesting, here are three other digital references for some of the coins above:

    @Ed Snible - excellent Medusa!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  12. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Wow, @Sulla80, that is a spectacular coin... and spectacular isn't a word that usually comes to mind with this general type of cistophoric tet :D.
    PeteB and Sulla80 like this.
  13. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Supporter! Supporter

  14. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    I have an example that is not great, but is decent. It was purchased 9 years ago without an attribution. I can read that it was struck in Pergamon and I know it is a cistophoric tetradrachm, but can anyone provide a reference cite without too much inconvenience?
    Weight: 12.49 grams. Diameter: 27 mm.
  15. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    I think this type is yours:
    Pergamum plate 12 #14 p32 (Group 2)
    Kleiner - Hoard Evidence and the Late Cistophori
    Mysia, Pergamon, 123-104 BC, Cistophoric tetradrachm
    Obv: Cista mystica with serpent; all within ivy wreath
    Rev: Bow case with serpents entwined on either side; HP above, civic monogram to left, serpent entwined thyrsus to right

    Some additional info on date:
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  16. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    @Sulla80 That is superb! It sure seems to be a match to me. I'm greatly appreciative of your time!!! (And for the link!)
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