Sicily, land of some of the most artistic treasures of antiquity...and these coins as well/Newphotos

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Apr 8, 2021 at 1:48 PM.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Ahh, ancient Sicily!
    (Beautiful enough to take the words right out your...I want go there!)

    Known for its beauty, excellent placement for trade, as the pivotal battleground for so many massive wars (from the Peloponnesian to the Punic and beyond!) and for us some of the most beautiful and artistic masterpieces of coinage ever made!


    I have a good amount of well used Sicilian coins from all over the island that I hadn't taken pictures of since I first got them a couple years ago when my photo skills of coins were garbage.

    Now that my photo skills are a level above garbage and more along the lines of recyclable trash I thought I better give them a redo.

    My first really BIG DADDY kinda coin purchase right here and a coin I still love to marvel at. What did it look like in mint condition? How many bottles of wine were bought with this coin? How many bottles of wine would this coin be able to purchase? How did that little ancient scuff make its way on there? And the beauty of Arethusa is always breathtaking:
    SICILY. Syracuse. Deinomenid Tyranny

    485-466 BC. AR Tetradrachm (24mm - 17.45 g). Struck circa 480-475 BC. Charioteer driving walking quadriga right, holding kentron and reins; Nike flying above crowning horses / Diademed head of Arethusa right, surrounded by four dolphins swimming clockwise. Boehringer 134 (V60/R93); SNG ANS 38 (same dies); Randazzo -. rev sl off-ctr, sl surface imperfections,most notably a horizontal scratchlike flaw in obv right field. Purchased from Frank Robinson. Ex Pegasi

    Another very popular type from Sicily and my first ancient purchased at a coin show. Wanna talk about a one sided coin!:
    Sicily, Akragas. Tetras

    10.35 g), ca. 420-406 BC. AKPA, eagle right, head lowered to devour hare held in talons; in left field, crab right. Reverse Crab; below, three pellets above crayfish left. CNS 50; SNG ANS 1037; HGC 2, 140. Rare. Glossy dark chocolate brown patina. Purchased at Salt Lake coin show 2017.

    Of course every collection should have at least one sweet little
    Sicily, Tetras, Syracuse

    Second Democracy (466-405) c. 425 BC, AE (g 1,1"; mm 11; h 4), ΣYPA, head of nymph Arethusa r., wearing necklace and hair loosely gathered at the top of her head; at sides, two dolphins. Linear border, Rv. Octopus; around, three pellets. CNS II, n. 1; SNG Copenhagen 653;" SNG ANS 376 ff. Purchased from variana_museum 2017

    Next up is one of my favorites and also a reminder of why it is important to take your coins out and play with them! Notice anything on the bottom right of the little cockle side? Yep. BD LOVES these old Sicilian bronzes. She is resting comfortably in distilled water as we type.
    Dionysios I

    Sicily, Syracuse
    Æ Hemilitron, circa 405-400 BC. Head of Arethusa left; laurel branch behind / Dolphin right; cockle shell below, ΣVPA between. CNS 24; SNG ANS 417; HGC 2, 1480. 3.63g, 18mm

    Herakles looking more the part of Apollo on this one:

    Syracuse on Sicily Ae-20mm 295-289 BCE.
    Av. head of Herakles right
    Rv. Lion walking right, above club
    quality is very fine with a brown patina, weight is 6,61gr. SNG ANS 737 Former: cichosgladiator11

    The warrior here really reminds me of Ajax on the reverse of those dazzling Lokris Nymph types. I wonder how we know that is supposed to be Ajax (the lesser, I believe) and this is just some dude?:
    SICILY, Pentonkion

    The Mamertinoi. 220-200 BC. (Bronze, 27mm, 12 g 6). Laureate head of Zeus to right. Rev. MAMEPTINΩN Warrior advancing right, wearing helmet and holding shield and spear; to right, value mark Π. Calciati I, 41. SNG ANS 441. SNG Morcom 638.

    And these last two are two of my favorite types of bronze coins, colorful! You just cannot get a good photo of them but in hand they shine like diamonds. Patination so sweet it could melt your face off!
    Sicily, Syracuse. Hiketas II (287-278 BC). Æ (22mm, 6.75g, 9h), c. 287-3 BC. Wreathed head of Persephone l. R/ Charioteer driving biga r. CNS II, 123 (Agathokles); HGC 2, 1446. Fine Ex London ancient coins LTD 2020

    I'd be pretty remiss if I didn't get a coin from those pesky Carthaginian up in here. That black patina poking out through the grime of ages is just so appealing to me. I am sure plenty would try to clean this beauty. NEVER! She is a stone cold beauty as she is:
    Carthaginian Domain, Sicily

    c. 4th-3rd cent. BC. ’ (17mm, 2.7g, 3h). Wreathed head of Tanit l. R/ Horse standing r. before palm tree. SNG Copenhagen 1117-9 (Zeugitania)
    Former: lorddeibi6

    And that's that. Please post your Sicilian coinage, recent reshoots, coins that are stunners in hand but the photos just never do justice or anything else that floats your triremes!
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  3. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Nice write-up! I especially like your crab and octopus AE's.

    The cities of Sicily have, without a doubt, produced some of the most artistic coins of the ancient Greek world. The workmanship and skill demonstrated on the tetradrachms, decadrachms, drachms, bronze coinage and gold coinage far exceed the die work elsewhere.

    In addition to the beautifully executed classical portraits, I think the very naturalistic rendering of the horses, crabs, dolphins, rabbits and other animals is unparalleled in ancients coinage, at least before the Roman Republic and Imperial periods, as exemplified by the third coin.

    Here are three examples from my collection:

    Syracuse, tetradrachm, Deinomenid Tyranny, 480-475 BC

    D-Camera Syracuse Tetradrachm, Deinomenid Tyranny, 480-475 BC, 5-16-20.jpg

    Kamarina, tetradrachm, 425-405 BC

    D-Camera Kamarina Tetradrachm, 425-405 BC, VF, 5-12-20.jpg

    Syracuse, tetradrachm, Agathokles, 317-310 BC

    D-Camera Syracuse tetradrachm Agathokles reshoot 317-310BC 17.0g  Berk 4-8-21.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 11:39 PM
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  4. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 Casual Collector / error expert "in Training "

    I don't have any but would love to own one . :(
    My Grandparents were from Salerno just south of Naples. Have many distant cousins there.
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  5. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    My absolute favourite Sicilian:

    P1160017 best.jpg
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  6. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Ryro, Those are wonderful photos :jawdrop:! My grandparents on my mother's side came from Enna, Sicily, over a hundred years ago :happy:. Sicilian immigrants didn't get the "welcome wagon" in those days :smuggrin:. I'm proud of my Sicilian heritage :D. I only have one coin left that was made on the Island & it isn't Sicilian :(.
    4167455-013, AK Collection.jpg
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  7. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Ah yes, such a lovely island. I went there on our honeymoon. History is everywhere, and the landscape is breathtaking. I wish I owned a tet with Arthusa, but unfortunately, this is not the case (yet!). All I can add to this great topic, is a coin from a Sicily mint, but minted many years later then the Greek beauties:
    (This coin deserves its own write up. Somewhere in the future, I'll find the time to do it!)
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  8. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Ryro ..Love your write ups and cool coins!
    Sicily, Syracuse. Hieron II. 274-216 BC. Æ-Litra (19mm, 6.38g).
    Obverse..Diademed head of Poseidon left with border of dots.
    Reverse..ΙΕΡΩΝΟΣ, Ornate scroll decorated trident with lotiform shaft flanked by dolphins.
    Ref:for type SNG Cop 844-856.
    poseidon black.jpg
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  9. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Thanks so much for posting those three masterpieces:artist: That Agathokles is so beautiful it could make a blind man see:singing:
    Glad you like the octopussy:smuggrin: and that it turned out so well:shame: It's hard with those tiny pebbles of metal. Here's my other Oct that didn't quite make the OP post
    SICILY, Syracuse

    Second Democracy (465-405 BC). Ae Trionkia.
    Obv: ΣYPA.
    Head of Arethusa right, dolphin to left and right.
    Rev: Octopus; three pellets around.
    HGC 2, 1428.
    Condition: Very fine.
    Weight: 3 g.
    Diameter: 15 mm.
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  10. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    What a fantastic assortment of Sicilian beauty @Ryro . I especially like your Deinomenid tetradrachm. One of those archaic beauties is on my long term list.

    Here is my current favorite from Sicily.
    Sicily, Syracuse
    Agathokles, AR Tetradrachm
    Dia.: 26 mm
    Wt.: 17.19 g
    Obv.: KOΡAΣ Head of Kore to right, wearing grain wreath and pendant earring.
    Rev.: AΓAΘOKΛEIOΣ Nike, bare to the waist, standing right, attaching armor to trophy to her right, she holds a nail in her right hand and a hammer in her left; to left, triskeles of legs running to right.
    Ref.: Ierardi 143/141 (O38/R95). SNG ANS 674 (same obverse die). An unrecorded die combination; toned.
    Ex W. F. Stoecklin (1888-1975) acquired in Taormina, Sicily, in 1931.
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  11. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Beautiful coins in this thread.

    But let us not forget the Byzantine issues from Sicily. Here are a couple of beauties from the 7th century :oops: :

    Byz - Constans II Sicily Follis Jan 2020 (0).jpg
    Constans II Æ Follis
    (c. 654-659 A.D.)
    Syracuse Mint

    No legend, Constans with long beard left holding staff, Constantine IV unbearded right / holding cross on globe / Large M TKw monogram above, SCL beneath mid-placed exergual line.
    SB 1109; DOC 180 / Class 5
    (5.47 grams / 27 mm)

    Byz Constans II - Sicily follis SB 1103 lot Aug 2020 (0).jpg
    Constans II Æ Follis
    (c. 641-644 A.D.)
    Syracuse Mint

    [M]PER CONS[T], crowned, unbearded bust facing, wearing chlamys, holding cross on globe / lower case M, ANA to left, [NEOS] right, large SC, preceded by Officina Γ
    SB 1103; DOC 9; MIB 204a-c.
    (4.40 grams / 25 x 17 mm)
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  12. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to buy this coin back in the late 1980s, when a group entered the market. Harlan Berk had a few, so I decided to buy this coin during one of his buy-bid sales. Other examples showed up at auction. I know Ponterio sold a few, along with the other Agathokles tetradrachm type featuring Kore on the obverse.

    This is really no way that I could afford to buy one now, at today's elevated prices.

    Your thread motivated me to do a reshoot of the coin today, with somewhat better results.
  13. Scipio

    Scipio Well-Known Member

    Not a coin but...: Island of Filicudi (ancient Phenikousa), Sicily, 8CF58399-CAA8-4AF0-BE38-4C7B716A09E5.jpeg CC108622-41C3-4816-80B7-00294C7D131C.jpeg 604B00C2-6DCB-4831-AA04-10F1DBE0FA1E.jpeg summer 2019
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  14. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    I can see why that is your fav. It'd be mine as well if I owned it! That eagle looks straight off of the quarter. And the reverse:artist: is covered in beauty. the eal, the conk and that OCTOPUSS!!!:jawdrop:
    Here are a couple more of the reshoots that didn't make the OP:
    (I know I know, it's Carthaginian)
    ZEUGITANA Carthage

    Late fourth–early third century BC. Æ 19.3 (6.69 gm). Palm tree / horse head right. SNG Copenhagen 102

    (yeahhh, the Romans didn't bring the best artistry the island had ever seen)
    Sicily, Syracuse

    Roman Occupation, Bronze, After 212 BC, AE (g 7,04 mm 2o), Head of Zeus r., dotted border, Rv. ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, Isis standing l., holding istrum and sceptre. Dotted border. CNS II, n. 240 SNG Copenhagen 904 SNG ANS 1065.
  15. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Nice photos, Ryro. Taking good pics of bronze coins can be a challenge, much more, I have experienced, than with silver coins, unless they are rough or very dark.
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  16. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Thanks! And I'd be almost as proud of that coin as my heritage if I had that coin... and wasn't a Celtic mutt.
    Those pesky Carthaginians and their baby eating goddess
    Screenshot_20210407-170842_PicCollage-removebg-preview (1).png
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  17. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Constans II is known for some truly horrific strikes. This is one of the better ones I've seen, which isn't saying much.

    This is Syracuse (SCL) mint, overstruck on *something else*
    Constans II Sear 1105 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
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  18. troutrus

    troutrus Member

    I like The Godfather Trilogy, the Sopranos, Sicilian food, and coins with crabs. Still looking for the coin.
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  19. Alegandron

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

    Great coins, fun writeup (I am like the monkey photographer - he is doing a better job than me), and nice new Arethusa Tet! I always enjoy your posts.

    Syracuse Gelon 485-478 BCE AR Tet 24mm 16.7g Slow Biga Victory Arethusa 4 dolphins Sear-Greek S 914 Ex Charles Reeve

    Here is one from the 2nd Punic War as the Romans “weaned” Carthage from the Island...

    RR AR Denarius 214-208 BCE Roma R X behind - Dioscuri R ROMA linear frame stars Sicily RARE Cr 68-1b
  20. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    LOL - I'm pretty sure the monkey took this photo of my AE Litra - and it is in need of a reshoot - it's 31.8 grams of bronze from Sicily:
    Sicily Litra v3.jpg
    Sicily, Syracuse, Civic issue, Time of Timoleon, 344-336 B.C, AE litra
    Obv: [ΣYPA], head of Athena left in crested Corinthian helmet bound with olive wreath
    Rev: Starfish or 8-pointed star between two swimming dolphins
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  21. Johndakerftw

    Johndakerftw Mr. Rogers is My Hero

    I love the ancient coins from Sicily!

    Syracuse.jpg Syracuse 2.jpg Syracuse 3.jpg

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