Please help ID this ancient Greek

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Neal, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    IMG_9034.JPG IMG_9030.JPG I just bought this. The seller ID'd it as "MACEDON. Thessalonica. 187-131 BC. Athena / ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚHΣ. Bull Grazing right. SNG ANS 794-7. 17 mm, 6.84 grams." The inscription does not seem quite to spell out ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚHΣ to me, nor exactly match anything on Wildwinds. Is it because there is too little inscription on the flan or because the coin is from another city?

    Thanks for any help on this!
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  3. Mike Margolis

    Mike Margolis Well-Known Member

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  4. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    The bulls look right, but neither the letters nor the obverse look right to me. For one thing, unless the blotted out letter is a sigma, and the bottom does not look like it is, there is only one sigma, whereas ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚHΣhas two on every example I've found. What I can see looks like ...ΣΑH... or possibly ...ΣΛH... Under the bull it reads HΣ, but this case ending could fit a number of cities.
  5. Mike Margolis

    Mike Margolis Well-Known Member

    You might try this search site:

    This is @Ed Snible 's site
    [​IMG]the letters on top match this one from acsearch I think? actually they don't so some experts have to help
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  6. Mike Margolis

    Mike Margolis Well-Known Member

  7. Mike Margolis

    Mike Margolis Well-Known Member

  8. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    A big thank you to everyone! I haven't found a match for the obverse yet, but the reverse clearly is Pella, and is a match for the reverse of one on Wildwinds they ID as Moushmov 6442.

    Thanks again!
  9. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Isn't the obverse as Wildwinds shows for Mou.6453? Yours loses most of the helmet but I think it is there. There is also a monogram on yours right of the ΠΕΛ but it is different than the one on the second 6453. The letters under the bull and monograms probably changed frequently so not finding a match is not a major concern.
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  10. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    The obverse is definitely not that on any that Wildwinds shows. There is no helmet. Although it does not show wll in the picture in my original post, the back of the head clearly shows a bare, curly hairline almost to the top of the head. If there ever was a cord or laurel in the hair, it has worn off, but there is no crown or helmet. I have begun to think it may be a head of Mark Anthony, who, as Triumvir, ruled Macedonia from 40 to 31 BC. This is well within the last years for which Wildwinds attributes this reverse. Is this possible? Compare the picture of my coin's obverse with several of the images for Mark Anthony on IMG_9028.JPG
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  11. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    I like these thick greek bronze coins, here are some mine from Thessalonica:
    Pegasos rearing right, 7.1 gr, Moushmov 6656
    Macedonia - Thessalonica 3 (moushmov 6656).jpg
    Horse galloping right, 5.3 gr, Moushmov ?
    Macedonia - Thessalonica 2 (SBG ANS 770).jpg
    Goat standing right, 5gr, Moushmov 6610
    Macedonia - Thessalonica 1 (moushmov 6610).jpg
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  12. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Wildwinds, like every other resource, is not a complete repository of all known ancient coins. Try ACsearch-- it is probably the most voluminous free database (free to look; if you want to see the prices realized you have to have a paid subscription).

    I agree with Doug and Mike-- Pella; probably Athena obverse, with her helmet not visible due to the off-centering and condition. The monograms are variable and probably weren't deemed important to various catalogers.

    This reverse is also paired with a facing portrait of Demeter, so perhaps there is yet some other facing right portrait which matches your coin (I don't think that will be the case though). If you exhaust all the usual free online resources and are still compelled to investigate further, you can dig through public domain reference books culled from attributions of similar coins. It might be a fun exercise. Digging up those books can be a challenge. Poring through them online can be a challenge, especially if the book is not in your native language. Short of finding a die match it will be very difficult to say with certainty the obverse of your coin.

    Here's a composite of the examples found in ACsearch and currently for-sale examples from Vcoins. In some of the more worn and off-center coins it is hard to discern Athena's helmet.


    Here is your coin's obverse with the dotted border circle completed to demonstrate how the off-centering would make Athena's helmet almost entirely off flan.

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  13. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    TIF, Thanks for the great response! I really appreciate your time and effort! Athena it is.
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