Man faced bull from Catelonia

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by eparch, Jul 28, 2021.

  1. eparch

    eparch Well-Known Member

    At the recent auction of the Turiaso collection, I picked up a few coins of which
    the most interesting is this one.


    Auctioneer's description :
    "EMPORION (Ampurias, Gerona). Mite. (Ar. 0.75g / 12mm). 5th century
    BC (ca.). Guadán 4; Amorós 4 .

    Anv: Protome of bearded androcephalic bull left.
    Rev: Geometrical incuse countermark.

    The obverse of this coin emulates the archaic mints of the Phocea polis (600-550 BC), later also imitated in the Gela polis in the south of the island of Sicily (500-450 BC)."

    Here is one of the Gela coins referred to

    The head does indeed look similar.

    I do not possess the 2 references above - Guadán and Amorós -
    can anyone help with these ?

    The coin is listed in ACIP (Ancient Coins of the Iberian Peninsula)
    as ACIP 2, with a rarity rating of R7 (6 or 7 examples known).

    ACIP notes

    "With an incuse reverse like that one shown on the pieces from Auriol,
    lately two types of these coins have been found in Catalonia, far from the Auriol finding and the Marseillais territory. Having found them all in
    Catalonia suggests that they are Emporitan issues "

    @Nicholas Molinari - I would appreciate your expert opinion.

    Comments welcome !
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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 When in Rome, do as the Romans do Supporter

    ..o wow...a man-faced bull coin ...i only have a copy of one...congrats! :)
  4. Silphium Addict

    Silphium Addict Supporter! Supporter

    You got a nice example of an interesting and uncommon coin. One of the earliest from Emporion.

    Here is my example:
    Spain, Emporion
    AR obol 510-480 BC 0.80 gm. 12 mm
    O: man-faced bull protome left
    R: crude incuse punch
    ACIP 2

    As far as rarity, not sure where Villaronga got his estimates but he did collect images of specimens. He listed 7 (6 of these from the Emporda hoard) in "La Troballa de l’Emporda" Acta Numismatica 33:15-46 2003. ACsearch has over a dozen others, but they are still uncommon.
    The Turiaso collection had some rare and nice coins. I got some but not as many as I wanted! When I looked specifically at the Emporion obols, there were some specimens that I think were from the Emporda hoard but not included in Villaronga's study. Your coin was not included in the Emporda hoard article and not in previous sales on ACsearch. I think it's possible the collector might have obtained some unpublished coins from the hoard, maybe even yours. I have no way to substantiate this unless Ibercoin has some records of where and when Turiaso obtained these coins. They do not have provenance information for other coins from the collection I asked about.
  5. eparch

    eparch Well-Known Member

    @Silphium Addict - thank you for the info - most interesting. I will
    ask Ibercoin if they have any more provenance info.
    Silphium Addict likes this.
  6. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    I don’t believe Phocaea was the influence but likely Cyprus, who was first to employ the forepart of Acheloios kneeling in assent to sacrifice. Emporion was founded by the Phoenicians so a Cypriot-Phoenician link makes sense, and the Cypriot type would date just before this. It is a lovely coin—I don’t possess one :(
    eparch and Alegandron like this.
  7. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    Apparently the Phocaeans did found the city. I could have sworn it was Phoenician!
    eparch, Clavdivs and Alegandron like this.
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