Important Ancient Roman Gold, Olbian AE, Umayyad Dirhams, European Gold and Russian rarities are some of the highlights of our forthcoming Coins & Medals Mail-Bid Auction No. 7. To be held Sept. 29-30, the sale totals some 860 lots of ancient, pre-Islamic, medieval, world, Polish and Russian coins. There is no buyer`s fee.
Collector interest in ancients and early Islamic coins is strong these days, so we are especially pleased that we are able to offer strong ancient and Islamic sections in this sale, in addition to the solid Eastern European and Russian sections.
Featuring 122 lots, the ancient Greek section ranges from Spain to the Kushan Empire. The star of the Black Sea offering (Tyra, Olbia, Panticapaeum, Bosporus) is a magnificent Fifth Century B.C. Olbian AE 69 -- Attic-helmeted bust of Athena and dolphin / P AY S in spokes of a wheel; Anohin, Black Sea 8. This extremely rare piece is one of 12 recorded specimens. Other Olbian rarities include a similar AE 38 and a cast Gorgoneion with protruding tongue/APIX and sea eagle AE 67.
The Greek section also includes an extremely rare Kyzikus electrum Stater; the classic Armenian rarity, the Artaxata mint Tetradrachm of Tigranes the Great; and a fine selection of Indo-Greek Tetradrachms.
Totaling about 80 lots, the Roman section offers a nice collection of Republican and Imperatorial Silver and Imperial Silver and Bronze. The highlight, though, is the Roman Gold, notably a very rare Severan Dynastic Aureus with the busts of Caracalla and Geta, Rome 201 A.D. in extremely fine; and an extremely rare Stadium of Domitian Aureus of Septimius Severus, Rome 206 A.D. in very fine. One of six known, the latter depicts athletic games -- runner, boxer, wrestlers, award ceremony and seated emperor -- in the Stadium of Domitian (which was built for the inauguration of the Capitoline Games in 86 A.D.). This type is the only known representation of such athletic competitions and athletic groups on Roman coinage. A unique variety of an important Antioch Gold Medallion of 2 Solidi of Constantius II is also offered. The reverse depicts the city-cult images of Roma and Constantinopolis seated, and our specimen differs in many ways from the two other known specimens -- one in the British Museum, the other auctioned by Sotheby`s, Zurich, 26 Oct. 1993. Mounted at the time, the piece we offer was likely a presentation piece for visiting dignitaries, possibly barbarian chieftains, during the ceremonies to honor the elevation of the Caesar Julian at the end of 355 A.D. and the subsequent joint imperial consulship.
Other Roman Gold includes issues of Marcus Aurelius, Constantine II and Magnentius. There is also a small antiquities section featuring attractive Ostrogothic chieftain Gold buckles and Gandharan Buddhistic sculpture.