Finally, another Greek addition (and accidentally ex BCD!)

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by AnYangMan, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. AnYangMan

    AnYangMan Well-Known Member

    As some of you might know, my collection is mostly divided into two sections. One contains exclusively Chinese knives and spades, while the other is a collection of basically everything else that tickles my fancy, mend to represent the numismatic, economic, social & political history of the entire world (although naturally, very condensed) in a few pleasant coins; coins from the most obscure central Asian kingdoms to near-modern siege coinage and everything in between. As long as they have an interesting story to tell! However, considering the impact thereof, it seems ancient Greek coinage is vastly underrepresented. I already partially made up for this deficit with the hemidrachm from Megalopolis I posted earlier this year, but I had been on the lookout for another addition to this part of the collection for quite a while. That new addition came in the form of this beautiful drachm.

    Without further ado:


    Euboea, city of Chalkis. AR Drachm (338-308 BC). Head of the nymph Chalkis right / XAL (retrograde), eagle facing, head right, holding serpent in beak and claws; [Z]H monogram to left. Picard emission 8, BCD 137.

    While doing some late-night procrastinating the night before the auction, I found myself looking for die-matches to this coin. Suddenly I came across a CNG listing that simply looked too familiar! Turns out it was sold in the CNG shop for significantly more than starting price of the lot in this auction. But more importantly, a couple of additional provenances were listed; turns out it is ex BCD, who in turn got it from the collection of William P. Wallace, a well-known expert in Euboean coinage. There are quite a few Euboean coins out there with the same line of provenance, so possibly a decent chunk of Wallace’s collection went directly to BCD? Does anybody have any additional information on this? Sadly no tags were included (If it ever had a BCD tag, it has now gone missing I am afraid), so all I have to go by is the CNG listing. Anyhow, should I not have been convinced to bid on it already, I sure would have been now!

    As soon as the catalogue for this local auction fell on the doormat, my eyes were immediately drawn to it; subsequent in-hand viewing decisively confirmed that fact. Besides the fantastic toning, the lovely portrait and the captivating imagery on the reverse, there was one additional reason why I really wanted it. Two years ago I was lucky enough to be able to go on a holiday to the wonderful island of Euboea (Evia), visiting several of the amazing sites across the island. This coin will now serve as a tangible reminder of that fantastic holiday and visit to Chalkis (or Halkida, as it transliterated nowadays).

    Anyhow, super stoked with this new addition! Please post any of your coins from Chalkis or from the lovely island of Euboea below!
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  3. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter


    Wow, that is a stunner!! It is fantastic in every possible way :).

    Here's another toned ex BCD Euboian drachm.
    EUBOIA, Eretria
    357-267 BCE
    AR drachm, 18 mm, 3.1 gm
    Obv: head of nymph Eretria left
    Rev: head of bull facing, fillets from horns, EY above, satyr's head facing in right field
    Ref: Wallace pl. XI, cf 126.
    ex Frank James Collection
    ex BCD Collection
  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

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  5. Theodosius

    Theodosius Unrepentant Fine Style Freak! Supporter

    I always enjoy seeing your Chinese knives and spades although I know nothing about them other than what people have posted here.

    That is a great Chalkis example with super nice toning.

    I have a pair of well travelled examples:

    Euboea, Chalkis
    AR Drachm, 338-308 BC, 17mm, 3.61g.
    Obverse: Head of nymph right.
    Reverse: X-AΛ, eagle flying right, carrying snake in talons and beak; to right, monogram.
    References: BCD Euboia 140.


    Euboea, Chalkis
    Drachm, c. 338-308 BC, 3.72g
    Obverse: Head of nymph of Chalkis with hair rolled-up, all-in-one ear pendant and necklace left.
    Reverse: X - AL. Eagle with outspread left, holding a snake in its beak, which winds around the body of the eagle; flower in the bottom left.
    References: Picard issue 2?

  6. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Beautiful Chalkis drachm examples!
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  7. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Wow, that’s a great looking coin. When you go Greek, you don’t mess around! :happy:
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  8. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    That is absolutely a striking coin. congrats!
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  9. AnYangMan

    AnYangMan Well-Known Member

    Cheers, thanks guys! I too am quite happy with this acquisition ;). Here’s to more Greek excursions! @Theodosius, well-travelled maybe, but still incredibly appealing examples! Love the rendition of the snake on your second example. Seems like an actually threatening snake rather than the underfed piece of string that the eagle is holding on my example!

    @TIF, WOW! That too is an absolute stunner! Incredibly pleasant toning and that bull on the reverse is an interesting choice; Euboea was of course famous for its cattle, even its name having derived from that fact! Anyhow, this type has been added to my want list ;)

    By the way, during my stay on Evia, we of course also visited the site of Eretria! While some of the major ancient cities on the island (such as Chalkis and Karystos) have since been incorporated into modern-day cities, Eretria was only rediscovered in the 1890’s and has seen extensive excavations since! Nowadays these ruins are open to visitors, although it is far from a touristic attraction; a metre-high fence separates the site, but the gates are almost always open, nobody being there to guard the entrance. While we were there, our only company were three archaeologist busy with sieving. We were the only visitors that day. Sadly this lack of visitors also means that the site is not maintained that well. Only a fraction of the site has been excavated and without the heavy number of plaques you would normally see on an archaeological site this big, it truly feels desolate. You get some true ‘Indiana Jones’ vibes from walking around there trying to figure out what everything is. A fantastic experience (somewhat different from the rows of tourists in for example Pompeii), altough I wish they would maintain it a bit better. A couple of images to give an impression:


    The last image shows the section of the site that a handful of archaeologists were still working on. That area had once been a Gymnasium, while slightly to the left of the image, the archaeologists identified the ‘industrial quarter’. It seems quite possible your drachm might have been struck in one of those buildings!
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