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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Numismatics ▸ SignedView Options:  |  |  | 

Signed Ancient Coins

Some of the finest master die engravers were famous in their own time and even cut dies for several cities. Only the most exceptional die engravers, and even then only rarely, were permitted to sign their work. Most of these "signatures" consist of only a few discrete letters, sometimes hidden in the hair but sometimes more prominent. Examples include KIM for Kimon, FRI for Phrygillos, and EY for Eukleidas.

Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

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Following Heron's death, democracy was restored in 466 B.C. Similar to at Athens, the polis was governed by a council and popular assembly with an executive consisting of elected generals or strategoi. Syracuse fought against Athens 427 - 424 B.C. and again 415 - 413 B.C.; ultimately Syracuse was victorious. With further reforms by Diocles, the democratic nature of Syracuse's political structure was further strengthened.

The star on the reverse could represent Halley's comet which was visible for 75 days in 466 B.C.
GB88328. Bronze hemilitron, ex Ancient Imports Calciati II p. 39, 16; Favorito Signed type 74 (c. 425-420 BC); SNG ANS 398; SNG MŁnchen 1100; HGC 2 1481 (S); BMC Sicily -, VF, the finest classical style, attractive glossy dark green and black patina, patina flaking (stable), weight 4.484 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, Syracuse mint, c. 410 - 405 B.C.; obverse ΣVPA, head of nymph Arethusa left, wearing diadem and pearl necklace, E (signature of the master engraver Euaninetos) behind; reverse star of eight rays within incuse circle in center of quadripartite incuse square; $360.00 (Ä306.00)

Syracuse, Sicily, c. 415 B.C.; Signed by Phrygillos

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Superb style and signed by the master Phrygillos. Calciati referring to this type notes, "Coins exist signed by signed by Kimon (KIM), Phrygillos (ΦPI), Eukleidas (EY) and by an unknown engraver with the letter E (Eumenes?)." The signature on this coin is clear.
GI74382. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 47, 19 fr 4/7 (same dies); SNG ANS 412; BMC Sicily p. 182, 243; SNG Cop 696 (obv. symbol off flan); SGCV I 1186; HGC 2 1479 (S), gVF, beautiful green patina, some light corrosion, reverse 1/4 off-center but mostly on flan, weight 3.768 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 240o, Syracuse mint, c. 415 B.C.; obverse Head of Arethusa left, hair in sphendone inscribed ΦPI, downward dolphin behind; reverse four-spoked wheel, ΣY−PA divided by spoke across upper two quarters, dolphin head down and inward in each of the lower quarters; SOLD

Massalia, Gaul (Marseilles, France), c. 4th Century B.C.

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GS01501. Silver obol, SGCV I 72 variety, De La Tour 687, Triton III 13, EF, weight 0.7 g, maximum diameter 9.5 mm, Massalia, Gaul (Marseilles, France) mint, obverse youthful head of Apollo right, sideburn whiskers are actually the letters ΠAP (with P retrograde), which is believed to be the artistís signature; reverse wheel with four spokes, M-A in two of the quarters; a masterpiece in miniature and one of the oldest signed works of art, very rare; SOLD


Catalog current as of Monday, March 18, 2019.
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