My new itsy bitsy teenie weenie unpublished unknown elephant coin!(U bet ur Venus reverse its a MSC)

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    One of the many wonderful things about being an ancients collector, to me anyway, is knowing that I will never have 'em all. And this even includes niche areas that seemingly have a finite amount of types. Having grown up, like many here, collecting US coins, sports cards, comics ect. it is freeing not to have that pressure. Then I can just enjoy each coin for what it is!

    Take for example, oh I don't know, the Macedonian shield coin types:woot:! I started with the more common types and then began researching all that I could find and continue to do so on the more obscure types. And even as I've been running out of the "gimmes" I am still having a blast as strange anomalies keep popping up:wideyed:
    Speaking of anomalies, let me share what I purchased from Ares 3rd auction over the weekend (last time I jinxed myself posting one of theirs before receiving, but I'll play the odds)! I cannot find anything like it. It’s dated (probably arbitrarily) to the 5th century BCE, way before Alexander the Great! It’s silver. And the elephant head reverse appears to have letters surrounding it (possibly the name of the city or King it was minted in or by).
    Now, judging from the orientation and lack of description they had I don’t think they realized that the reverse is of an elephant head (at least it sure looks like one to me. Do you think it’s an elephant head?). I have MSC coins with omphalos (below).
    I have Seleucid coins with elephant head reverse (below).

    However, nothing like this new (to me) coin. The elephants head makes me think it could be Seleucid. But that them dating it 5th century rules that out. If it really is that old it would be my oldest Macedonian shield coin type, as I believe all the coins I have are from his lifetime and thereafter. This coins are such an enigma that I have read in various sources that the MSCs didn't start to circulate until the time of ATG. And then others saying there were types from earlier. Just like finding out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, the world may never know.

    (clearly an Athenian Owl and turtle)

    Without further ado, here is their original pic and description and then my description and pic with the elephant head level:


    Asia Minor, uncertain mint. AR Obol. 5th C. BC.
    Condition: Very Fine
    Weight: 0.49 gr
    Diameter: 8 mm


    Asia Minor, uncertain mint. AR Obol. 5th C. BCE.
    Obv: Omphalos on shield. Rev: Elephant head.
    Condition: Very Fine, 0.49 gr, 8 mm

    Please share any unattributed, unknown or unpublished coins or yours!

    And have you any ideas on my coins origin or date? And what about the reverse or lettering?
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  3. David@PCC


    Congratulations. Had I seen this coin I would have bid on it. Your coin is as follows:
    Seleucus I
    AR Hemiobol
    Antioch on the Orontes
    300 to 281 B.C.
    Obvs: Macedonian shield.
    Revs: BA ΣE, elephant head right. Dotted border.
    Left field N
    SC 14
  4. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Wow! Way to dig deep, Scooby! That's an enviable collection of bronze Macedonian shields!
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  5. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Thank you so much! Welp, I guess mine isn't unknown nor unpublished:rolleyes::bucktooth: I couldn't find another anywhere. Those Seleucids and their elephants didn't bring any results on AC search, Wildwinds nor on CNG.
    Could I ask the name of your reference? It is hard to find many references on these other than Price and Liampi. One costs $500 minimum and the other I had to translate from German!
    Edit: Scratch the 1st question. I figured out that SC 14 stands for Seleucid Coins"A Comprehensive Catalogue, Part I, Arthur Houghton and Catharine Lorber" (also, not a cheap addition).
    In a different reference, I even found a plate of the type!

    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  6. Alegandron

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

    Wow, @Ryro ! Cool little shield! THAT is really neat...the elephant, the Makedonwn - type shield. Nice. I want one.

    I tried this once before, but maybe someone knows.

    ASIA MINOR Uncertain mint AR Tetartemorion Lion - Incuse 5mm 0.13g.jpg
    ASIA MINOR Uncertain mint AR Tetartemorion Lion - Incuse 5mm 0.13g
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  7. David@PCC


    Yes that is the reference and possibly only image? I actually used my new site under my signature and found it in less than 10 seconds, hoping to go live very soon!

    Not unpublished but not common either. I think there is still some debate which mint this comes from.
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  8. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    kool Ryro!..:)..i still have none(elephants) but its on the list...:watching:
    Ryro likes this.
  9. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

  10. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    I love coin mysteries...

    I think this was my very first CT post, a couple years back. Some humorous observations, as I recall, but no positive identification were forthcoming.

    Unknown - Silver  Oct 13 crop 1 (0).jpg

    Greece? AR Diobol?
    Seller attributed to Larissa
    Face (Helios?) / incuse pattern (flower?)
    (1.23 grams / 7 x 5 mm)
  11. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    With the hint from @David@PCC, I was able to track down a paper by Lorber and Panagiotis P. Iossif. . They mention the shield/elephant hemiobol and call it "a unique hemiobol doubtfully attributed to Antioch". I guess theirs is no longer unique!
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  12. Alegandron

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

  13. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here's a Houghton plate coin -- a little one with an elephant head!
    Laodike IV, wife and sister of both Seleucus IV and Antiochus IV.
    Selucia in Pieria, 175-164 BC.
    AE 3.33 gm; 15 mm.
    Obv: Veiled bust of Laodike IV, r.
    Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ (of King Antiochus), elephant head l.; prow.
    Refs: Houghton, CSE 113 (plate coin); Forrer 183.
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  14. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Seeing your coin mystery coin posted in a thread about rare Macedonian shield bronzes made me think of the dart sling type.

    The dart sling looks like the object on your coin, and like the object on your coin it is was hard to see at first.
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  15. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Thank you Ed - you are right, it does look like a "dart sling." More than a flower, anyway. I appreciate the insight - I will continue looking in that direction!
  16. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    I apologize for hijacking your thread, Ryro.

    Upon reflection I am getting a stronger feeling about the obverse. Recall the dart sling was invented "... during the Third Macedonian War between Rome and Perseus of Macedon." Let's take a look at another coin type struck by Perseus of Macedon:
    Macedon, Perseus (imitating Rhodes), Thessalian mint, circa 171 BC, drachm 2.89g
    ex Stacks, June 2002
    Obv: Helios facing
    Rev: GORGOS; Rose with bud to left, grape bunch to right.
    Ref: Ashton “A series of Pseudo-Rhodian drachms from Mainland Greece,” NC (1988) #31

    The obverse of your coin seems, at least to me, to be in a similar style to the "Cretan Mercenaries in Thessaly" series that Ashton wrote about. Specifically the sloppier "grape bunch" type, with magistrates ΣTPATΩN and GORGOS, and not the EPMIAΣ examples. It is hard to find die matches in this series, but might be worth looking for an obverse match.
  17. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Thanks again Ed - I'd never heard of these Rhodian imitations done by Perseus and indeed, mine strikes me as too coarse to be an official Rhodes product. There is some very interesting history back behind those - glad you pointed them out to me.

    It's the reverse that still mystifies me. Here are some slightly better (?) photos - it is a small, lumpy thing. As an eBay purchase, it might be altogether made up and modern:

    Unknown Greek AR Helios flower 2013 (0).jpg

    Unknown Greek AR Helios flower 2013 (7).JPG

    Unknown Greek AR Helios flower 2013 (8).JPG

    And all blame for hijacking Ryro's thread is mine - I was taking off on his invitations to "Please share any unattributed, unknown or unpublished coins or yours!" Thank you (and sorry!) Ryro!
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  18. CaptHenway

    CaptHenway Survivor

    Sorry, but I cannot see an elephant image on the reverse of the OP coin. Showed the picture to my wife and she said it was a drum and a crocodile. I don't see a crocodile, but she served in Africa with the Foreign Service and brought back a small stuffed crocodile, so I yield to her expertise.
    Ryro likes this.
  19. Alegandron

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

    The elephant, albeit corroded thru history, reminded me of the elephant on one of my Seleukids:

    Seleukid Demetrios I Soter 162-150 BCE AE 17 serrate 16.8mm 3.9g Antioch on Orontes mint Horse Hd L - Elephant Hd R- SC 1646 SNG Spaer 1299-1304

    @Ryro 's coin:
  20. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Haha! There is no hijack going on here at all! This is what I asked for, some help on my coin (check!) and for other to post their unattributeds. I am just thrilled that we were able to identify my new coin and hope we can help figure out what Mike and Gandy's coins are...though that reverse on Mike's sure does look like my favorite flower:kiss:...the rose of course!;):wacky:
    Thanks for all the awesome posts and big THANKS to @Ed Snible and @David@PCC for sharing the expertise! Please let us know when that bad boy goes live @David@PCC I love the look of the website:wideyed:
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  21. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    It sure resembles these coins of Kleonai. I think yours is the cub of this one!
    Funny how it has that same Irregularly divided incuse square and crystallization. Though many of the Kelonai type have that K in the obverse...
    Ooh! And this one is the right size...but with the K:
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