Kyrene didrachms in CNG 120

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Silphium Addict, May 14, 2022.

  1. Silphium Addict

    Silphium Addict Well-Known Member

    Now that CNG 120 is finished, did everyone see the 33 Kyrene didrachm lots? If not, check them out because almost every known major variety is represented, including a new one, lot 533:

    This type (see my avatar) weighs ~7.8 gm on the Ptolemaic first weight reduction standard used 305-295 BC according to Cathy Lorber in "A revised chronology for the coinage of Ptolemy I" NC 165:45-64 2005.
    Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert reported 256 die varieties in his article on the series, "The Didrachm Coinage of Magas" in M. Asolati, ed., Le monete di Cirene e della Cirenaica nel Mediterraneo. Problemi e prospettive. Atti del V Congresso Internationale di Numismatica e di Storia Monetaria Padova, 17-19 marzo 2016. However, there are about 20 varieties based on the monograms and/or symbols used.

    I won a few of the lots as my first acquisitions of 2022. These additions almost complete my goal of having an example of every major variety. One was lot 540, BMC 254a = Pozzi 3285:
    The Pozzi specimen is the only other example of the variety I know of.
    eparch, robinjojo, Herodotus and 4 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. El Cazador

    El Cazador Well-Known Member

  4. pprp

    pprp Well-Known Member

    Did you search or find any provenance for any of the kyrene coins? It somehow looked like someone's collection but nothing was mentioned in the lot descriptions
    Silphium Addict likes this.
  5. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    There were about 35 of these extraordinary Silphium coins, a true sight to behold :jawdrop:! Pictured below are a few of my favorites ;). I've posted the price realized that includes the 20% buyers fee.

    511_1, $31,200.jpg Kyrene, circa 500-480 BC. AR Tetradrachm: 15.91 gm, 21 mm, 6 h. Ex. Rare $31,200.

    518_1 $1440.jpg
    Kyrene, circa 294-275 BC. Head of Zeus Karneios / silphium plant. AR Didrachm: 7.72 gm, 21.5 mm, 12 h. $1,400.

    530_1, $2,400.jpg
    Kyrene, circa 294-275 BC. AR Didrachm: 7.71 gm, 21 mm, 12 h. $2,400.

    This portrait of Zeus Karneios looks like a young teenager :D.
    Ryro, robinjojo, IMP Shogun and 3 others like this.
  6. Silphium Addict

    Silphium Addict Well-Known Member

    Did you search or find any provenance for any of the kyrene coins? It somehow looked like someone's collection but nothing was mentioned in the lot descriptions
    I agree that someone must have put together a fairly complete series of varieties. It has taken over 20 years for me to do the same. I did not check for provenances on all the lots, but did not find any prior sales or collections for the 5-6 that I considered bidding on.

    @Al Kowsky
    Those are some of the nicest specimens offered. I think lot 511, the archaic tet was certainly the pick of the litter. It clearly shows a gazelle and probably a silphium plant in the reverse punch. A great example of the transition of the Kyrene archaic tet reverses from crude incuse punch to rectangular incuse punch to parallel rectangles incuse punch to lines/patterns in parallel rectangles incuse punch to object in rectangular incuse punch to object in incuse square. (Robinson, BMC Cyrenaica, xxviii-xxix)

    Lot 518, the star / star reverse didrachms shows a transition in style for the type when compared with lots 516 & 517, also with star / star reverses.

    Lot 516, Kyrene AR didrachm 18.5mm, 7.47 g, BMC 236b
    CNG image

    516 & 517 have similar style heads and silphium plants with flans that are often compact and struck off-center with flat areas, like lots 514 (BMC 228-233: cornucopia) and 515 (BMC 234-236: star). BMC 236a (star / star) obverse die was also used with a star reverse (BMC 235bis).

    Lot 518 is more similar to the subsequent lots and is even an obverse die match with lot 545 ( BMC 258a: no symbol, double silphium umbels.) (For die matches, Robinson, BMC Cyrenaica, cvi)

    Lot 545, Kyrene AR didrachm 21.5mm, 7.68 g, BMC 258a
    CNG image

    Also, here is online access to the Fischer-Bossert article I mentioned in my initial post:
    Broucheion and Bing like this.
  7. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    The Karneios/Silphium plant didrachms were most likely out of a recent hoard of these. I had almost 500 of various varieties on my desk a few weeks ago. They all had similar surfaces to the CNG coins.

    Barry Murphy
    Silphium Addict, Broucheion and Ryro like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page