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Ancient Coins of Macedonia

Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

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The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH91292. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, VF, well centered, bold strike, high relief, light tone, flow lines, light marks, weight 17.196 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 90o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; ex Numismatic Lanz; $1700.00 (€1496.00)


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

Click for a larger photo
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH89851. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, Choice EF, well centered with much of the crest on flan, some light bumps and marks, weight 17.210 g, maximum diameter 25.67 mm, die axis 285o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; $1600.00 (€1408.00)


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

Click for a larger photo
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile, and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse, a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH91268. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG München 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, Choice gVF, well centered, light marks, weight 17.193 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 315o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; $1300.00 (€1144.00)


Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece, c. 525 - 485 B.C.

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The turtle coin type is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors because Aegina was probably the first place in Europe to issue coinage.
SH91204. Silver stater, Meadows Aegina group IIb; Asyut group IVb; BMC Attica p. 127, 10; SNG Delepierre 1509; SNG Mün 532; Dewing 1657; HGC 6 429 (S); SNG Cop -, VF, light toning, die wear, a little off center on a crowded flan, banker's marks, scratches, weight 12.018 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, Aigina mint, c. 525 - 485 B.C.; obverse sea turtle, head in profile, straight raised heavy collar, smooth shell with a row of pellets down center, countermark on shell; reverse square divided by wide bands into eight triangular compartments, every other compartment a deep incuse (mill sail pattern); very scarce type; $600.00 (€528.00)


Mopsion, Thessaly, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Mopsion issued only bronze coins, and only c. 350 - 300 B.C. In Nomos 4, BCD notes, "The bronzes of Mopsion are practically impossible to find in nice condition and without flaws or corrosion. They are also very rare and desirable because of the their spectacularly eloquent reverse. The nicest one to come up for auction realized $18,000..."

Mopsion, in the Peneus valley half way between Larissa and Tempe, took its name from the Lapith Mopsos, a son of Ampyx. Mopsos learned augury from Apollo, understood the language of birds, and became an Argonaut seer. As depicted on this coin, he was one of the Lapiths who defeated the Centaurs. This battle was a favorite subject of Greek art. While fleeing across the Libyan desert from angry sisters of the slain Gorgon Medusa, Mopsos died from the bite of a viper that had grown from a drop of Medusa's blood. Medea was unable to save him, even by magical means. The Argonauts buried him with a monument by the sea, and a temple was later erected on the site.
GB87120. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly II 484, BCD Thessaly I 1210, Rogers 412, McClean 4648, HGC 4 537 (R2), SNG Cop -, Pozzi -, BMC Thessaly -, gF, dark garnet and black patina, well centered, a little rough, weight 8.082 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, Mopsion (Bakraina(?), Greece) mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus facing slightly right, vertical thunderbolt to right; reverse MOΨ-EI-ΩN, Lapith Mopsos standing facing, nude, his head turned right, raising club in right hand and extending his left hand, fighting centaur that is rearing left and raising a bolder over its head with both hands preparing to throw it; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "HK ex Thess., April 02, $275.-"; very rare; $450.00 (€396.00)


Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece, c. 510 - 490 B.C.

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The turtle coin type is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors because Aegina was probably the first place in Europe to issue coinage.


Click here to read about Greek Turtles.
GA91781. Silver stater, SNG Delepierre 1670, Dewing 1657, SNG Cop 503, SGCV I 1849 (none with this countermark), F, banker's marks, weight 12.170 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, Aigina mint, c. 510 - 490 B.C.; obverse sea turtle, straight raised collar and row of dots down the middle of the shell, countermark: head (female?) right; reverse incuse square of "Union Jack" pattern; $270.00 (€237.60)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.

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BCD Thessaly II notes this obverse die appears to have been altered (reworked).
GS73413. Silver drachm, Lorber-Shahar early group 3 (O25/R6), BCD Thessaly II 197 (same dies), Lorber Early 11.- (same obverse die), F, etched surfaces, die wear, weight 5.793 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly right, partially radiate hair with hornlike locks of hair on crown above ampyx, drop earring, plain necklace; reverse horse grazing right, legs straight, ΛAPI above; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "T/ne ex Thessaly, Sept. 2004, €55.-" ; $180.00 (€158.40)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 356 - 342 B.C.

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The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
GS73416. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly II 313; BMC Thessaly p. 31, 76; SNG Cop 122; HGC 4 453, F, some light scratches, weight 5.223 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Larissa mint, c. 356 - 342 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, pendant earring, and simple necklace; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg bent and raised, preparing to roll onto the ground, ΛAPI/ΣAIΩN in two lines starting in exergue, ending above; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "T/ne ex Thessaly, June 95, SFr. 50.-"; $180.00 (€158.40)


Argos, Argolis, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 146 - 85 B.C.

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Argos is located in the eastern Peloponnese, very near the Aegean Sea. Inhabitants worshiped Hera. Sparta was a close neighbor to the south but the city was a nominal ally of Athens in the continuous conflict between Athens and Sparta in 5th century B.C.
GS89847. Silver hemidrachm, BCD Peloponnesos 1145; BMC Peloponnesus p. 144, 111; HGC 5 690 (S); SNG Cop 47, VF, strong flow lines on obverse, die wear, porosity, weight 2.406 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 270o, Argos mint, magistrate Damar-, c. 146 - 85 B.C.; obverse forepart of wolf at bay right, forelegs parallel to neck; reverse large A, trident right below below crossbar, ∆-A/MAP (magistrate name) in two lines, all in a square incuse; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73 (6 Jan 2019), lot 113; $175.00 (€154.00)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 369 - 360 B.C.

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The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
GS73410. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly I 1146, HGC 4 439 (R1), BCD Thessaly II 281 - 282, F, etched obverse surface, punch on obverse left eye, weight 5.906 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 369 - 360 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly right, hair floating freely, round curl on right, neck truncation elongated and very gently bow-shaped; reverse ΛAPI above, horse grazing right with straight legs; ex BCD Collection with his tag; $160.00 (€140.80)




  



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REFERENCES

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Brett, A.B. Catalogue of Greek Coins, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1955).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - )
Calciati, R. Pegasi. (Mortara, 1990).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber. (1922-1929).
Gardner, P. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thessaly to Aetolia. (London, 1883).
Grose, S.W. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fizwilliam Museum, Volume II - The Greek mainland, the Aegaean islands, Crete. (Cambridge, 1926).
Head, B. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Attica-Megaris-Aegina. (London, 1888).
Head, B. Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Central Greece (Lorcris, Phocis, Boeotia, and Euboea). (London, 1884).
Head, B. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Corinth, Colonies of Corinth, Etc. (London, 1889).
Hoover, O.D. Handbook of Coins of the Islands: Adriatic, Ionian, Thracian, Aegean, and Carpathian Seas (Excluding Crete and Cyprus), 6th to 1st Centuries BC. (Lancaster, 2010).
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Lindgren, H.C. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints from the Lindgren Collection. (1989).
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Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 12: Thessalien-Illyrien-Epirus-Korkyra. (Berlin, 2007).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
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Wroth, W. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Greek Coins of Crete and the Aegean Islands. (London, 1886).


Catalog current as of Tuesday, June 25, 2019.
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