MFB misattributed "find" of the year

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Jay GT4, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Picked this one up from an HJB ebay auction a few weeks ago. I always wanted an Italian Man Faced Bull and this one was cheap and from a good dealer. In fact I was the only bidder and I didn't pay much attention to the attribution. When it arrived it was better in hand than the picture suggested. When I tried to find the reference I noticed it didn't match up to what was on the flip. In fact I couldn't find my coin anywhere...CNG, Acsearch, Forum, and even Nick's MFB resource turned up nothing! Then came Nick to the rescue! Mine actually turns out to be the 6th known example and if I'm reading it correctly the only one known in a private collection! Sometimes you find coins and sometimes the coins find you! Thanks Nick!


    Neapolis Campania Didrachm
    Head of Parthenope left, wearing earing and beaded necklace. Tripod to right.

    Man-headed bull standing right being crowned by winged nymph/victory; IΣ between legs NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue

    Neapolis, Campania
    300-241 BC

    Sambon 517; Glasgow 57; BMC 129

    Very rare!

    Ex-HJB ebay

    Dark toning; a few remaining deposits. Much nicer in hand with almost black toning.

    Thanks to Molinari's research this is one of 6 known examples. The others are found in BMC, 129, Dati web, Glasgow 57, Leningrad 1014, Torino RDC17508.

    Let's see rare coins you've stumbled on without realizing it
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    galba68, ancientone, GerardV and 27 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Orfew

    Orfew Supporter! Supporter

    Wonderful example Jay. Congrats on a great find.
    GerardV and Jay GT4 like this.
  4. Ryro

    Ryro Another victory like that will destroy us! Supporter

    Wow! Super rare and a real beaut ta boot. Congrats!!!
    Caesar_Augustus and Jay GT4 like this.
  5. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    I think it's the second one in private hands. Graziano's listing "dati web" is unclear (essentially "data from the web"),but if he meant a specific institutional collection he'd have listed it like he did with the others.

    The IS below Acheloios is what really makes these special, in my view. At some point I'll write an essay just on these 'sinew' types.
    galba68, dadams, Carausius and 3 others like this.
  6. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Always appreciated Nick!
    Nicholas Molinari likes this.
  7. Alegandron

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

    I truly stumbled on this one also:

    Only two known: Mine and the British Museum. I would not think as much of it other than it has an incredible Provenance! (But I built a collection of Etrurian Silver coins)
    Etruria, Populonia
    2 ½ asses 3rd century BC, AR 0.85 g. Radiate female head r.; behind, CII. Rev. Blank. EC 104 (misdescribed, Female head with an Attic helmet). Historia Numorum Italy 179.
    Of the highest rarity, apparently only the second specimen known.
    Dark patina and about very fine
    From the collection of E.E. Clain-Stefanelli.


    ANS Executive Director Ute Wartenburg reported that
    Elvira Eliza Clain-Stefanelli died Oct. 1, 2001 of cardiac
    arrest. Mrs. Stefanelli retired in 2000 as the Senior
    Curator of the National Numismatic Collection in the
    Numismatics Division of the National Museum of
    American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington,

    She was at the Smithsonian for forty years, and was
    responsible with her husband Vladimir for organizing and
    building up the National Numismatic Collection. She
    survived a Nazi concentration camp in WWII Europe,
    moved to Rome, and learned numismatics there. In New
    York she and her husband worked for Stack's and started
    the Coin Galleries division there.

    Her most recent publication was "Life In Republican Rome
    On its Coinage", a lavishly illustrated discussion of the
    themes which appear on the coinage of the Roman Republic,
    published in 1999. Her major contribution to the science of
    numismatic literature was her classic "Numismatic Bibliography",
    published in 1985.
    Elvira E. Clain-Stefanelli (1914-2001) and her husband Dr. Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli (1914-1982) were academic numismatic historians and later numismatic authors and curators. They pursued their interest in ancient coinage of the Black Sea region and U.S. medals as a team, serving together as members of the American Numismatic Society and numerous other national and international numismatic organizations. Vladimir became an ANS Associate in 1951 and a Fellow in 1957; Elvira became a Fellow in 1963. The two were frequent visitors to the Society when they worked for Hesperia Art Galleries and then Stack’s in the 1950s. In 1956 Vladimir became curator of the Smithsonian's Division of Numismatics; a year later, Elvira joined him as Assistant Curator. Together, they built the National Numismatic Collection from approximately 60,000 specimens in 1956 to almost one million objects. Two years after Vladimir's death in 1982, Elvira became the department's first executive director, holding that position until her retirement in 2000.
    Dr. Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli (born Waldemar Günther Klein, but later changing the spelling of his surname to Clain and adding Stefanelli, his mother's maiden name) was born in Czernowitz, Bukovina, Austria (now part of the Ukraine and Romania). Vladimir was initially a well-known specialist of Eastern European coinage, in particular of his native Romania. He also specialized in historical documentation of United States coinages as well as coinages of Greek colonies and southeast European issues of the 15th and 16th centuries. Vladimir received a B.A. and M.A. in 1936, and Ph.D. in 1938 from the University of King Carol II in Austria. His 1938 doctoral dissertation, concerning the ancient coinage of Callatis, is included in the collection. Vladimir married the former Elvira Eliza Olinescu on January 3, 1939. After WW II, the couple moved to Italy where they worked for the P&P Santamaria firm. They moved to the United States in 1951, where they would live out the remainder of their lives.
    Elvira E. Clain-Stefanelli was born in Bucharest, Romania. She received a degree in history from Franz Josef University in 1936 and later an M.A. in history from the University of Cernauti in Romania. Working with her husband after his appointment as manager of Stack's Coin Galleries subsidiary in 1954, Elvira wrote their first sales catalog. She joined the Smithsonian staff in 1957. In 1973 Elvira, along with her husband, received the Smithsonian Gold Medal for Exceptional Service. In 1996, she received the ANA's Farran Zerbe Memorial Award for Distinguished Service. During her numismatic career, Elvira was advisor to the U.S. Mint, the Department of Treasury, and many boards, committees, and associations.
    Together or separately, Elvira and Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli wrote and published many important works including: Monetary history and medallic art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C (Numisma, año) (1965); History of the National Numismatic Collections (1968); La monnaie: trésor d’art (1971); Medals Commemorating Battles of the American Revolution (1973); The Beauty and Lore of Coins Currency and Medals (1974); Chartered for Progress, Two Centuries of American Banking: A Pictorial Essay(1975); Muenzen der Neuzeit (1978); Numismatic Bibliography (1984); Life in Republican Rome (1999).

    And I love my MFB from Neapolis - Campania also!

    Congrats on your RARE version find!

    Campania Neapolis 320-300 BC AR Didrachm Nomos Nymph Achelous.jpg
    Campania Neapolis 320-300 BC AR Didrachm Nomos Nymph Achelous
    galba68, dadams, Bing and 13 others like this.
  8. Orfew

    Orfew Supporter! Supporter

    Great coin with an excellent provenance. I have 5 from her collection but am always looking for more.
    Alegandron likes this.
  9. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Great coin and a great write up on the Stefanelli's
    Alegandron likes this.
  10. Nice find! It is always neat to find out that something is rarer than originally thought.

    I bought this spade from Bob Reis about a year ago. He read the inscription wrong, and thus misattributed it. I did not notice the error until after I had bought it, making it worth about 10 times what I had paid (and it was not a cheap coin to begin with). There are around half a dozen examples in acsearch.


    This coin is the one that originally got me poating on the forums. I bought it in a lot of 3 large cents for $15. Just for the heck of it, I decided to attribute them (spurred by thinking the 1800 was an overdate. When I attributed the 1797, I got S-121. Then I looked at the edge, and saw it was plain, making it S-121a. Some research showed this variety was extremely rare, so I posted it on CCF to get confirmation. Since the feedback I got was promising, I took it to a show and let the copper expert Chris McCawley look at it. He too thought is was the S-121a, so he sent it off to Mr. Grellman for authentication. Grellman concurred that it was the S-121a, and offered to put it in his next auction. I accepted, and I wound up getting $760 out of it. Since then, I have transitioned to being a casual collector to a serious one, as well as starting to buy/sell coins.

    47B0ECAF-D8AA-4DB2-8C6E-4BA59307EAF9.jpeg C0CE5C67-AA76-405F-AE99-657D1DAE1E33.jpeg C0CE5C67-AA76-405F-AE99-657D1DAE1E33.jpeg
    galba68, dadams, Curtisimo and 7 others like this.
  11. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Great coin Jay. That's a pretty cool find!
  12. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Wow! Good thing you studied it so deeply!
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  13. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    galba68, Ajax, dadams and 7 others like this.
  14. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    It looks like it could be a fouree but it is still a beauty, so if the price is right I would (the face of Acheloios is particularly nice). The IS does not mean it is rare.
  15. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    The price is at the moment $600 incl the juice and shipping costs. Its listed as solid silver , 3 days to close. But if its not rare , I'll pass

    Bought this one for $200 , the bull is great imho.
    galba68, Ajax, ancientone and 9 others like this.
  16. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    I've picked up coins that I knew were rare but didn't really understand how rare until after I did some research ... nothing like your MFB though! Wonderful pick-up @Jay GT4!!
    galba68 and Jay GT4 like this.
  17. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    It might be rare based on the device behind the nymph head, but I'd have to check my catalog which is at the office. I just meant the IS itself is common, but some varieties, like Jay's, are very rare.

    The coin you already own is very nice. You got a good deal.
    Andres2 likes this.
  18. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    AR Didrachm
    OBVERSE: Head of nymph Parthenope right, wearing headband, pendant earring, and pearl necklace
    REVERSE: Man-faced bull walking right, head facing, above Nike flying right to crown him // [NΕΟΠΟΛΙΤΗΣ]
    Struck at Neapolis (Naples) 350-325 BC
    7.3g, 20mm
    SNG ANS 296-298. SNG Lockett 79. HN Italy 565
    ex. JAZ Numismatics
    galba68, David Atherton, Ajax and 6 others like this.
  19. The reverse on that one is incredible! Much better buy than the other one. :)
  20. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    There are many coins somewhat like it. What is the part that makes it rare?
    Nicholas Molinari likes this.
  21. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    The combination IΣ and tripod control mark
    Nicholas Molinari likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page