Zodiac Drachm: Helios in Leo

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by zumbly, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    A couple of days ago the postman brought me one of my favorite purchases so far this year, an Alexandria mint drachm from the "Zodiac series" of Antoninus Pius's 8th regnal year. Emmett calls this series "one of the more remarkable iconographic programs in the entire scope of Greek or Roman coinage", and indeed, its growing popularity with collectors has up until now made it difficult for me to acquire even a single example of any of the twelve available types (and that's not even counting the very rare ones featuring the entire "Zodiac Wheel").

    This "Helios in Leo" is the most common in the series, but it's also quite a nice example, and it was offered at a price that allowed for no hesitation on my part. I scrambled to order it right after I saw it and am very pleased with how it looks in-hand.

    This is a set that I'm not realistically going to complete as some of the rarer types are currently selling for over a thousand dollars in positively awful condition (awful even for me), but I'll nevertheless be continuing to look out for the other parts of the "Wheel".

    Please share 'em if you have 'em!

    Antoninus Pius - Drachm Zodiac Leo Helios.jpg
    AE Drachm. 24.39g, 35mm. EGYPT, Alexandria, RY 8 = AD 144/5. Emmett 1530; Dattari 2968; RPC Online 13547 (31 spec). O: Laureate head right. R: Helios in Leo: Lion (Leo) running right, radiate and draped bust of Helios and star above; L H below.
    Acquired from Warren Esty (Sep 2017); Ex CNG E-sale 125 (26 Oct 2005), Lot 155
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  3. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Oh cool! Very sweet score.
    zumbly likes this.
  4. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    It might be worn but you can make out Pius bust and reverse details quite well, it's a case like I have been thinking lately in as much it's better to have a worn Drachm at a reasonable price than an overpriced hard to even get in slightly better preservation. Congrats Zumbly (stevex6 would be proud of you)
    zumbly likes this.
  5. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Thanks... I do think he would approve :). The majority of these are worn and many have cracks and surface problems (take your pick of rough, pitted, BD). Those that avoid these issues can really hurt the wallet. I'm glad I'm not a specialist!
    Ancient Aussie likes this.
  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum

    I don't even have one at all, but I need to start looking into rectifying that. Yours is a good example. Congrats.
    zumbly likes this.
  7. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    But, but... surely you have at least a dozen more Legionary denarii to collect, Bing! Yessiree, focus is a good thing :angelic:...
    Alegandron likes this.
  8. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago Supporter

    I lack any of the 'Zodiac Series' but that's a nice example of a very cool area of focus!
    zumbly likes this.
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

    Those big drachms of Alexandria definitely are cool. Don't have any yet but I'll keep my eyes open.
    zumbly likes this.
  10. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

  11. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Nice find, Z.
    zumbly likes this.
  12. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Thanks for the kind comments, guys.
  13. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Very good !
    Now an idea for another subset comes to mind.....hmmmm !!!

    Just kidding
    zumbly likes this.
  14. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    Beautiful "budget" example of a terrific type. Well bought, Z!
    zumbly likes this.
  15. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Thanks! This is the sort of set I'd be happy to add an example to every few years, without any illusion of ever finishing it. It's a focus of sorts, just on the journey rather than the ultimate destination :D.
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