Forgery being offered in an upcoming sale

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by zadie, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. zadie

    zadie Well-Known Member

    Hi all!

    I'd like to inform everyone of a forgery of Lysimachus currently being offered by Numismatik Naumann in their most recent sale, closing on the 1st of August.
    The coin in question is lot 98 of their 106th auction and can be found here:

    This is a well known pressed fake that's been published multiple times by IBSCC, the authoritative voice on forgeries of ancient coins. It tries to imitate a legitimate issue of Lysimachus (See Thompson 48; Müller 356). The obverse of this forgery has been coupled with multiple reverse dies, on Naumann's example, the engraver has mistaken the lambda in ΛΥΣΙΜΑΧΟΥ for an A, thus engraving AΥΣΙΜΑΧΟΥ instead. Other die couplings have used a reverse of Antiochus I, further highlighting how absurdly bad this forgery is.

    Naumann has been notified of this but has not yet responded or withdrawn it from the sale. I'm posting this publicly after contacting the auction house almost three weeks ago and seeing the lot actively recieving pre-bids.

    Genuine example of Thompson 48:


    Obverse and reverse die match to Naumann's example (Offered by Savoca in 2016, was later withdrawn):

    Obverse and reverse die match to Naumann's example (Offered by Naumann (!) in 2015, later withdrawn):


    Obverse die match published in IBSCC Bulletin on Counterfeits BOCS Vol 4 No.2/3 1979 Page 42. Features a reverse of Antiochus I.
    Antiochus reverse.jpeg
    Obverse die match published in IBSCC Bulletin on Counterfeits BOCS Vol 4 No.2/3 1979 Page 42. Note the corrected legend on the reverse.

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  3. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    Whew, I thought it was the first coin pictured when I cursorily started to read the OP, and I was thinking: "Man oh man, that one looks pretty legit to me".

    I felt better learning that it is indeed legit, and it's a pretty nice coin at that.

    Yeah, that gunk on the reverse of the (fake)coin in question is a major flag. What the hell is that? Bondo?? Silly Putty??? I've yet to see any concretion with that sort of appearance on any other coin.

    As for the style, the hair looks way too busy, and the cheekbone, brow and nose all look soft and pudgy. It's overall fabric makes me skeptical.

    I've been looking at this type quite a bunch in recent times, as it's one that's on my short list of 'wanting to acquire'. That is, if a coin featuring Philetairos doesn't beat it to the punch.

    Thanks for posting this OP. Naumann needs to get their act together and pull the coin.
  4. zadie

    zadie Well-Known Member

    Hehe, in retrospect I should probably have included a picture of the example currently being offered. My mistake. Hopefully the link will suffice and not be too confusing.

    Regarding the weird residue... I have never understood why something like that is applied. I don't see it making the coin look more genuine? I'm assuming there must be some logic to the exercise but I'm definitely not seeing their angle.

    This forgery is a sloppy mess. Legend aside, I completely agree that the stylistic errors done by the forger would condemn the coin as a fraud in its own. I can't see a lifetime issue of Lysimachus ever looking like this.
    Stevearino likes this.
  5. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    zadie, Thanks for the alert :happy:! Naumann's reputation is getting uglier :mad:.
    zadie likes this.
  6. zadie

    zadie Well-Known Member

    In all fairness to Naumann, mistakes can and will happen. Multiple top-tier firms have sold examples of this forgery in the past. As I outlined in my original post, Naumann themselves even offered one in 2015, which they correctly withdrew before the auction closed.
    Even if the current example got sold, I do believe they would refund the buyer. This would not be ideal however, as it would create a legitimate sale record for a fake coin. Thus serving to legitimise other examples of this forgery.

    Let's hope they do the right thing before the auction closes.
    Stevearino and PeteB like this.
  7. zadie

    zadie Well-Known Member

    The coin was withdrawn from the sale earlier today.
  8. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

    My apologies if this is a false alarm, but while looking through their latest auction (same company mentioned above) I happened across this Lysimachos.


    As I've mentioned multiple times, I'm new to ancient coin collecting. However, this coin doesn't appear right to me.

    - The portrait looks crude
    - In other Thompson 244 images I've seen, Alexander isn't smiling
    - More minor, but in every Thompson 244 image I've seen, the second countermark is to the right of the Lysimachos name, not to the left.
    - Given the other things, the black stuff looks suspicious

    Is this another forgery, or am I just being too jumpy?
  9. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Weight? Edge view?
  10. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

  11. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    This seems to be the same coin sold by CNG in 2009:

    The Naumann listing should probably say "Cf. Thompson 244" like the CNG listing.

    No evidence of the black deposits in the CNG photo', but their lighting is different.

    FWIW, it looks fine to me.

    zadie, kirispupis and Stevearino like this.
  12. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

    Yes, this does look like the same coin, though the weight is .05g off.

    Interesting what different lighting can do.
    zadie likes this.
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