Owl upgrade & my first EF ancient

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by AussieCollector, May 30, 2020.

  1. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    Hi folks

    I decided to upgrade my owl, as in the end I wasn't 100% happy with the late(r) owl I originally purchased, which to be honest looks more like a barbarus/eastern/whatever imitation than it does an Athenian owl:


    ATTICA, Athens, circa 350-300 B.C., silver Tetradrachm, (17.10 g)
    Obv. head of Athena to right wearing ivy crested helmet, eye in profile,
    Rev. owl standing to right, head facing, in erect posture, olive twig and crescent behind, to right, **AQE*, all in incuse square

    So I've been on the lookout for a decently priced owl, and managed to secure this one.

    The obverse is far from perfect, but at least Athena's nose isn't cut off (like many of the other 'accessible' options) and I just love the reverse:


    ATTICA, Athens, circa 430s BC silver tetradrachm (24 mm, 17.16 g, 10h).
    Obv: Head of Athena to right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves and palmette.
    Rev: AΘE Owl standing right, head facing; to left, olive sprig and crescent; all within incuse square

    It also just so happens to be my first EF (or very close to EF) ancient coin.

    Feel free to post your owls!

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  3. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Nice upgrade, @AussieCollector. The owl in the reverse is of very good quality.

    Here is my Mass Classical owl. I was trying to get some crest on Athena's helmet.
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  4. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Certainly an upgrade, congrats AC

    here's mine also an upgrade:


    BenSi, randygeki, dlhill132 and 17 others like this.
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Nice upgrade.

    I've thought about upgrading mine in time and with so many available right now, I could manage it. But I am still happy with my current one.

    Attica, Athens (353 - 294 B.C)
    AR Tetradrachm
    O: Helmeted head of Athena right
    R: AΘE Owl standing right, head facing, olive sprig and crescent to left; all within incuse square.
    21 mm
    Kroll -; HGC 4, 1599

    Ex. Numismatik-Naumann, Auction 52, Lot 126
  6. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    I never get tired of looking at owls. Lovely owls all!

    @Mat - really lovely late issue (much better than mine). Is that salt water damage? The surface texture reminds me of my shipwreck/salvage 8 Reales.

    @happy_collector - you must be very proud of that owl. If I was the owner, I would have released it from its plastic tomb ;)
  7. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    That's what I call an upgrade. Congratulations - I am sure it must feel great!:)
    AussieCollector likes this.
  8. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    Heh, agreed, it is, and it does!
  9. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..very nice AC...much better i think...i've not any owl coins..i bought a repro and sent it to a friend in merry old England cause she likes owls! :)...i do have a stone carving of one tho..here's the owl himself on top :)..ihave no idea where it hailed and who made it, but its kool just the same :D OWL 001.JPG
  10. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Congrats. I have shown my owl upgrade several times here, including in another thread today. I do have a couple of others.
    I bought this tiny two owl bronze a couple of years ago.
    DSCN0771.JPG DSCN0770.JPG
    I liked it so much I bought a second, one owl bronze a few months ago. I has not shipped yet!
    Pergamon Owl MAShops. saeen 4.8.20 a.jpg
    Last but not least is a stitch marker I took from a set I bought my wife.
    20181107_020357 owl.jpg
  11. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Maybe its old age, but I've come to like Attic tetradrachms of all periods. I used to focus on the owls of the 5th century, but I have developed an interest in Attic owls and their imitations. I find the imitations interesting from a historical and economic perspective, and I really like all of the local variations, some of which are very hard to locate and expensive as well.

    So, here is what I think is a Starr Group III tetradrachm. I'm reading the book right now, and hope to become more enlightened.

    D-Camera Athens, Tetradrachm, Starr Group III, #97, Obv.  5-27-20.jpg

    D-Camera Athens, Tetradrachm, Starr Group III, #97, Rev.  5-27-20.jpg

    While I'm at it, why not an eastern imitation (probably Egypt) as well...

    D-Camera Near East or Egypt imitation of Attica tetradrachm, XF, NGC, eBay purchase, 5-21-20.jpg
    I hope to be able to photograph more owls in the near future.
  12. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Okay, I decided to get on the horse and take a shot or two of another owl.

    I believe this coin is an Transitional Pi-Style I (Bingen Pi I) from the period of 353-352 BC. The coins of this period (4th - 3rd centuries) are categorized by pi-style, based on a system established by J. Bingen. Some the pi-styles are quite nuanced, and I don't know whether figuring the Starr system or the Bingen system is going to drive me nuts - it's a close race.

    Grade-wise it is in the cleaned Fine-VF range, but the centering is decent, especially on the reverse. The coin does exhibit some crudeness, which is typical for the 4th century, although I have seen some very nice examples with well engraved dies and well centered strikes. Of course those coin command a premium.

    16.9 grams, 24 mm, 9h

    D-Camera Athens Tetradrachm,  Early Transitional,  393- 355 BC, eBay 2019  5-31-20.jpg
  13. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    This is my owl. There are many like it, but this one is mine! ;)


    @AussieCollector your upgrade is great. It is a very popular coin and that's why it still demands high prices even if there are many of it around. I got mine early in my collecting and paid way more than I would have to pay now that I am bit wiser on judging prices.. At least I don't think I have to upgrade :cigar:
  14. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    That's a beautiful reverse – I principally refuse to "grade," but it certainly is a very attractive coin.

    Here are my big owl...
    Magna Graecia – Attica, Athen, tetradrachme.png
    Attica, Athens, AR tetradrachm, ca. 440s–430s BC. Obv: head of Athena to right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves and palmette. Rev: AΘE; Owl standing right, head facing; to left, olive sprig and crescent; all within incuse square. 24mm, 17.14g. Ref: Kroll 8.

    ...my small owl...
    Magna Graecia – Attica, Athen, Hemidrachme, Athena:Eule.png
    Attica, Athens, AR triobol or hemidrachm, ca. 390–295 BC. Obv: head of Athena with Attic helmet r. Rev: Owl standing facing between olive twigs, retrograde ethnic [A]ΘE around. 12.5mm, 2.06g. Ref: SNG Munich 206–7.

    ...as well as their two impoverished and derelict cousins:
    Magna Graecia – Attika, Athen, AE13, Athene und zwei Eulen im Kranz.png
    Attica, Athens, AE 13, ca. 322–307 BC. Obv: head of Athena with Attic helmet r. Rev: two owls standing on thunderbolt; below, ethnic AΘE; all in olive wreath. 13mm, 2.10g. Ref: SNG Copenhagen 92–93; Kroll: Greek Coins (1993), no. 44 var.; BMC 537–540.
  15. Alegandron

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

    Nice upgrade @AussieCollector !

    One of my earlier Ancients. Got it for a very low price, and still among my favorites - just becuz.

    How many of your Owls can you say that it have laid an egg?
    Athens Owl AR Tet 17.3g 22.9mm x 6.8mm thick Late Classical 393-300 BC, Sear 2537, SNG Cop. 63 crud
  16. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Hey, congrats!

    No Athenian owl for me yet.

    Just these two. Well, the first one is gone, alas. So just the second, which I intend to hold on to for a long time.

    yoH38pnEToy93wZrSDHz_01-AncientGreece-Pontos-Amisos-ARdrachm-017341-coin.jpg N4MrZFrZSua3wJa6OCPq_Taras-Calabria-drachm-050653-coin.jpg
  17. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    As Monty Python said often, "And now for something completely different...."

    Here are two more off-beat tetradrachms, one which many of you have seen before, but has been "worked on" (toothpicks and cotton swaps) and re-photographed with, I believe, better results, although there is still considerable room for improvement. The second coin is a fairly recent acquisition from Forum.

    The first coin is turning out to be an almost eternal work in progress. At some point soon I'll call working on this coin quits, and stipulate in my living trust that whoever inherits it must spend endless hours listening (not watching) repeat episodes of The Twilight Zone and the Alfred Hitchcock Hour in the wee hours of the morning while working on this coin with highly breakable wood toothpicks and cotton swaps, or they will be summarily disinherited.

    Really, though, it is quite interesting, from a numismatic perspective. I believe this coin to be a fouree core, with traces of silvering. It was very encrusted, and as you can see much of the deposits are still present. However, certain details on the obverse are of note. On Athena's cheek, near her ear and lower hair line, there seems to be a curvey line from right to left, and below appears (not terribly clearly) a figure, facing forward, left are raised, right arm lowered.

    12.6 grams

    D-Camera Athens Fouree Tetradrachm Core,  eBay, Israel Purchase 2019, 2019  5-31-20.jpg

    The second coin is an imitation from Arabia, I believe. It came to me by way of Forum Ancient Coin Shop, and while it would not win any beauty contests, it is quite remarkable for this type. The style of portrait seems very similar to other examples that I've seen for Arabia.

    Here is the coin's description from Forum:

    "From Mesopotamia, across the Levante and Arabia, to Egypt, Persian satraps, Egyptian pharaohs, and local rulers struck imitative Athenian type tetradrachms. Some were struck with styles much different from the Athenian originals. Some included monograms or inscriptions in Aramaic or other local scripts. The style of this coin is unusual enough that it undoubtedly an imitative. An old surface find brought over with the family when they immigrated to the United States from Jordan.

    SH94516. Silver tetradrachm, Syrian Hoard pl. 6, 103 ff.; cf. SNG Cop 40; Svoronos Athens pl. 17, 18; HGC 4 1597, VF, high relief, tight flan, dark patina on all but the highest part of the obverse, unusual style, unofficial mint, weight 13.982g, maximum diameter 24.6mm, die axis 270o, c. 450 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves into ear; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; from the Ray Nouri Collection."

    It's really nice to have a provenance like this one. The weight, as with many imitative tetradrachms from this region, seems to be in the shekel weight range, rather than Attic.

    D-Camera Athens Arabian Imitation Tetradrachm,  Jordan Find, Forum Purchase 2020C, 2019  5-31-20.jpg

    I need to consolidate all of the owls, in this "house of owls" (and lots of other stuff), organize them and photograph them. I hope to do this and present you with a thread or two on them in the future.
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  18. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    Indeed. It is very iconic. As an ancients collector, it is one of those "you should try to procure one of these at some stage" coin.

    Lovely coin by the way, you must be very pleased :)

    I love the puffer fish imitation owls! I don't know what they were thinking ("Athena would look better if she had an allergic reaction") with the design, but very unique.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  19. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Congrats on the excellent upgrade. The reverse is especially lovely.
    I put off getting one of the longest time, but when the hoard surfaced and there were Owls everywhere, it became increasingly hard to resist pulling the trigger on one.

    ATTICA Athens - AR Tetradrachm 1st New 3111.jpg
    ATTICA, Athens
    AR Tetradrachm. 17.16g, 25mm. ATTICA, Athens, circa 430s-420s BC. Kroll 8; SNG Cop 31; HGC 4, 1597. O: Head of Athena right, with frontal eye, wearing earring, necklace, and crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl. R: Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent to left, AΘE to right; all within incuse square.
  20. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    This is what got me over the line ;)
  21. Myntmannen

    Myntmannen Member

    Awesome owl's all! What is a fair price for a decent looking owl? I feel like I need one.
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