Featured The tale of Kyzikos and the mysterious missing coin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. dadams

    dadams Well-Known Member

    Nice coins @Ryro !! The lion on your new coin sure does seem similar to the other Kyzikos coins posted.

    I’ve only a Pergamon coin from the Mysia region gifted to me by @Curtisimo (who I’ve missed):
    Mysia, Pergamon. AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm, Struck ca. 76-67 BC.
    Obv.: Cista mystica, with serpent issuing l. from beneath half-open lid; around, wreath of ivy.
    Rev.: [​IMG] in field l.; Bow-case, ornamented with floral scroll, and containing strung bow; in front and at sides, two serpents with tails intertwined and heads erect facing one another with monogram [​IMG] between and ΦΙ above; in field r., thyrsus with serpent coiled round it.
    12.6g, 29mm, 12h
    Cf. Pinder 119, Kleiner Hoard 50; SNG BnF 1754-5
    Ex. Aethelred ; Ex. Curtisimo

    Smallest in the collection is this tiny 5mm guy from Kebren in Troas:
    Curtisimo, ominus1, TIF and 6 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    I had that very coin on my list but decided not to bid on anything in the auction. You got a good deal on it.

    Another example is being offered on eBay by a friend on mine who used to write for The Celator. His speculation on the type might add to the fun. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mysterious...ek-Silver-0-14-grams-Ex-Nomos-AG/283435621389
    Roman Collector, DonnaML and Ryro like this.
  4. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    If we are going to show coins of Kyzikos, let's go all the way to the Byzantine empire:

    Maurice (582-602), year 8 (589/90).
    30 mm (pretty large), 12.68 grams.
    Sear 518

    You can't say the artwork was good at that time. I bought it at the 2015 summer ANA from a dealer who was selling the collection of a man who specialized in coins of Kyzikos across all the centuries from Greek to Roman to Byzantine. I got three of this type, all with different terrible portraits.

    The mint continued under Phocas (602-61) and Heraclius (610-641). In 626 Constantinople was besieged by the Avars and Persians and no coins of Kyzikos later than year 20 (629/30) of Heraclius are known.
  5. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Thanks my man!:smuggrin: You know you are spoiled when a coin smaller than the circumference of your pinky nail is a MONSTER:troll:
    But you deserve nice things:)
    Your:vamp:reminds me of my first example:
  6. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    Kyzikos El Stater 500-450 B.C. Winged canine facing left head reverted standing on tunny Anepigraphic. Rv. Quadripartite incuse square. Weber 1568 16.07 grms 18 mm Photo by W. Hansen kyzikos12.jpg
    eparch, Edessa, Herodotus and 14 others like this.
  7. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    Kyzikos was the place where Mithradates really came unstuck in the 3rd and final Mithradatic war.
    Ryro likes this.
  8. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Thanks Claudius. Wonderful coin and thought provoking questions.
    Since our type is within 100 years or so of the invent of coins, it's pretty close to the oldest they could have made.
    And many thanks to Valentinian who said...

    That puts them at well over a millennia of coin producing!!!!
    Now the second question is another fun and interesting one. Athens and Rome were the first to pop in my head...oh, Alexandria!
    dadams likes this.
  9. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    The lack of Claudius II Gothicus on this thread is disturbing. Here, for good measure:

    from the SPQR series:



    to the M - C (Moneta Cyzicus) series:

    claudius gothicus MC.JPG

    These were all products of the mint in the first half to the mid of 269, clearly of the same mint master and/or of a common group of mint workers who were responsible for both series. The M - C was only struck in one issue around early summer 269.

    The shape of the L in CLAVDIVS is hint of the same workmanship throughout the period.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  10. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Spectacular, Terence!
    Ryro likes this.
  11. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    +100 @Ed Snible! Thanks for taking that auction off:happy:
    At 13 EUR, it was the third least expensive coin sold at an auction that had plenty selling for thousands:cigar:
    It's sister piece was a steal too, at just 38 EUR!
    The last one of these previously sold for 190 EUR! (Both coin pics borrowed)
    7001054.m.jpg I enjoyed this coins sub text as well. "Exactly what this coin is, and where it is from, is quite uncertain. The obverse is almost Celtic in flavour, while the reverse is very similar to that on standard Kyzikene silver fractions, albeit of rougher or ruder style. Whether this coin was issued by a town or a community or a specific population group cannot be ascertained at present."
    Talk about heightening the intrigue:woot: of my "Celtic\Oriental" mystery coin:bookworm:

    And, as stated in the Ebay listing, examples have sold for as much as nearly 2 grand:greedy: (I'd love to peep:watching: those examples).
    Per usual, Ed, your post is illuminating and raises more questions:pompous:

    For ease of reading here is the description from the linked Ebay coin:

    "GREEK, Asia Minor (?), Uncertain Mint. Circa 450 - 400 BC. AR Hemitetartemorion or tetartemorion (6.55 mm – 0.14 grams). Uncertain / Head of roaring lion left; V in upper left field; all within incuse square. Apparently unpublished (except for its sale appearances)

    Ex Nomos AG, Winter-Spring FPL (2012), 44 (asking price $2,600.00)

    Ex Hauck & Aufhäuser Auction 15 (2000), 95 (sold for $1,800.00)

    Research: A truly enigmatic coin. By the early fifth century BC the obverse types on Greek coinage typically served as a civic emblem to identify the issuing authority. However, this mid-to-late fifth century coin is a rare exception as nothing exactly like this remarkable design has been seen before and at present its symbolism is a true mystery. It consists of two crescent shaped objects back to back. One crescent has a pellet attached to the tip of one end and two lines forming a V-shape at the tip of the other end. The second crescent is plain with no attachments and has a greater arc to its semicircular shape. Two other pellets are positioned just below the pellet attached to the crescent, with one to the left and other to the right. Although I am not convinced that the asymmetrical design represents two crescents, I cannot offer a satisfactory alternative and will continue to describe them in this manner.

    Unfortunately, the reverse type featuring a roaring lion’s head is such a common coin type throughout the Greek world that it provides no information pointing to a mint, or even a particular province.

    Dr. Alan Walker of Nomos AG wrote (see provenance):

    “This is a truly bizarre coin. It was sold as uncertain Asia Minor, but the types themselves are inconclusive. The curious obverse pattern is paralleled both by some early electrum and by rather later Celtic issues from Britain and Gaul (?). As for the lion’s head, it could certainly also be from Asia Minor, but the possibility that the lion’s mane was also used as the fronds of a palm tree suggests that it could well be western! If there was ever a coin that needed further research, this is the one.”

    All things considered, this may symbolize an ornamental or floral motif though these types were more commonly found on earlier archaic coinage and in a much different form."

    If the coin is from Kyzikos why would the lions image devolve despite the coin no longer needing the archaic incuse reverse?
    How would a seemingly Celtic obverse design make it all the way from England to Turkey?
    Why would Kyzikos switch the lion to the reverse?
    If Celtic, I've not seen such a drastic juxtaposition as the image on the reverse and design on the obverse from them. What does it mean???:wacky::confused:
    You have pals that used to write for the Celator? I LOVE The Celator!:woot: We need to start a petition for them to bring back thre Celator #nomoreCelatorskelter!
    Edessa, Alegandron, zumbly and 7 others like this.
  12. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    What a magnificent piece, Terrence:artist:. Thanks so much for sharing her. I say "her" as Spuds was a female;)
    History and art repeating itself??
    ... not so much:facepalm:
  13. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Lost in SHAG carpeting! How on earth did she find it? The ol' vacuum cleaner with a piece of hosiery stretched across the nozzle?

    Those itty bitty coins can be a real pain but I love them anyway. This lion and pig tidbit is one I keep meaning to acquire but so far have failed. Yours is very attractive.

    Apparently I have no Greek coins from Kyzikos! How can that be when they are so cool?! Maybe it's time for a Vcoins excursion :D.

    Mysia I can do.

    From Pergamon, the largest city in Mysia:

    KINGS of PERGAMON, Eumenes I
    263-241 BCE
    AR tetradrachm 29 mm, 16.94 gm
    Obv: head of Philetairos right, wearing laurel wreath
    Rev: ΦIΛETAIPOY; Athena enthroned left, right hand resting on shield set at her feet, gorgon on shield; left elbow resting on small sphinx seated right; transverse spear in background, ivy leaf above knee, monogram on throne, bow to right
    Ref: BMC Greek (Mysia) 31, p.115; SNG France 1606–9
    Formerly slabbed, NGC Ch AU 5/5 3/5, Fine Style
    Ex Dr. Spencer Paterson Collection of Ancient coins, Great Collections 15 Sept 2019

    A 9 mm beauty (so dang hard to take focused pictures of these!)
    MYSIA, Pitane
    AE, 4th-3rd c. BCE
    9 mm, 0.64 gm
    Obv: Head of Zeus Ammon right
    Rev: ΠΙΤΑ; Pentagram, branch in center
    Ref: BMC 5-10 var. (pellet in center)

    A favorite flying pig:
    MYSIA, Kisthene
    Orontes, satrap of Mysia, c. 357-352 BCE
    AR Half Siglos or Tetrobol; 13 mm, 2.75 gm
    Obv: Nude hoplite crouching left behind shield, spear at ready
    Rev: Forepart of winged boar right
    Ref: Troxell, Orontes 4; SNG France 1164A (Lampsakos); SNG von Aulock
    Very rare.
    ex X6 Collection

    One of my earliest attempts at animating a coin:

    Peloponnesian war coin:

    A bunch of itty bitties:


    I've added many more little coins since the above composite but am behind on photograph and cataloging! Here's a notable one, made "famous" here on CT by @Severus Alexander when he skillfully deployed the coin and writeup in the 2018 Coin Imperator match. (edited imaged from Sev)

    Magnesia ad Maeandrum under Themistocles, 465-459 BCE
    AR hemiobol, 0.35g 7.5mm
    Obv: Barley grain with Θ to left, E to right
    Rev: Male head right (Apollo?), (flanked by M A?)
    Reference: Nollé and Wenninger Th 5c

    Another coin I should have shown long before now, an incredibly thoughtful gift from @rrdenarius! The reverse looks like my TIF logo :D.

    IONIA, Kolophon
    circa 450-410 BCE
    AR tetartemorion
    I can't find my scales but the flip insert says 0.2 gm; 6 x 7 mm
    Obv: laureate head of Apollo right
    Rev: TE monogram (bottom leg of E off flan) within incuse square.
    Ref: Milne, Colophon 31 (unverified)


    Here's the mischievous monkey mentioned upthread:

    MACEDON, uncertain
    c. 500 BCE
    AR 5 mm, 0.26 gm
    Obv: monkey squatting left
    Rev: round shield or pellet within incuse square
    Ref: "Uncertain Thraco-Macedonian Coins, Part II", Nomismatika Khronika (1998), 67

    Dropped it on Berber carpeting shortly after opening the package. Took a while to find it!
    Edessa, Alegandron, zumbly and 15 others like this.
  14. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish)

    Great coin and write up as always @Ryro !

    I’ll throw in a couple of very humble Roman era coins for the thread.
  15. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    What an excellent tiny enigma, @Ryro. Congrats on the score, and bravo to Mrs Ryro for rescuing it from shag carpet hell. :D

    I don't have anything similar to show, but here's another uncertain Asia Minor (Kyzikos?) fraction.
    Kyzikos Attis.jpg
    ASIA MINOR, Uncertain (Kyzikos?)
    AR Hemiobol. 0.26g, 6.8mm, Uncertain mint, possibly MYSIA, Kyzikos (?), circa 525-475 BC. Apparently unpublished; cf. CNG 213, lot 151); G&N Pecunem 15, lot 168. O: Head of Attis right, wearing Phrygian cap. R: Quadripartite incuse square.
  16. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I have a couple from Kyzikos:

    AE 17 Kore Soteira/Tripod, tunny fish, plectrum

    Trihemiobol, Boar/lion
    Alegandron, PeteB, dadams and 4 others like this.
  17. Co1ns

    Co1ns Active Member

    Those are really interesting. We don't have Celts in the region til 277 or so. I can't find much on their early coinage, though they're minting lion type reverses by the 1st century:

    Source: https://balkancelts.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/coins-of-the-galatian-kings/

    Also are they cup shaped??? I thought we didnt see coins like that for another 1500 years :pompous:
    Alegandron, PeteB, Ryro and 3 others like this.
  18. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    The HIMYARITE KINGDOM begs to differ!

    Funny little concave coins of very obscure rulers.
    Amdān Bayān Yahaqbiḍ.jpg
    HIMYARITE KINGDOM, Amdān Bayān Yahaqbiḍ. Denomination: AR Drachm, minted: Raydan (?); 100-120 AD
    Obv: Head right within dotted circle interrupted by monogram
    Rev: Small head right; 'scepter' to right
    Weight: 0g; Ø:mm. Catalogue: (unsure): CAF 3.4ii, fig. 168. Raydan mint. Provenance: Ex. van Eldijk ; acq.: 10-2019
    Co1ns, Alegandron, Bing and 3 others like this.
  19. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Geeze, I thought I was the only one doing all this.
    Ryro likes this.
  20. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    I'm working on improving the photo editing/processing part. Pretty soon I'll work on the actual photo taking improving part. Especially if I'm going to try and show these small guys on here.

    Bear with me.. heh
    MYSIA. Kyzikos. 6th Century BC. AR Hemiobol (7mm 0.58g)

    O: Tunny right, lotus flower and stem below.
    R: Quadripartite incuse square.

  21. Edessa

    Edessa Supporter! Supporter

    Valentinian, I picked up this one for the same reason. The almost comical expression of the Emperor and the uneven lettering give it a certain "style" that appeals to me. zzz.jpg

    Phocas, AD 602-610. Æ Follis (31mm, 10,35g, 1h). Cyzicus Mint, 2nd officina. Dated RY 4 (AD 605/606). Obv: ∂ И FOCAS PЄRP AV[G]; Crowned bust facing, wearing consular robes, holding mappa in his right hand and cruciform scepter in his left, cross to left. Rev: Large XXXX, ANNO IIII (date) above and to right, KYZB in exergue. Ref: DOC -; SB 665. Very Fine, dark patina with sandy highlights. Ex Savoca. From The Tareq Hani collection.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page