The Faces of Athena

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by robinjojo, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. Alegandron

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

    I have shown these before, but, here are a few Owl Tets with bankers marks...

    Mine have “been around the block”. However, I enjoy that they traded outside the Greek World, as they have bankers marks slammed into Athena’s face. (I understand a big no-no for Greeks to desecrate such a powerful Goddess!)

    Athens Owl Tetradrachmae,
    all~17+g, approx22x6.5mm
    Late Classical 393-300 BCE,
    Sear 2537, SNG Cop. 63
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  3. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    The circular banker's mark with a raised dot in the middle, stamped on the owl's chest on the reverse of your first coin, looks pretty much exactly like the one on mine. I guess we'll never know what it signified.
    Alegandron likes this.
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    When I first saw it, I thought it must be fake but not a recent one. I simply do not like the face. I have been looking for just the right Archaic Athenian but price is an option. Your other coin with reversed legend and owl strikes me as great but I simply do not know enough to accept this one with comfort.
  5. Alegandron

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

    The ones that I am very interested with are the ones slammed into Athena's face. She was a major Goddess in the Greek World (and much of the Western World). Ergo, these bankers marks may had been pounded into her face by traders OUTSIDE the Greek World. Interesting for me.
  6. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    Surely THE best ever face of Athena. Thompson #1 obverse#3 c 164/3 BC. The finest example I have seen too...but I would say that wouldn't I!
    Edessa, Sulla80, Johndakerftw and 5 others like this.
  7. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    I really don't have a lot of Athene coins. And even fewer with pics.
    Here's the usual suspect:


    And another quite common coin, but one where I find the Athene portrait very beautiful.

    Anaktorion, Akarnania AR Stater. 350-300 BC Helmeted head of Athena left wearing Corinthian helmet over leather cap; AN monogram and filleted bucranium behind. KAE above./ Pegasos flying left, AN monogram below. 21 mm, 8.5g
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  8. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    A fighting Athena Alkadimos on a Antigonus Gonatus
    " Pan head" tetradrachm
  9. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    You have some nice examples of Attica tetradrachms used in commerce. You might be able to identify some of them, such as the banker's marks on the top two coins, but that would take a lot of research and imagination.

    I know that collectors of 8 reales and trade dollars collect sometimes based on counter/banker's marks and chop marks, but I don't know if that also applies to ancients.
  10. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    The coin that I think is an imitation is an enigma. I guess that's why I like it. It does go against the conventions of the archaic style and it does incorporate later styles, especially with the obverse.

    I came across an imitation of an archaic Attica tetradrachm online that is currently for sale. I have an image of that coin and my coin for comparison.

    Tetradrachm Comparison.jpg
    The two coins show some similarities as well as differences. The most notable similarity is the treatment of the chin, mouth and nose and forehead. One key aspect of the archaic style is the virtual lack of any forehead. Instead, the ridge of the nose runs straight to the hair line. Later designs incorporate an actual forehead with a clear transition between it and the nose. The differences between the two coins rest with the reverse, with the owl, ethnic and olive leaves, and with the treatment of the helmet's crest on the obverse. Both examples are crude in their execution.

    The color of the two coins is different as well. My coin has been cleaned, but it also might be lower grade silver. It is actually a bit darker than depicted in the image.

    As I recall the weight of the imitation currently for sale is 16.9 grams or so.

    The archaic tetradrachm that I posted is quite exotic, but I have trust in the source of the purchase and it does show obvious signs of an ancient coin.

    Thank you for your input.
    Edessa, Alegandron and Bing like this.
  11. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    That is a classic depiction of Athena advancing with raised shield and spear. I've also seen this on tetradrachms of Alexander III.
  12. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    And on some Ptolemy l st tetradrachms
  13. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    And now on this New Style imitation. Athena seemingly at some intermediate stage just before the proper New Style depiction and the later stages of the old style .
    Edessa, Sulla80, Johndakerftw and 3 others like this.
  14. JulesUK

    JulesUK Well-Known Member

    One of my favourite books. Fantastic author.
    Two Athena`s from me, one Greek (overcleaned) and one Roman Provincial, both helmeted:-

    1. Greek Athena Amphora combo.jpg 2-RP Athena Kybele combo.jpg
  15. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Here's a coin that arrived today that I think is appropriate for this old thread.

    It is a "tetradrachm" of the Kingdom of Lihyan, I believe, located in northwestern Arabia. The coin came to me with no attribution at all, save that it is a bronze imitative coin.

    Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Kingdom of Lihyan:

    "Lihyan (Arabic: لحيان‎, Liḥyān; Greek: Lechienoi), also called Dadān or Dedan (Hebrew: דְּדָן‎, Dəḏān), was a powerful and highly organized ancient Arab kingdom that played a vital cultural and economic role in the north-western region of the Arabian Peninsula and used Dadanitic language."

    Here's a link for more information on this little known and influential kingdom:

    The term tetradrachm as applied to this coin is a very general one. The coin weighs 7.4 grams, actually much closer to a didrachm.

    Additionally, the overall elements of the coinage devolved over time, to the point where the portrait and owl bear only the faintest resemblance of an original Athenian tetradrachm. Indeed, one could characterize this coin as an exercise in abstract art. Certainly the obverse would give any Celtic imitation a run for it money in this regard.

    If anyone has more information regarding this coinage and especially any catalog references for this coin, please let me know. Thanks

    Northwestern Arabia, 2nd-1st centuries BC
    Kingdom of Lihyan
    AE "Tetradrachm"
    Imitation of an Athenian tetradrachm, probably of the 4th century or later.
    Obverse: Highly devolved portrait of Athena, facing right.
    Reverse: Devolved facing owl, AOE to the right.
    21 mm, 3 h.
    7.4 grams

    D-Camera ARABIA, Northwest. Lihyan, imitation of Athens tetradrachm, 2-1 c BC, 7.4 g, 10-23-20.2.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2020
    Edessa, Sulla80, Johndakerftw and 2 others like this.
  16. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    It's nice that I'm finally starting to be able to show some ARs in addition to my ruddy AEs. Now if I ever get around to improving my own pics, so that I don't have to rely on the sellers'...

    ATTICA, Athens. AR Tetradrachm. Circa 449-413 BC. 24mm 16.80g
    O: Helmeted head of Athena right, with frontal eye
    R: Owl standing right, head facing, closed tail feathers; olive sprig and crescent to left; all within incuse square.
    HGC 4, 1597


    ATTICA, Athens. AR Tetradrachm. Circa 165-42 BC. 32mm 15.61g
    New Style coinage. Struck 165-150/149 BC.
    Helmeted head of Athena Parthenos right
    R: ΑΘΕ, Owl standing right, head facing, on amphora; magistrates’ monograms flanking in fields, Δ on amphora, terminal figure of Hermes to left, all within wreath
    Thompson 88; HGC 4, 1602
  17. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Some of my favorite Athenas:

    Mysia, Pergamon, 200-133 BC.
    Bronze Æ 15.7 mm, 3.55 g, 12 h.
    Obv: Head of Athena right, wearing crested helmet ornamented with star.
    Rev: AΘΗ-ΝΑΣ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ, owl standing facing on palm, with wings spread,TK monogram left and ΠΛ right.
    Refs: SNG Copenhagen 388 (same); c.f. SNG von Aulock 1375-6, BMC 197-199, SNG France 1920-2, SNG BN 1913-6 (various monograms).

    Phrygia, Apameia, ca. 88-40 BC.
    Greek Æ 23 mm, 7.71 g.
    Magistrate Philokratos son of Aristos.
    Obv: Bust of Athena to right, wearing aegis and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with griffin.
    Rev: AΠAMEΩN / ΦIΛOKPATOY APIΣΤΕOY, Eagle alighting right above Maeander pattern; to l. and r., eight-pointed star above piloi of the Dioskouroi.
    Refs: BMC 25.87, 105-108; SNG Cop 168-69.

    [​IMG] Macrinus and Diadumenian, AD 217-218.
    Roman provincial Æ Pentassarion, 12.06 g, 26.5 mm, 6 h.
    Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis, Legate Pontius Furius Pontianus, June/Aug 217-Nov/Dec 217.
    Obv: ΑΝΤ Κ ΟΠΕΛ CΕV ΜΑΚΡΕΙΝΟC Κ Μ ΟΠΕ ΑΝΤΩΝΕΙΝΟC, Confronted heads of Macrinus right, laureate, and Diadumenian left, bare.
    Rev: VΠ ΠΟΝΤΙΑΝΟV ΜΑΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ, Athena wearing helmet and aegis, standing left, holding owl and inverted spear; E in right field.
    Refs: AMNG I 734v.; Hristova & Jekov; Varbanov 1170a; BMC 30v.; Moushmov 537; Wiczay 2148v.

    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman provincial triassarion, 7.19 g, 21.7 mm, 7 h.
    Thrace, Pautalia, AD 161-175.
    Obv: ΦΑVCΤΕΙΝΑ-CΕΒΑCΤΗ, draped bust of Faustina II, right; double band of pearls around head.
    Rev: ΟVΛΠΙΑC ΠΑV-ΤΑΛΙΑC, Athena seated, l., holding owl and spear; resting foot on footrest; leaning against seat, shield.
    Refs: RPC IV 10035, Ruzicka 108.
    Notes: Double die match to RPC IV 10035(1) = Ruzicka 108(2) = Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France 957 (ex 779).

    Gordian III, AD 238-244, with Tranquillina.
    Roman provincial AE pentassarion, 11.34 gm, 29.7 mm.
    Anchialos, Thrace, AD 241-244.
    Obv: ΑVΤ Κ Μ ΑΝΤ ΓΟΡΔΙΑΝΟC ΑVΓ CΕΒ ΤΡΑΝ-ΚVΛΛΙΝΑ, confronted busts.
    Rev: ΟVΛΠΙΑΝWΝ ΑΡΧΙΑΛΕ-WΝ, Athena seated left, holding patera and inverted spear; shield at base of throne.
    Refs: AMNG II (Strack) 662; Moushmov 2937; Varbanov 752.
  18. Edessa

    Edessa Supporter! Supporter

    Akarnania, Federal Coinage. Struck late second century BC. Æ20 (6.53g, 3h). Thyrreion mint. Obv: Head of Athena in Attic helmet left. Rev: Bearded taurine head of Acheloös left, trident above. Ref: SNG Copenhagen 423-424; BMC Thessaly pg. 170, 21-24; BCD Akarnania 41-44; HGC 4, 738.

  19. OutsiderSubtype

    OutsiderSubtype Well-Known Member

    Amisos, Pontus. Time of Mithradates VI Eupator, 85-65 BCE. AE28. 28mm, 19 g. Obverse: Head of Athena right, wearing a crested helmet decorated with Pegasus leaping right. Reverse: AMIΣ[OY]. The hero Perseus standing facing, holding harpa in right hand and severed head of Medusa in left hand. Medusa's fallen body in background. Monogram in left field. SNG Copenhagen 137.

    coin-outsider-collection-4EPCnK-stitched-basic-large (1).jpg
    Athens, Attica. Circa 454-404 BCE. Silver Tetradrachm. 25mm, 17.14 g. Obverse: Helmeted head of Athena right, with frontal eye. Reverse: Owl standing right, head facing, closed tail feathers; olive sprig and crescent to left; all within incuse square. ΑΘΕ downward on right. Kroll 8; HGC 4 1597. Some graffiti, test cut on obverse.
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