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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.

Velia, Lucania, Italy, c. 334 - 300 B.C.

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Signed! The KE monograms are the signatures of Kleudoros, the artist or mint master of Velia. We know his name because he signed his full name in the genitive case on one obverse die. On his reverses there is, in addition, usually a control mark, ether Θ, Φ, or A.
GS91331. Silver nomos, Williams 340 (O176/R243++); BMC Italy p. 312, 79; HN Italy 1296; HGC 1 1314; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -, VF, light rose gold toning, light scratches, die wear/rust, small lamination defects, obverse flatly struck, tiny edge crack, weight 7.484 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Velia mint, c. 340 - 310 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Phrygian helmet with decorated with a centauress on bow, KE (Kleudoros monogram) behind neck; reverse lion standing left devouring prey, Φ (recut over A) above, trace of Kleudoros KE monogram below, ethnic in exergue has been erased from the die and replaced with a "tablet" upon which another ethnic, YEΛHTΩN, is lightly engraved; $200.00 (Ä176.00)

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 Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
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