Tiny dichalkous of Antioch

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryan McVay, Feb 13, 2024.

  1. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Well-Known Member

    I recently acquired this little gem of a coin from Antioch. This type (McAlee 168) is under dispute in McAlee's book with him saying "These [c 10mm diameter, undated) may be official issues (struck during the late second century or early third century?) or they may be unofficial issues or imitations struck during the first or second century." McAlee, p86. This is by far the nicest example of this rare type that I have come across. This does include the ET and an officina mark A (or Delta) on the reverse. McAlee's example and the reverse description says "No legend(?)"
    While looking for other examples I found several in acsearch that were "similar" but weighed even less. It would be a good study to look at these "series" of coins.
    McAlee-168-obv.jpg McAlee-168-rev.jpg
    This is 1.24g, 11mm. I can't tell if this is orichalum or standard AE bronze. As always, any other insight or examples of these smaller coins is greatly appreciated!
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Nice little bronze.
  4. The Meat man

    The Meat man Well-Known Member

    That's a very nice, well-struck example!
  5. medoraman

    medoraman Well-Known Member

    I would say bronze, has the look of similar bronze from the area.

    I would agree scarce, I do not recall seeing this type before.
    Ryan McVay likes this.
  6. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Supporter! Supporter

    Even more so! McAlee rates it "Very Rare".

    Indeed! From my scouting around online it may very well fall in the category of "best known example". Nice catch! I love the reverse in particular. The lyre even still shows the detailed, tell-tale 'bumps' that indicate it is intended to portray a lyre made of tortoise-shell.
    Ryan McVay likes this.
  7. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark all my best friends are dead Romans Dealer

  8. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Supporter! Supporter

    Uhhh... yeh... there's that.
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  9. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Well-Known Member

    I'm not worried about the patina on this coin. A dap of spit and a quick few views with the computer microscope and the surfaces still look nice to me. Any objections? BTW the color is a bit off. It is more of sawdust brown/orange than tanned leather orange you see. Sorry about that.
    S20240213_0005.jpg S20240213_0006.jpg
  10. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    I don't have McAlee's book. Is the type below discussed? The claim is that it is of Antioch, but I don't see it in RPC online.

    SYRIA, Antioch? Imperial Times, I-II Century AD? AE14 (2.00 gm).
    Obv: ...NITOIN (blundered ANTIOXEWN?); Laureate head of Apollo?
    Rev: ? A; Lyre. aVF, earthy black patina.
    Ref: Lindgren and Kovacs, 1949 var; SNG Copenhagen Syria #125.
    ex Agora Auctions, Auction 36, May 2015, lot 126 (unsold)
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  11. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Supporter! Supporter

    I was unable to find a match in the reference or the 2 supplements. Nor did I see any further discussion beyond what is included in the O.P. post that may apply.
    Ed Snible likes this.
  12. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Well-Known Member

    These are similar coins and dies. The styles are all similar and the weights range from 0.87-1.78g.
  13. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Well-Known Member

    Sorry Ed. I didn't see this come in. Yes this appears to be McAlee 147(a) with a description of: AE14 (dichalkon) Obv. ANTIOXExN Laur. and dr. bust of Apollo r. Rev. ETOYC CqP (clockwise or counterclockwise). Lyre; above or in field, numeral letter (a) Delta BN (Chandon de Brialles 1668). (Ex. Rare) (b) H BMC 121. (Ex Rare).

    I have the "a" variant and in better condition than McAlee example! Yeah me! Again, this has the crapy paint on it as well as natural desert patina. A slight cleaning and Ren wax and it is now much nicer than this image! The sand scratch marks on the right side rev. are not as noticable, but still there. 5106972_1707150241.l.jpg
  14. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    This coin may be an imitation of tiny 12 mm AE of Hierapolis (Manbij, Syria). The original coin is this one :

    Hierapolis, AE 13 mm
    Obv.: IЄPOΠO ΛЄITωN , bust of laureate Apollo right.
    Rev.: ЄTZ NY = year 457 , lyre, letter A above
    RPC IV.3, 8544 (temporary)

    This example has [IЄPOΠO] ΛITωN on obverse.

    These pseudo-autonomous coins are usually dated from the reign of Antoninus Pius (138-161). If the date is Seleucid, 457 sel. = 146 AD.

    In the 2nd c. AD people in Orient were always in dire need of small change. In Judaea for ex. they used the half-quadrans, when Westerners had the quadrans as the smallest denomination. This is why minute coins of all origins circulated extensively, including the Egyptian smallest denominations, even though Egyptian currency wasn't supposed to be exported outside Egypt. Imitations were minted in Palestine and South Syria (esp. imitations of the small Trajanic and Hadrianic Egyptian coin with the triple hemhem crown). They also imitated the Trajanic quadrans Hercules / boar, but with a much smaller module than the original Roman coin. They even imitated imitations...

    Many of these minute coins have been found in Caesarea (Israel), but also in Sīʿ in South Syria, Khirbet Samra in North Jordan, even Hegra in Saudi Arabia.

    I would not be surprised to observe the same phenomenon in North Syria. These Apollo / lyre small module coins were officially minted in Hierapolis, but the smaller ones w/o an obv. legend might be imitations to feed circulation in Antiochene. They may not be considered so rare : it's mostly because they are very small coins and collectors are not interested in minute coins : you will not find many in sales catalogue...
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