My own first Ptolemy

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I suppose I'm following in the footsteps of @lordmarcovan's recent thread. I didn't post there because although I had already ordered this coin, I didn't have it yet, and I've already had enough bad luck here with posting about coins before they actually arrive!

    In any event, for quite a while I've wanted to get at least one Ptolemaic tetradrachm to go with my one Seleucid tetradrachm, of Antiochos VIII (see my post at ). This one wasn't terribly expensive as these things go, and they're now sitting next to each other.

    Egypt, Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy VI Philometor [“Mother-loving”] (First reign, 180-164 BCE), ca. 180-170 BCE, Alexandria Mint. Obv. Diademed head of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis / Rev. Eagle with closed wings standing left on thunderbolt, ΠTOΛEMAIOY on left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ on right. Seaby 7895 [D. Sear, Greek Coins & their Values, Vol. II: Asia & Africa (Seaby 1979)]; Svoronos 1489 (ill. Pl. 51a, Nos. 1-5)* [J.N. Svoronos, Ta Nomismata tou Kratous ton Ptolemaion (Athens, 1904-08)]; SNG Copenhagen 262-268 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Copenhagen, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Part 40: Egypt: The Ptolemies (Copenhagen 1977)]; BMC Ptolemaic Egypt 3 (p. 100) (ill. Pl. XXIV No. 5) [R.S. Poole, A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 6, Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt (London, 1883)]. 26 mm., 12.14 g.

    Ptolemy VI tetradrachm jpg version.jpg
    It's one of those coins that actually does look nicer "in hand" than in the photo. The slight roughness on Ptolemy's face is almost imperceptible without magnification.

    You may notice what looks sort of like an upper-case lambda (Λ) on the side of Ptolemy's neck. Do you suppose that's some kind of banker's mark, or just a random scratch?

    * Here are the illustrations for this coin type (Svoronos 1489) in Svoronos Plate 51a:

    Svoronos 1489 Ptolemy VI & VIII joint reign AR tetradrachm. (Plate LI Nos, 1-5). jpg version.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  3. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

  4. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    I was going to say a banker's graffiti on the neck, but on closer examination of the photo the apparently raise edges make it look almost as if the Λ was in the die at the time of the minting.

    At any rate that is a very nice example of a much scarcer king.
    7Calbrey and DonnaML like this.
  5. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    It does kind of look like that. If so, I wonder why.
  6. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    Very nice coin Donna! You can never go wrong with a tetradrachm!

    Your coin was struck around the time that the Ptolemies started to get......................................weird.
    Here is one of my tets from Ptolemy X; aka when the wheels really started to come off the bus.
    Ptolemy X - Paphos Mint
    Size: 26mm
    Weight: 13.19 grams
    Obverse: Diademed head right, wearing aegis
    Reverse: PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS, Eagle standing left on thunderbolt; L K (date) before; PA behind.

    Looks like all that sister loving and brother loving finally got to old Ptolemy X :rolleyes::eek::vomit::hungover:
  7. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Wow! Sharp! Much sharper than my didrachm.
  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I hope that's not what he really looked like! I mean, Ptolemy I had quite a prominent chin, but he was no Leopold I Hogmouth.
    Magnus Maximus likes this.
  9. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    @DonnaML That is one of the only portraits in my coin collection that genuinely terrifies me.

  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Has your coin arrived yet? Did you confirm that it's a didrachm?
  11. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Ken Dorney was reading the thread and confirmed that it is indeed a didrachm. (I guess maybe it would have been pretty cheap to be a tetradrachm, at the price I paid.)

    I told him it wasn't a problem- I'm quite content with it as a didrachm, for what I paid for it (and it was on sale). I'm guessing it was probably cheaper than your coin, but yours is certainly more impressive (bigger, higher grade, great portrait, etc).

    But I like the toning and appearance of mine and think I'll be pleased with it once it arrives.

    Link back to my coin (I went to look at it again and it was 3 pages back! It's nice that Ancients have such a thriving forum here.)
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
    Roman Collector and DonnaML like this.
  12. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Good! I've bought a number of coins from Ken Dorney and have always been very happy with them. I didn't think for a moment that he would charge you a tetradrachm price for a didrachm!
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  13. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    I suspect it was didrachm-priced all along, and the "tetra-" error in the description was merely typographical, by way of habit.
    DonnaML likes this.
  14. ominus1

    ominus1 ...BE SEEING YOU! Supporter

    ..very nice Donna!....i've only one coin of the Ptolemys and itsa bronze cause i'm 'too tight(poor now) for tets :D.. i got this when i was heavy into Alexander lll and his generals way back in the beginning.:) greek coins birds ptolemy, peresus 002.JPG greek coins birds ptolemy, peresus 003.JPG bronze drachm of Ptolemy l(or maybe ll)
    Johndakerftw, Bing, 7Calbrey and 5 others like this.
  15. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    My favorite kind of ptolemy!

    Ps, stunting OP coin @DonnaML :woot:
  16. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    Great coin Donna, a Ptolemy tet has been on my radar for a while, alas they are expensive and scarce in really nice condition. Not to mention that I am after of the early members of the dynasty (not that there is anything wrong, coin-wise at least, with the later ones). I am not that familiar with this particular guy. Mother-loving would be a cute title in most cases, but when it comes to the Ptolemies it is super creepy... :facepalm:
    DonnaML likes this.
  17. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Donna, Congrats on another great score :)! I sold a MS Tet of Ptolemy VI about 8 years ago, pictured below.

    Ptolemy VI Tet.jpg
    Ptolemy VI, Aradus Mint, 180-145 BC (struck Year 92, 168/7 BC). AR Tet: 13.98 gm, 25 mm, 12 h.
  18. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Congrats Donna, I like your tet.

    Some Ptolemy's in my collection:

    P1150562 (7).JPG
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