Rare Seleucid coin?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Robichari, Nov 29, 2023.

  1. Robichari

    Robichari Active Member

    Hi Board!
    This one, I supposed, to be rare. What do you think? Please share your rare seleucid bronze coins :)

    SELEUKID KINGS OF SYRIA. Antiochos II Theos, 261-246 BC. (Bronze, 22 mm, 12.97 g), Tarsos.
    Obv. The dioscuri on prancing horses to right. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ANTIOXOY Eagle with spread wings alighting left on the Seleukid anchor. SC 567. SNG Spaer 348.
    20231130_014901.jpg 20231130_014808.jpg
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  3. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    It's described as "very rare" on your coin's listing and the two others that are easy to find on ACSearch: https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?term=seleu+diosc+eagle+theos

    If it was just a minor variant I would say not actually that rare, but there don't seem to be any similar types, so I would call this one genuinely rare.

    Your coin's seller (Sol Numismatik) copied their description from Nomos AG (except for weight/diameter/axis), so that's where they're getting the phrase "Very rare": https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=6604647 . See also the specimen sold by Roma: https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=7492522

    There could be others with minimal descriptions from the budget auctioneers on Biddr, but those listings can be almost impossible to find since sometimes they don't use any specific keywords you can search for.
  4. Robichari

    Robichari Active Member

    Thank you very much Curtis for your valuable comment! I am glad that I managed to purchase an interesting budget coin with a very characteristic representation of the Dioscuri. According to rarity scale of seleucid coins from Arthur Houghton and David Hendin paper this coin may be R2 Very Rare: Within a range of more than 2, generally less than 10 extant exampler. Coins are very limited in number, and are generally not available on the market. One or more may appear over the course of several years.

    Greetings, Robert
    Curtis likes this.
  5. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    I'm sure it's fair to call it rare (it's absent from most collections & minor references), but my hunch is that if 3 have appeared at auction in the past 4 years, there may be more than 10 total out there to find if you really looked.

    To quantify rarity, you'd want to check how Houghton himself classifies this type in the corpus with Lorber, if you have access to it. (I do not; just his first published collection catalog, which is very limited.) "SC 567" in: A. Houghton & C. Lorber. Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalog. Lancaster. 2002.

    I'm not familiar with that volume, but they may have already checked (though only as of 2002) what's in major private collections (e.g., Houghton), major auctions (e.g., Naville Ars Classica X), and published museum collections and other references. (E.g., there's one in SNG Spaer & at least one more in the Bibliotheque Nationale France: https://numismatics.org/sco/id/sc.1.567)

    Googling around you may find others (e.g., here's a dissertation that illustrates one in Fig. 81; not sure if it's the same illustration from Houghton & Lorber SC 567, or if the coin illustrated there is different from the one in the HGC series).
  6. Robichari

    Robichari Active Member

    Thank you Curtis! Unfortunately, I do not have access to the new catalog and purchasing it is beyond my financial restrictions. Maybe someone here in the group has it and could check it.
    Thank you for the dissertation you sent - I will be happy to look through it more carefully - I looked at the coin published there, it is a coin from the Houghton collection (I have access to the old publication of the collection). So for now with Spaer counted 6 copies. You're probably right and I could find a few more if searched harder. So I will describe the coin as rare. Regards from winter Warsaw!
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