My 2nd Coin from Roma XX Auction

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Al Kowsky, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Roma XX, lot 292 (2).jpg
    Seleukis and Pieria, Dated year 18 (92/91 BC). Obverse: Tyche with Turreted crown facing right & surrounded by border of elongated beads. Reverse: Thunderbolt of Zeus on a fancy stool & inscriptions, all within a wreath. AR Tetradrachm: 15.00 gm, 34 mm, 12 h. Very rare date. BMC-; DCA 697.

    I didn't want to present this coin until it was photographed again. The printed catalog & online catalog shows the coin slightly out of focus & darker than the coin actually is. The descriptions of the coin also have a typo, stating the diameter at 24 mm, it's actually 34 mm. I fell in love with the high relief portrait of Tyche, & the immense flan gives the coin a medallic appearance. When I saw the low estimate of 500 British pounds I was determined to bid on the coin :smuggrin:. The bidding began at a frenzied pace & soon reached the final bid of 3 times the estimate :eek:! I felt like a kid in a candy store who lost control :wacky:. The coin was mine at 3 time the estimate :jawdrop:. I felt foolish for paying so much, but when the coin arrived the guilt disappeared. The coin in-hand is mesmerizing :wideyed:. I don't know anyone who collects this coin type by date. Do any CT members know just how rare the date of this coin is o_O?

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  3. Romancollector

    Romancollector Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid I don't know anything about the rarity of the type....I will say it is gorgeous! You seem to have done very well in auction XX. I too think I may have "overpaid" for some of my wins from that auction, but I am happy with them now that I have them in hand!
  4. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    What a gorgeous tetradrachm! Seleukeia must have been very proud to be granted autonomy by Antiochos VIII Epiphanes and to issue it's own type afterwards.

    Regarding rarity, it is indeed a date not often seen but it is not that unusual to stumble upon a very rare or even an unpublished date in the autonomous tetradrachms of the tetrapolis. Most issues of this type are from year 13 (97/96 BC). Also autonomous drachms and hemidrachms from the city are only known struck in year 13, and a bronze coin type as well.
    I do not know why exactly, but it could be because in 96 BC Antiochos VIII Epiphanes was assassinated, his brother Antiochos IX toke power in Antioch and in 96 BC Seleukos VI Nikator attacked Antioch and captured the city by killing his uncle Antiochos IX. Perhaps either by a king or the city itself temporary more funds were needed in that period. In year 18, 92/91 BC there was probably not so much demand, hence making the date 'very rare' and looking at your coin it seems it barely circulated.

    The autonomy kind of started under the reign of Alexander I Balas. After more than 130 years since Seleukos I Nikator, Seleukeia again started to struck municipal coins again. This is one of the first autonomous coins from the city, afterwards the city kept making municipal coinage, already granting the 'Holy' title ('ΤΗΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ' on your coin) in 145 BC and autonomy in 109 BC.
    Syria, Seleukis and Pieria. Adelphoi Demi (Tetrapolis). AE Double Unit Dated 149/48 B.C. Under the reign of Alexander I Balas (152/1 - 145 B.C.)
    Laureate head of Zeus right.
    ‘ΑΔΕΛΦΩΝ’ above, ‘ΔΗΜΩΝ’ below (“of the Brother Peoples”). Winged thunderbolt; monogram to left, EΞP (date) and monogram to right; all within wreath.
    Reference: SNG Copenhagen 397; BMC 7; HGC 9, 1396.
    6.91g; 21mm

    Bronze coins in the name of “the Brother Peoples” were struck in Seleukeia between 149/8 and 147/6 BC. This coinage probably reflected some form of civic alliance (homonoia) with Antioch on the Orontes. Four types of these coins were struck in three denominations: the quadruple unit, two types of the double unit and the single unit.
    galba68, Ryro, Carl Wilmont and 8 others like this.
  5. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Spectacular, Al.
  6. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    That is a magnificent coin/ well worth the money! It looks good on Roma site too! My coin from that auction is on its way via Royal Mail. I did not want it send by FEDEX and pay customs fees.
  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Super nice pick - up. Congrats
  8. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Beautiful tetradrachm.
  9. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    Why only 15 gm? That is light for even late Seleucids ( I think). Athens at this date was reduced Attic still and all my tetradrachms around your date are above 16gm in good condition.
  10. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    A wonderful coin @Al Kowsky. Yours seems to be rare enough that I can't find it in the one reference that I know of: Callataÿ, Production, pp. 75–6. There may be another reference from Christine Thompson (mentioned in Callataÿ, but I haven't found it).

    Here's my coin of this type - one I feel very fortunate to have won - it was the ugly one and everyone wanted the pretty coin of the same variety, so I felt very lonely as the bidder on this coin :):)
    Antioch Auton Tetradrachm.jpg
    Seleukis and Pieria, Seleukeia Pieria, 105/4-83/2 BC, AR Tetradrachm, 30mm, 14.90g, dated CY 13 (97/96 BC)
    Obv: Veiled and turreted bust of Tyche right
    Rev: ΣEΛEYKEΩN / THΣ IEPAΣ / KAI / AYTONOMOY, Filleted thunderbolt on throne; ΓI (date = 13) below, monogram (ω/Δ) to lower right; all within wreath.
    Ref: Callataÿ, Production, pp. 75–6
    Notes: more on this coin here
  11. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    The coin is struck on the Aradian weight standard, not the reduced Attic standard.
    NewStyleKing likes this.
  12. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Great coin, I am glad you waited to take pics to post. Turreted Tyche with some of her drapery outside the border is great.
  13. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Pavlos, Thanks for the helpful info & posting your handsome S & P bronze coin. The "desert patina" gives the coin great eye appeal :cool:. Seleukis & Pieria was basically the harbor for Antioch on the Orontes, so you could call them sister cities.
  14. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    That's a truly lovely coin, Al. Congratulations!

    I had luck bidding on one lot in Auction XX, which I have posted on CT previously:


    From the catalog:

    Baktria, 'Athenian Series' AR Tetradrachm. Uncertain mint in the Oxus region, circa 261-239/8 BC. Attic standard. Head of Athena right, wearing earring, necklace, and crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl; monogram behind / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig, crescent and grape bunch behind, AΘE before. Roma E-67, 583 (same dies); cf. Bopearachchi, Sophytes Series 1A; Mitchiner -; N&A -, cf. 13-17 (different monogram); SNG ANS -. 16.64g, 22mm, 6h.

    About Extremely Fine. Extremely Rare; one of only four known examples.

    From the 1960s Andragoras-Sophytes Group, present in Germany in 1975, subsequently exported to the USA.
    PeteB, Ryro, Johndakerftw and 3 others like this.
  15. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Sulla80, Many thanks for the useful info you have posted along with your beautiful Tet :D. I did download the study by Callatay, which seems to be the "bible" for these coins. I would also like to download your excellent article Seleucid Empire: Family Politics, if it's OK with you :happy:.
  16. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Pavlos, Of course you're right on about the Aradian weight standard. It's easy to get confused with so many different & fluctuating weight standards used in ancient times.
  17. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Glad it was useful and you are most welcome to make use of (or download or print) my "notes".
  18. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    robinjojo, That was a great score :D! If I hadn't blown my wad I would have challenged you on that coin :smuggrin:.
  19. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    John, Unfortunately my FedEx shipment was delayed because of the ridiculous paperwork I had to fill-out from our DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY :mad:. Now in order to buy coins from a foreign country we have to CREATE an IMPORTER IDENTITY FORM. Pretty soon the government will have to know what kind of toothpaste & toilet paper we use :p.
    panzerman likes this.
  20. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks to everyone for the kind words on this thread :D.
    panzerman likes this.
  21. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I agree/ less govt. the better! I now make it a point not to have coins shipped via UPS/ FEDEX....just normal priority post/ no value.
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