SALE 56 (December 1-5 2013)
1. Samaria hemiobol (4th Century BCE) - MQ 156. 0.25 g.
Es.t: $750 - 900 Start: $525 FINAL: $630 (2 bids: 600 - 755)
Superb and very rare piece depicting the head of a mythological animal on obverse and a lion crouching with facing head on reverse. Strong strike with nice details.
2. Nabataean drachm under Aretas IV (9 B.C.E. - 40 C.E.) - Meshorer 99 var. 4.69 g.
Es.t: $1,500 - 1,700 Start: $925 FINAL: $1,581 (4 bids: 925 - 1,111 - 1,506 - 2,003)
Superb drachm of Aretas, one of the 2-3 finest I have seen.
3. Pontius Pilate (Hendin 1342, var.) struck year 30 CE in Jerusalem. 1.82 g. (at top), 1.97 g. (at bottom)
Es.t: $550 - 650 Start: $375 FINAL: $500 (3 bids: 400 - 477 - 500)
Here are two specimens struck by the same pair of dies for this extremely rare, unlisted barbarous variety with the retrograde word 'KAICAPOC' (Caesar) at left on obverse. The other word, 'TIBEPIOY' (Tiberius), is normal. On reverse, the letter 'Z' of the date 'LIZ' is also retrograde. Almost 2,000 years ago, both coins were struck in the same workshop by the same hands and the same dies, they are together today! The coin at top is cleaned and restored, the one at bottom is as found, with its original encrustations.
4. Agrippa I (Hendin 1244) prutah struck year 41-42 C.E. in Jerusalem. 2.88 grams
Es.t: $450 - 550 Start: $325 FINAL: $630 (5 bids: 410 - 475 - 551 - 600 - 725)
Beautiful specimen with a fantastic eye appeal.
5. First Jewish Revolt (Hendin 1369) Struck year 69-70 C.E. in Jerusalem. 6.51 g.
Es.t: $850 - 1,000 Start: $625 FINAL: $1,155 (8 bids: 750 - 870 - 1,000 - 1,000 - 1,002 - 1,050 - 1,100 - 1,375)
This is one of the finest specimens known for the type. Only 3 specimens are recorded with a complete border of dots on both sides (out of 329 specimens listed on MCP, click here). Also note the strong strike: 12 pearls are well visible on the rim of the chalice on obverse (see picture at left) and very rare details are visible on the etrog on reverse (picture at left, bottom)
6. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1387) Struck year 133-134 C.E. (2nd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem. 14.64 g.
Es.t: $9,000 - 10,000 Start: $7,250 FINAL: $8,925 (5 bids: 7,400 - 7,510 - 8,125 - 8,500 - 9,500)
This beauty is one of the finest specimens known for the type. Fantastic temple, original patina. Pair of dies O3-R8 (Mild. 14)
7. Agrippa II under Nero (54-68 C.E.) with numerous countermarks of various sizes. 8.65 g.
Es.t: $600 - 800 Start: $425 FINAL: $527 (3 bids: 425 - 501 - 580)
Amazing specimen bearing 8 countermarks (!) 3 of them are large as the 5 others are smaller. Four of them are enlarged at left:
1) 'LXF' countermark applied by the Roman soldiers of the 10th legion 'Fretensis', that would destroy Jerusalem in August 70 C.E.
2) Countermark depicting Tyche holding a small horse in her right hand (click here to see the same figure on a coin). This countermark is surrounded by the 5 small countermarks.
3) Unknown Roman female portrait.
4) This is certainly the most interesting of the 5 small countermarks: It depicts a lily, possibly as a symbol of the city of Jerusalem. This is the first time I see a lily on a Judaean countermark. Another small countermark depicts the Greek letter phi (F), at left of 'LXF'.
SALE 55 (November 1-7 2013)
1. Philistian hemiobol Gitler & Tal XI 6HO, struck 4th Century B.C.E. 0.35 grams
Es.t: $1,000 - 1,200 Start: $675 Final: $1,312 (3 bids: 1,006 - 1,250 - 1,400)
QUALITY - SCARCITY ***** (?)
This extreme rarity (it is the 2nd specimen ever listed for the type) depicts a double letter Zayin ('Z') at left of the classic inscription AOE. According to Gitler & Tal, 'ZZ' is a personal name which means mighty, honored or beloved.
2. Yehud quarter obol, Macedonian period (GBC 1068v), struck year 320-310 B.C.E. 0.20 grams
Es.t: $1,200 - 1,400 Start: $850 Final: $1,583 (2 bids: 1,508 - 2,000)
QUALITY **** SCARCITY **** (?)
Very rare and a bit enigmatic coin type with a blank obverse and an anepigraphic reverse with lynx facing right. Only 16 specimens are known to date (click here), this is one of the finest, struck on a larger flan than usual.
3. Yehud quarter obol, Ptolemaic period (GBC 1087), struck year 294-290 B.C.E. 0.20 grams
Es.t: $1,500 - 1,800 Start: $1,150 Final: $2,100 (4 bids: 1,502 - 1,850 - 2,000 - 2,300)
QUALITY ***** SCARCITY * (?)
Exceptional coin struck by the pair of dies O2-R4 (click here). Interestingly, O2 shows the most impressive portrait of Ptolemy (18 obverse dies are listed for this type). Although unclean and still covered by brown earthen deposits, this coin is already one of the 3 finest known (out of 198 specimens recorded to date).
4. Herod the Great 40-4 B.C.E. (Hendin 1178a) Struck around 30 B.C.E in Jerusalem. 3.83 grams
Es.t: $600 - 800 Start: $450 Final: $740 (3 bids: 462 - 705 - 800)
QUALITY ** SCARCITY RC (?)
Struck by the pair of dies O30-R82 in our book (plate 45), this is one of the finest specimens known for the type, with a complete border of dots on both sides and a strong strike. It is also an interesting variety: The diadem seems to be closed (GBC 1178) but it is open (GBC 1178a): the gap at bottom is closed by an upside-down letter Omega. This variety is very rare, only 6 specimens are known.
5. Herod the Great 40-4 B.C.E. (GBC 1190) Struck around 18-19 B.C.E in Jerusalem. 0.96 grams
Es.t: $400 - 500 Start: $275 Final: $551 (4 bids: 310 - 400 - 525 - 1,100)
QUALITY ***** SCARCITY RC (?)
Beautiful specimen struck by the pair of dies O1-R10 in our book (plate 90). Of the 57 obverse dies we have listed for the type, O1 is the most common (10% of GBC 1190 are struck by O1). Unfortunately, they are all in extremely poor condition.
6. Herod Antipas (GBC 1208) Struck year 30 C.E. in Tiberias. 4.75 grams
Es.t: $2,200 - 2,500 Start: $1,750 Final: $3,732 (7 bids: 1,750 - 1,750 - 1,762 - 2,500 - 3,012 - 3,555 - 4,100)
QUALITY ****** SCARCITY *** (?)
Of the 43 specimens listed to date for this rare type (click here), this piece is, by far, the finest known.
7. Pontius Pilate 26-36 (GBC 1342) Struck year 30 C.E. in Jerusalem. 1.83 grams
Es.t: $1,000 - 1,200 Start: $675 Final: $800 (5 bids: 675 - 675 - 700 - 800 - 800)
QUALITY *** SCARCITY C (?)
Struck on the same year as the previous specimen (crucifixion year), this coin in exceptional condition shows a complete inscription and a fine style lituus. Also note the interesting error at 9:00 on obverse: 'TIBEIPIOY' instead of 'TIBEPIOY'. It is the first time I see this error on a die of Pontius Pilate, but a quasi-similar error 'TIBEIPOY' is known on a die of Valerius Gratus (see the reverse of the GBC plate coin #1334).
8. Antonius Felix 52-59 C.E. (GBC 1348) Struck 54 C.E in Jerusalem. 2.62 grams.
Es.t: $250 - 350 Start: $175 Final: $175 (1 bid: 300)
QUALITY *** SCARCITY C (?)
Nice example for this coin type, with a quasi-complete inscription on both sides. Better than the GBC plate coin.
9. Agrippa II (49-94 CE), struck year 74 CE in Caesarea Paneas (TJC 158a). 14.71 grams
Es.t: $1,000 - 1,200 Start: $725 Final: $1,575 (4 bids: 818 - 1,250 - 1,500 - 2,000)
QUALITY ***** SCARCITY * (?)
Beautiful piece with an impressive bust of Vespasian and a perfectly detailed reverse. This is the variety with a large bust on obverse and crescent (at 11:00) on reverse, not listed in GBC. Much better than the TJC plate coin #158a (same obverse die but different reverse).
10. Agrippa II (49-94 CE), struck year 83 CE in Caesarea Maritima, under Domitian (GBC 1317). 5.41 grams
Es.t: $700 - 800 Start: $550 Final: $1,050 (4 bids: 555 - 880 - 1,000 - 1,500)
QUALITY ***** SCARCITY C (?)
As beautiful as the one we sold last month, this specimen shows a nice portrait of Domitian and, here again, a nice reverse. Better than the GBC plate coin (#1317) and as beautiful as the TJC plate coin (#152)
SALE 54 (October 1-7 2013)
1. Drachm of Philistia (Hendin 1015), 4th Century B.C.E. 3.80 grams
Est.: $500 - 600 Start: $350 Final: Unsold
Exceedingly rare example of a Philistian drachm struck by a completely broken reverse die. It is the first time I see such a big break on a Judaean coin in silver. The only parallel I have seen was 6-7 years ago on a bronze coin struck under the prefect Coponius in 6 CE (picture at left). The portrait of Athena is partial but nice and well detailled for a Philistian issue.
2. Drachm of Edom (Hendin 1025) Struck around 370-350 B.C.E. 3.47 grams
Est.: $1,000 - 1,400 Start: $750 Final: $1,050 (2 bids: 1,000 - 1,715)
Rare dome-shaped drachm of Edom*, in superb condition. Much better than the GBC plate coin (#1205). High relief and perfectly detailed owl. See a specimen in average condition here.
* Read: Gitler, Tal, Van Alfen: Silver Dome-shaped Coins from Persian-period Southern Palestine, Israel Numismatic Research Vol. 2 (2007)
3. Herod the Great 40-4 B.C.E., Struck year 37 B.C.E. (Hendin 1169). 9.20 grams
Est.: $1,000 - 1,200 Start: $775 Final: Unsold
Exceptional specimen of series I (with tripod flanked by appendages and grape hanging from the tripod at left ) struck by the pair of dies O5-R19 in our book (plate 6). The series I are the earliest, rarest and heaviest series of the large denomination of Herod H1169 (only 16% are series I). Unfortunately, the series I are also in a much poorer condition than the regular series II and III, so this specimen is of exceptional quality on reverse (here at left). Also note another interesting fact: Of the 122 reverse dies we have listed in our book for this coin type, a single one shows a blundered letter: This one! (see letter S at 3:00)
4. Herod the Great 40-4 B.C.E., Struck year 6-9 B.C.E. in Jerusalem (Hendin 1184). 1.44 grams
Est.: $700 - 800 Start: $550 Final: $632 (3 bids: 550 - 602 - 675)
This is a truly amazing specimen, in an exceptional condition. The composite image at left shows the complete inscription and diadem on this die. It definitely appears that the closed diadem, located at middle-left under the letter P, replaces the letter omega in HPWDOY ('Herod'), because their shapes are very similar. Pair of dies O9-R11 in our book (plate 57).
5. Herod Antipas 4 B.C.E - 40 C.E. (Hendin 1201) Quarter denomination struck year 20 C.E. in Tiberias. 4.03 grams
Est.: $2,500 - 3,000 Start: $1,750 Final: $3,682 (6 bids: 1,750 - 1,753 - 2,009 - 2,600 - 3,507 - 4,200)
This is the TJC plate coin #77. More than 30 years after its publication, this pedigreed beauty is still the finest specimen known for the type (click here) and one of the 2-3 finest coins ever seen of Herod Antipas. Ex Leu 1983, Superior 1991, Heritage 2012. This coin has been professionally cleaned and restored one year ago. Pair of dies O1-R3.
6. Valerius Gratus 15-26 C.E. (Hendin 1339) Struck year 19 C.E. in Jerusalem. 2.17 grams
Est.: $1,300 - 1,500 Start: $875 Final: Unsold
Extremely rare countermarked coin of Valerius Gratus with a superb, quasi complete countermark  . The configuration of the patterns on this coin is interesting: A palm branch is depicted on the coin itself as well as on the countermark and both branches are flanked by two letters, including a 'C'.
It is important to note that more and more fake countermarked coins of procurators appear on the market since a few years. More precisely, the coins are genuine but their countermarks are modern fakes, cut by tooling. Fortunately, they are poorly executed and their detection is easy (see the example of a Pilate recently sold here, the fake countermark is at left of the 3 ears of grain).
1. The countermarked coins of Gratus are two times rarer than the ones of Pontius Pilate: 29 genuine countermarked coins of Pilate are listed, 14 of Gratus (the one offered here is the 15th known). Source: A. Kogon, see note #2 below.
2. To learn more, here are the two best sources ever published on the subject: 2012: Countermarks on Small Judaean Coins, by Aaron J. Kogon (Israel Numismatic Research Vol. 7); 1993: New Vistas on the Countermarked Coins of the Roman Prefects of Judaea, by Kenneth K. A. Lonnqvist (Israel Numismatic Journal Vol. 12)
7. Agrippa II (49-94 CE), struck year 74 CE in Caesarea Paneas, under Domitian (Hendin 1285). 4.48 grams
Est.: $700 - 800 Start: $550 Final: $855 (4 bids: 550 - 650 - 815 - 1,300)
Impressive portrait of Domitian with a fantastic reverse. Much better than the TJC plate coin #165c (not pictured in GBC)
8. Agrippa II (49-94 CE), struck year 83 CE in Caesarea Maritima, under Domitian (Hendin 1317). 5.01 grams
Est.: $700 - 800 Start: $550 Final: $855 (3 bids: 801 - 815 - 1,000)
Superb specimen with a perfect portrait of Domitian and, here again, a fantastic reverse. Better than the GBC plate coin and as beautiful as the TJC plate coin (#152)
9. Judaea Capta, struck year 92 C.E. in Caesarea Maritima (Hendin 1458). 15.76 grams
Est.: $750 - 900 Start: $550 Final: $1,054 (4 bids: 558 - 900 - 1,004 - 2,500)
This is one of the 2-3 finest examples I have seen for the type, a bit better than the GBC (#1458) and TJC (#394) plate coins. That this coin has been struck more than 20 years after the end of the Jewish Revolt shows the considerable importance of this victory for the Roman empire.
10. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1390) zuz struck year 133-134 C.E. (2nd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem. 2.39 grams
Est.: $700 - 800 Start: $525 Final: $951 (5 bids: 737 - 800 - 875 - 906 - 1,020)
Beautiful specimen with remains of the portrait and inscription of the underneath coin below the palm branch.
SALE 53 (September 1-5 2013)
1. Herod the Great 40-4 B.C.E., Struck year 37 B.C.E. (Hendin 1169). 8.72 grams
Start: $775 Est.: $1,000-1,300 Final: $1,575 (5 bids: 1,010 - 1,055 - 1,385 - 1,500 - 1,700)
Exceptional specimen of series III struck by the pair of dies O24-R95 in our book (plate 27). It is well visible, on this piece, that the engraved surface on the obverse die is 15% larger than on the reverse die.
2. Herod the Great 40-4 B.C.E. (Hendin 1188a). 1.57 grams
Start: $425 Est.: $600-800 Final: $1,051 (7 bids: 425 - 425 - 675 - 900 - 1,000 - 1,001 - 1,230)
This is the finest specimen ever seen for the type, with a complete border of dots on BOTH sides and nice details/high relief due to a strong strike. Interestingly, it is also the variety with the inscription turning outwards. Struck by the pair of dies O1ro-R3 in our book (plate 76).
3. Herod the Great (40-4 BCE) struck year 37 BCE in Jerusalem (Hendin 1172a). 2.45 grams
Start: $625 Est.: $800-1,000 Final: $1,417 (6 bids: 625 - 821 - 1,200 - 1,301 - 1,350 - 1,500)
This beauty is one of the 2 finest known specimens for the type (out of 134 examples listed, click here) which is the rarest of the four denominations dated of year 37 BCE (it is 6 times rarer than the large denomination with helmet & tripod). This interesting, sought-after variety shows the letter 'O' missing in 'HPWDOY' ('Herod') then added below 'WD', due to a lack of space. Incidentally, this error indicates that the word 'BASIAEWS' ('King') was cut before 'HPWDOY' on the die. Struck by the pair of dies O1-R3 in our book (plate 33).
4. Herod Antipas (4 BCE - 40 CE), half denomination struck year 39 CE, under Caligula, in Tiberias (Hendin 1216). 5.63 grams
Start: $675 Est.: $800-1,000 Final: $1,758 (6 bids: 675 - 918 - 1,221 - 1,600 - 1,675 - 1,800)
Beautiful piece, better than the GBC and TJC plate coins (GBC 1216 - TJC 88). This is the 3rd or 4th finest example known for the type, out of 50 specimens listed (click here).
5. Agrippa II (49-94 CE), struck year 74 CE in Caesarea Paneas (Hendin 1282). 20.91 grams
Start: $775 Est.: $1,100-1,250 Final: $1,318 (4 bids: 1,111 - 1,250 - 1,256 - 1,600)
Impressive coin of exceptional quality on both sides, struck one year after the fall of Masada. As beautiful as the GBC plate coin (#1282, same obverse die) and much better than the TJC plate coin (#158). This piece is 15-20% heavier than usual: 20.91 grams!
6. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1418) zuz struck year 134-135 C.E. (3rd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem. 2.84 grams
Start: $425 Est.: $600-700 Final: $630 (4 bids: 509 - 600 - 600 - 651)
Nice specimen, a bit too off centered at right, but the strike is strong and the most minute details are well present. No visible trace of the underneath coin. Uncleaned.
7. City of Neapolis (Samaria), struck year 159 CE under Marcus Aurelius (Hendin 879, SNG 969, Rosenberger 15). 9.28 grams
Start: $325 Est.: $400-550 Final: $630 (3 bids: 575 - 600 - 750)
Superb specimen with beautiful illustrations and quasi-complete inscription on both sides. It is the finest I have seen, much better than the Heritage-Shoshana specimen (same obverse die) and than the SNG and Rosenberger plate coins.
SALE 52 (August 1-5 2013)
1. UNLISTED Philistian obol, related to Gitler-Tal XI.1D. 0.66 gram
Start: $1,350 Final: $1,350 (2 bids: 1,350 - 1,350)
This nice, UNIQUE Philistian obol is related to the Gitler & Tal drachm XI.1D (plate 38, p. 159). The inscription is located at left of the portrait: it is due to a double strike or, more probably in my opinion, to a clash with the reverse die* (a reconstruction of the original reverse is shown at left). Under the classic Greek inscription AOE, we have the Aramaic letter Mem (or maybe Nun), which is possibly the 1st letter of a Philistian ruler/governor's name.
The extreme rarity of this type, unlisted to date, can be explained as follow: The die clash caused a severe damage to both dies (the area at right of the owl, where the original inscription was standing, is now ruined by wear) and the striking process has been prematurely interrupted.
* On Judaean coins, I have recorded 2 die clashes on the Yehud coins (see an amazing example here) and 3 other examples on the Hyrcanus, Herod I and Bar Kochba coins.
2. Herod Antipas (Hendin 1208) Struck year 30 C.E. in Tiberias. 4.78 grams
Start: $850 Final: $1,837 (6 bids: 1,010 - 1,325 - 1,425 - 1,535 - 1,750 - 2,000)
This is the FINEST specimen known for the type (click here). However, I think the restoration of this coin could be improved for an even better eye appeal. Interestingly, I have completed last week the plate showing the die connections for this coin type, for a book project. See it here.
3. Pontius Pilate (Hendin 1342d) prutah struck year 30 C.E. in Jerusalem. 1.99 grams
Start: $725 Final: $1,578 (5 bids: 800 - 1,006 - 1,235 - 1,503 - 1,800)
Barbarous and entirely retrograde variety on obverse (inscription + lituus) combined to a retrograde dale ''LIZ'' framed by a wreath facing left on reverse. Only 3 dozens of retrograde specimens of Pilate are listed to date*, this one is the FINEST I have seen. It is remarkable that the two thirds of the inscription is visible on this coin: TIBEP(OYKAI)CAPOC (on the finest specimens known, not more than 7-8 letters are visible). Also note the extra letter 'I' at 3:30, between 'B' and 'E'.
* I have listed 6 obverse entirely retrograde dies for this type. They are all illustrated in Fig. 15 of our article The Barbarous Coins of Judaea published in 2010 in Israel Numismatic Research Vol. 5
4. Agrippa I (Hendin 1244) prutah struck year 41-42 C.E. in Jerusalem. 2.98 grams
Start: $325 Final: $525 (7 bids: 402 - 450 - 450 - 465 - 477 - 500 - 550)
A very common coin type, but extremely rare in this condition.
5. Agrippa I (Hendin 1244 var. - TJC 120g) prutah struck year 41-42 C.E. in Jerusalem. 2.75 grams
Start: $250 Final: Unsold
Same type as above, with a retrograde date on the reverse. On this coin type, a retrograde date is an even rarer variety than a retrograde inscription*. Not more than 3-4 specimens are known to me, the plate coin TJC #120g is one of them. Most Judean coins with retrograde inscriptions or illustrations are barbarous but interestingly, it is not the case here: the ears of barley are nicely cut and the border of dots is regular and well balanced. Despite its error, this coin seems to be a regular specimen struck at an official workshop. This coin is uncleaned.
* In our article The Barbarous Coins of Judaea published in Israel Numismatic Research Vol. 5 (2010), we listed 4 obverse dies with an entirely retrograde inscription (Fig. 14).
6. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1391) zuz struck year 133-134 C.E. (2nd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem. 3.00 grams
Start: $775 Final: $1,575 (6 bids: 850 - 1,060 - 1,065 - 1,185 - 1,500 - 1,850)
Superb specimen, better than the GBC plate coin (#1391). Uncleaned.
7. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1424) zuz struck year 134-135 C.E. (3rd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem. 2.52 grams
Start: $725 Final: $1,150 (4 bids: 850 - 1,005 - 1,125 - 1,150)
Beautiful specimen, better than the GBC plate coin (#1424). Uncleaned.
8. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1408) middle bronze struck year 133-134 C.E. (2nd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem. 8.71 grams
Start: $675 Final: Unsold
Beautiful coin struck by the same obverse die as the one we offered last month. Thanks to a strong strike, the vine leaf shows a high relief and its most minute details are visible. As beautiful as the TJC (#260a) and Mild. (#72) plate coins. Nicely cleaned and restored.
SALE 51 (July 1-7 2013)
1. Samaria, 4th Century B.C.E. (Hendin 1030 - Meshorer & Qedar #38)
Start: $525 Final: $640 (2 bids: 610 - 750)
A rare coin type depicting the classic 'AOE' inscription, but the letter 'E' is replaced by the name of the governor (or high priest) of Samaria, Hannanyah. This coin is not as beautiful as the GBC and Meshorer & Qedar plate coins, but its condition is definitely above average. Like on most Yehud earliest reverse dies, the inscription is retrograde.
2. Samaria, 4th Century B.C.E. (Meshorer & Qedar #54)
Start: $725 Final: $1,103 (4 bids: 800 - 902 - 1,051 - 1,250)
This is, by far, the finest specimen known for the type, much better than the Meshorer & Qedar plate coin (#54), than the Triton XVI coin (click here) and than the Sofaer-ANS coin (click here). This type is much rarer than the obol with two lions on reverse (Meshorer & Qedar #53).
3. Herod the Great 40-4 B.C.E. (Hendin 1191)
Start: $375 Final: $446 (3 bids: 406 - 425 - 450)
There is an interesting way to describe the 3-4% of finest specimens known for this coin type: 6 letters of the inscription are visible (out of 12), the galley is complete, half of the border of dots is visible on the reverse* (click here). Nicely restored, beautiful eye appeal. The obverse die is O1 in our book, but the reverse is unlisted.
* For some obscure reason, the obverse dies (with anchor & inscription) are never framed by a border of dots.
4. Nabataea, struck under Aretas IV, 9 B.C.E. - 40 C.E. (Meshorer Nabataea 113 - SNG 1438) 5.09 grams
Start: $350 Final: $488 (3 bids: 350 - 465 - 526)
Amazing coin with 3 portraits well aligned, due to a double strike. A close examination of this coin helps to understand what happened: The extra portrait at right is the same as the one of Aretas at left (it is not the one of Shuqailat in the middle). It means that, after the first strike, both portraits are dramatically off centered to right: The one of Aretas is close to the right edge of the flan, as the one of Shuqailat is out of the field. After the 2nd strike, both portraits are well visible but the off centered one of Aretas remains at right.
It is very probable the coin offered here is the 3rd specimen I have seen to have been deliberately double struck in order to create an amazing, 'hallucinogenic' final image. The two other examples known to me are shown at left: The first one (Hyrcanus I) shows an 'eye' created by the double cornucopia struck twice. The second one (Pilate) shows a crazy lituus with two crooks and no handle. In both cases, the 2nd strike has been perfectly adjusted and aligned on the first one.
5. Valerius Gratus 15-26 C.E. (Hendin 1335) Struck year 16 C.E. in Jerusalem
Start: $350 Final: $525 (4 bids: 475 - 500 - 502 - 525)
Superb specimen with complete illustrations, date and inscription. This is one of the finest known, if not the finest.
6. City of Sepphoris, struck under Trajan, 98-117 C.E. (Hendin 907 - BMC 1.3 - Ros. 4 - SNG 1088) 10.35 grams
Start: $750 Final: $1,050 (4 bids: 750 - 875 - 1,050 - 1,050)
This exceptional specimen on both sides is the finest I have seen. Much better than the four plate coins listed above..
7. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1394) zuz struck year 133-134 C.E. (2nd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem
Start: $1,150 Final: $1,522 (5 bids: 1,200 - 1,317 - 1,350 - 1,450 - 1,541)
Exceptional piece with a quasi complete border of dots on both sides and a strong strike on a large flan (see enlargement at left, two micro die breaks are well visible). The coin offered here is better than the 8 specimens offered at the Heritage-Shoshana sale in 2012 (#20301 to 20308), and than the GBC (#1394) and Mild. (#40) plate coins.
8. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1408) middle bronze struck year 133-134 C.E. (2nd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem 10.05 grams
Start: $750 Final: $750 (1 bid: 750)
Superb specimen, as beautiful as the GBC plate coin (#1408) and much better than the TJC (#260a) and Mild. (#70) plate coins.
9. City of Akko-Ptolemais, silver tetradrachm struck year 215-217 C.E. in Akko, under Caracalla (Prieur 1227, GBC IV 820)
Start: $425 Final: $498 (2 bids: 475 - 500)
Impressive tetradrachm of Akko with a beautiful portrait of Caracalla. Original black patina with a few earthen deposits.
SALE 50 (June 1-10 2013)
1. Yehud, Persian rule, before 333 B.C.E. (Hendin 1069)
Start: $1,150 Final: $1,261 (3 bids: 1,150 - 1,201 - 1,600)
Struck by the pair O13-R12 (click here), this beautiful specimen shows an exceptional portrait on the obverse, cut by a master engraver like on coin #4 below. Only around 10% of the H-1069 coins show the portrait in a good state like this one. All the obverse dies of this type were prematurely ruined by wear, and on most of the coins struck, the portrait is in a poor or extremely poor condition. The reason for this phenomenon is enigmatic, but it is probable that the dies were cut in too soft an alloy.
2. Yehud hemiobol, Persian rule, struck circa 350 B.C.E. (Hendin 1070)
Start: $1,150 Final: $1,207 (3 bids: 1,150 - 1,150 - 1,300)
Five years ago, we were lucky to discover, with Catharine C. Lorber, an unlisted and exceedingly rare Yehud coin type with writing in Greek instead of Paleo-Hebrew. Only 11 specimens are known to date (click here) and this one is the 2nd finest known example.
1. Read our article available online (no need to register) published in Israel Numismatic Research Vol. 3 (2008): Silver Yehud Coins with Greek or Pseudo-Greek Inscriptions
3. Yehud quarter obol, Hellenistic period, after 333 B.C.E. (Hendin 1073)
Start: $2,750 Final: $6,408 (4 bids: 3,500 - 5,022 - 6,103 - 7,000)
An extremely rare and important Yehud coin type. Only 3 specimens of this type are known (click here): One is in the Israel Museum, the second is in a private collection (sold 9 years ago by the Archaeological Center), and this is the third. It is the single regular Yehud coin type with no legend. The lily on the obverse is the symbol of the city of Jerusalem, like on the earlier Hendin 1060. Interestingly, in spite of its smaller size, the lily on the coin offered here is more detailed than the one depicted on the H1060: On the H1060, only three petals are shown, but on this one, two stamens are also visible, flanking the middle petal.
4. Yehud hemiobol, Hellenistic period, after 333 B.C.E. (Hendin 1087)
Start: $1,500 Final: $3,499 (6 bids: 1,500 - 1,500 - 1,752 - 3,100 - 3,333 - 4,000)
A superb specimen struck by the single pair of dies that has been cut by a master engraver for the type (O1-R1, click here). On the obverse, the top rear of the head is off centered but the quality of the portrait is remarkable and well detailed. The reverse is also exceptional, featuring a complete inscription and a majestic, perfectly detailed eagle: each individual feather is visible as well as the eye. The presence of these minute details on this specimen is due to a strong strike (note the relief of the letters) and to the fact that the dies O1 & R1 were brand new when this coin was struck: there is no break and no flaw in the background.1. A total of 67 dies are listed for this type: 18 obverses and 49 reverses. O1-R1 are the only dies cut by a master engraver, all the other dies are imitations of O1-R1 (see coin #5 below)
5. Yehud hemiobol, Hellenistic period, after 333 B.C.E. (Hendin 1087)
Start: $950 Final: $2,106 (3 bids: 1,400 - 2,006 - 3,000)
Struck by the pair of dies O8-R42 (3rd specimen known from this pair, click here), this is one of the imitations of the dies O1-R1 I discussed in the description of the previous specimen. The style is indeed cruder than the coin #4, but this specimen shows nice aesthetic qualities with a quasi complete portrait, a nice eagle and a complete inscription of 4 letters.
6. First Jewish Revolt (May 66- September 70 C.E.), Shekel struck year 69 C.E. (year 4 of the revolt) in Jerusalem (Hendin 1364)
Final: $30,000 (private)
This year 4 shekel of 13.57 grams is one of the 2 finest specimens known (click here). It was struck by the rare pair of dies O7-R16. The only other known specimen struck by the same die pair was sold 5 years ago by Goldberg (Auction 48, September 2008, coin #1798). It is remarkable that the border of dots is quasi complete on both sides (a coin is much more aesthetically pleasing when its border of dots is visible). This specimen is better than the GBC and TJC plate coins (GBC 1364, TJC 207), the Israel Museum specimen, and than the three specimens sold at the Heritage-Shoshana auctions in 2012 (#20211, 20123, 20124).
SALE 49 (May 1-6 2013)
1. Herod the Great 40-4 B.C.E. (Hendin 1173) Struck in Jerusalem
Start: $550 Final: Unsold
Of the 65 specimens listed for this scarce type (click here), this is the finest known: The inscription on obverse is complete, as well as the anchor on the reverse. This coin type always come in poor to very poor condition and off centered. This specimen has been struck by the pair of dies O1-R1 in our book (plate 58).
2. Procurator Coponius, struck year 6 C.E. in Jerusalem (Hendin 1328)
Start: $150 Final: $157 (2 bids: 150 - 210)
Beautiful specimen nicely centered on both sides, much better than usual. Original encrustations.
3. Antonius Felix 52-59 C.E. (Hendin 1348) Struck 54 C.E in Jerusalem
Start: $175 Final: $262 (3 bids: 183 - 250 - 385)
Superb example for this coin type, with a quasi-complete inscription on both sides. As beautiful as the GBC plate coin, this specimen shows an interesting error on the obverse at 11:00: The letter 'O' is missing in 'KAICAPOC'. This coin is not cleaned, not restored, the encrustations are original.
4. Pontius Pilate 26-36 C.E. (Hendin 1342) Struck year 30 C.E. in Jerusalem
Start: $850 Final: $1,428 (6 bids: 850 - 900 - 1,111 - 1,200 - 1,360 - 1,500)
Extremely rare countermarked coin of Pontius Pilate (click here). The palm branch of the countermark is complete and the letter Pi is well visble. However, the letter 'C', on the other side of the palm branch is missing (off centered).
Here are the 2 best articles ever published on this fascinating subject:
1) Countermarks on Small Judaean Coins, by Aaron J. Kogon (Israel Numismatic Research Vol. 7, 2012)
2) New Vistas on the Countermarked Coins of the Roman Prefects of Judaea, by Kenneth K. A. Lonnqvist (Israel Numismatic Journal Vol. 12, 1992-93)
It is important to note that more and more fake countermarked coins of procurators appear on the market since a few years. More precisely, the coins are genuine but their countermarks are modern fakes, cut by tooling. Fortunately, they are poorly executed and their detection is easy (see an example here, the fake countermark is at left of the 3 ears of grain).
6. Agrippa II under Claudius (41-54 CE) with countermarks of the 5th and 10th Roman legions - Hendin 1265a Variety -
Start: $1,500 Final: $1,650 (4 bids: 1,500 - 1,500 - 1,601 - 1,650)
Exceptional specimen overstruck by 2 countermarks of the 5th and 10th Roman legions. The countermarks of the 10th legion ('LXF' for Legio 10 Fretensis) are relatively common, but the ones of the 5th legion ('LVS' for Legio 5 Scythia) are very rare, and the combination of both countermarks on one coin is extremely rare. The only other specimen known to me has been published 6 years ago in the article of S. Gerson in Israel Numismatic Journal Vol. 16 (2007): "A Coin Countermarked by Two Roman Legions". However, the specimen offered here is in a much better condition with both countermarks complete, well struck and perfectly preserved (see enlargements at left). To see the INJ specimen, please click here and scroll down to the 3rd coin. The coin pictured in GBC (#1265a, plate 25) shows the same coin type with the countermark of the 10th legion only.
7. Bar Kochba hybrid zuz of years 1 & 2 (132-134 C.E.) - Hendin 1383 - TJC 236 - Mild. 9
Start: $8,250 Final: $8,751 (3 bids: 8,250 - 8,507 - 8,751)
The 3 hybrid types of the 1st and 2nd years of the Bar Kochba revolt (Hendin 1382 to 1384) are all very rare, but the type offered here is the rarest and the most beautiful artistically. This coin was in the Shoshana sale (click here), but there was a little error in the description of the pedigree of this coin. In fact, this specimen has been illustrated in the most prestigious numismatic books and sale catalogues since 1981:
2012: Heritage-Shoshana Sale II #20150 (sold for $9,000)
2001: Plate coin #236 in A Treasury of Jewish Coins (Y. Meshorer)
1992: Superior-Bromberg Sale II #444
1981: Plate coin #19 in Ancient Jewish Coinage (Y. Meshorer)
That this specimen is the plate coin of AJC (published in 1981) and TJC (published in 2001) is interesting: It shows that, 20 years after the publication of AJC, Prof. Meshorer was still considering this coin as the finest known when he established the plate coins of TJC.
The strike is strong, the border of dots is quasi complete on both sides, the patterns are not damaged by the underneath coin, and the metal quality is perfect. This coin can be considered as in 'mint condition'. It was previously unclean, but it has been professionally cleaned 1 month ago.
8. Bar Kochba zuz of year 2 (133-134 C.E.) - Hendin 1402 - TJC 244 - Mild 56
Start: $850 Final: $2,333 (5 bids: 850 - 1,151 - 1,650 - 2,222 - 3,000)
Exceptional specimen, probably the finest known, uncleaned. Such beautiful trumpets, framed by a quasi complete border of dots are extremely hard to find. This scarce type was missing in the Shoshana sales I and II, and is not pictured in GBC.
SALE 48 (April 1-5 2013)
1. Samaria obol (4th Century BCE) - MQ 87
Start: $675 Final: 743 (4 bids: 675 - 700 - 708 - 815)
This is probably the finest specimen known, much better than the Meshorer-Qedar plate coin (#87) on both sides. The Athenian dekadrachm styled facing owl on the reverse of this coin type is remarkable.
2. Samaria hemiobol (4th Century BCE) - MQ 156
Start: $425 Final: Unsold
Extremely rare type depicting the head of a mythological animal on obverse and a lion crouching with facing head on reverse. As beautiful as the Meshorer-Qedar plate coin, but a bit more off centered.
3. John Hyrcanus I (135-104 BCE,) - Hendin 1133
Start: $175 Final: 175 (1 bid: 220)
Nice specimen almost complete on both sides with a beautiful eye appeal due to the bright, original encrustations. As beautiful as the Hendin's plate coin.
4. Herod the Great 40-4 B.C.E., Struck year 37 B.C.E. - Hendin 1169
Start: $750 Final: 1,081 (4 bids: 750 - 750 - 1,030 - 1,400)
Struck on a larger flan than usual, this superb specimen shows a complete border of dots on the side with the inscription. Even if off center to right, the side with the helmet is far above average and the illustration is complete. Struck by the pair of dies O9-R71 in our book.
5. Procurator Pontius Pilate, struck year 30-31 C.E. in Jerusalem - Hendin 1342
Start: $225 Final: 225 (2 bids: 225 - 225)
Extremely rare example with a 100% complete inscription. However, it must be noted that the reverse is a bit poor and the metal surface has been affected by some corrosion on both sides.
6. First Jewish Revolt, shekel struck year 67-68 C.E. in Jerusalem - Hendin 1358
Start: $2,750 Final: 4,325 (5 bids: 2,750 - 3,100 - 4,008 - 4,315 - 4,325)
Struck by the pair of dies O3-R55, this beautiful specimen shows an almost complete border of dots on the obverse. There is some rough surface on the obverse because the die O3 was a bit worn when this coin has been struck. The long, tiny break that runs from 9:00 to 3:00 on the obverse is interesting: it is present on all the coins struck by O3. It means that this break occurred in the very beginning of the striking process, but was then stabilized and under control. Finally, the strike with the die O3, even weakened by a break, worked very well: It has been paired to 16 reverse dies and 5% of all the shekels of year 2 have been struck by O3* The weight is 13.20 grams.
* From 2002 to 2008, I have listed and classified 368 shekels of year 2. They have been struck by 20 obverse and 163 reverse dies.
7. First Jewish Revolt, eighth shekel struck year 69-70 C.E. in Jerusalem - Hendin 1369
Start: $650 Final: Unsold
Last year, we were lucky to offer the finest specimen ever seen for the type (click here, and scroll down to Sale 43, coin #6). The coin offered above is more partial, but thanks to the strong strike (and a nice restoration), the contrast and eye appeal is exceptional on both sides.
8. Bar Kochba revolt, middle bronze of year 3 (134-135 C.E.) - Hendin 1437 - TJC 291 - Mild. 133
Start: $425 Final: 736 (6 bids: 450 - 475 - 475 - 615 - 701 - 860)
Nice specimen, as beautiful as the Hendin and Meshorer plate coins (GBC 1437, TJC 291) and much better than the Mildenberg plate coin (#133)
9. City of Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem) under Marcus Aurelius (161-180 C.E.) - Meshorer Aelia 42
Start: $1,750 Final: 2,216 (3 bids: 1,800 - 2,111 - 2,600)
This rare and impressive coin is the largest denomination ever struck in Aelia Capitolina, and this specimen is probably the heaviest known: 32.58 grams instead of 28-30 grams for the other specimens known. The portrait of Marcus Aurelius is excellent. The scarcity of this coin type is probably due to a growing break or flaw that prematurely ruined the obverse die, from 4:00 to 9:00, but this coin has been struck when the die was new, and the defect is almost invisible. The coin offered here has been struck by the same pair of dies as the specimen in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (Austria) No. 22553, click here. Interestingly, this obverse die has also been used for striking the coin type Meshorer Aelia 43, with Romulus and Remus on the reverse.
SALE 47 (March 1-6 2013)
1. Samaria (Meshorer & Qedar 117) Obol struck in Samaria, mid of the 4th century B.C.E.
Est.: $1,000 - 1,300 Final: $1,166 (4 bids: 765 - 850 - 1,111 - 1,350)
Extremely rare type in exceptional condition, better than the Meshorer & Qedar plate coin (#117, Plate 17)
2. Herod the Great 40-4 B.C.E. (Hendin 1178a)
Est.: $550 - 800 Final: $325 (1 bid: 550)
One of the finest specimens known for the type (click here, it is the pair O42-R60). As beautiful as the GBC plate coin (#1178a)
3. Pontius Pilate, struck year 30 C.E. in Jerusalem (Hendin 1342 Var.)
Est.: $500 - 650 Final: $341 (2 bids: 325 - 350)
Nice specimen struck in Jerusalem on year 30 C.E., generally accepted as the year of the crucifixion. This is a relatively common type, but this specimen bears an interesting error at 1:30 on the obverse: 'KICAPOC' instead of 'KAICAPOC'. The errors in the inscription are frequent on the barbarous issues but they are extremely rare on the regular issues like this one. This variety was already listed in our book published in 2001: The coins of Pontius Pilate (same dies).
4. Herod Philip 4 B.C.E.-33 C.E. (Hendin 1232) Struck year 30 C.E. in Caesarea Philippi
Est.: $6,000 - 7,500 Final: $3,900 (1 bid: 3,900)
This extremely rare type (it is the 11th specimen known) shows a beautiful portrait of Herod Philip, the first Jewish ruler ever portrayed on coins. This portrait is contemporary to the time when Jesus was preaching in his territories (Philip was 55-56 y.o.), and his famous question: 'Who do you say I am?' (Matthew 16:13-15) has been asked to his disciples in 28-29 C.E., as Jesus was in Caesarea Philippi, the city where this coin has been struck in 30 C.E. So this piece is of first importance for the Jewish history as well as for the early Christianity history. David Hendin writes in GBC that Philip was 'the least violent and achieved the historic status of being a peace-loving man and a good administrator'. The kingdom of Philip was also prosperous, tax-free, and the cohabitation between his Jewish and Gentile subjects seems to have been harmonious. The comparison of the coin offered here with the Heritage-Shoshana specimen is interesting: The reverse of the Shoshana coin is quasi complete with an exceptional centering, which is not the case of our specimen. However, the obverse side - the most important one - of the Shoshana coin is affected by a relatively severe corrosion, as our specimen shows a perfect metal surface covered by its original black patina typical of the Golan heights, where this coin has been found. It must be noted that another nice specimen is presently for sale here, with an interesting retrograde 'Z'. Also note that I have recently published an in-depth article dedicated to the coins of Herod Philip with his portrait: The First Jewish Portrait (Israel Numismatic Research, Vol. 6, 2011, click here). This article lists all the obverse and reverse dies that have been used for striking the 4 extremely rare coin types bearing the portrait of Philip.
5. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1378) Struck year 133-134 C.E. (2nd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem
Est.: $2,000 - 2,500 Final: $3,250 (6 bids: 1,506 - 1,700 - 2,550 - 2,700 - 3,250 - 3,250)
Impressive specimen of exceptional quality on both sides, better than the Meshorer's and Mildenberg's plate coins (TJC 222 - Mild. 45) - - - Please expect a delay of 2 weeks before receiving this coin - - -
7. Decapolis, Hippum under Marcus Aurelius (161-180 C.E.) Spijkerman 9
Est.: $350 - 450 Final: $367 (3 bids: 275 - 350 - 410)
Superb specimen, much better than usual with a complete inscription on both sides.
8. Decapolis, Petra under Commodus (177-192 C.E.) Spijkerman 26
Est.: $250 - 300 Final: $367 (3 bids: 285 - 350 - 475)
Beautiful specimen on both sides, with the finest portrait I have seen for the type. This coin is as found, not cleraned, not restored.
SALE 46 (February 1-6 2013)
1. Samaria (Meshorer & Qedar 15) Obol struck in Samaria, mid of the 4th century B.C.E.
Est.: $3,000 - 4,000 Final: $2,632 (4 bids: 2,250 - 2,250 - 2,507 - 2,750)
Exceptional specimen for this beautiful coin type, better than the Meshorer & Qedar plate coin and than the Heritage-Shoshana specimen (sold for $6,572)
2. John Hyrcanus I 135-104 B.C.E. Half prutah (Hendin 1134)
Est.: $600 - 750 Final: $367 (3 bids: 350 - 350 - 825)
Very nice coin with a much more complete inscription than usual (20 letters are visible out of 24 letters on the original obverse dies). The reverse is a bit off-centered at bottom right, but the lily flower is complete and the monogram A is perfect. This is a rare coin type, very hard to find in this condition.
4. Herod Antipas 4 B.C.E - 40 C.E. (Hendin 1208) Half denomination struck year 30 C.E. in Tiberias
Est.: $2,500 - 3,000 Final: $2,626 (5 bids: 1,750 - 1,782 - 2,000 - 2.501 - 2,850)
This is the 3rd and last specimen of an oustanding series of Antipas coins we have offered in our recent sales. Here again, it is the finest specimen known for the type (click here), better than the Hendin's and Meshorer's plate coins (GBC 1208 - TJC 84) and far above the Shoshana specimen (click here). At 1:00 on the reverse (which is the obverse die in fact), a rectangular defect is visible: it is a die flaw that is present on all the coins struck by this die. Superb eye appeal.
5. Bar Kochba (132-135 C.E.) Middle bronze of yr. 3 (Hendin 1437) overstruck on a coin of Ascalon under Titus or Domitian (laureate head/Tyche)
Est.: $1,800 - 2,300 Final: $2,362 (3 bids: 2,182 - 2,250 - 2,500)
Spectacular combination of the Bar Kochba palm tree and the Roman portrait. The most interesting is that, in spite of their interweaving, the palm tree and the portrait on the underneath coin are both quasi complete and well visible. I know a single other example of such a beautiful combination: It is the plate Bar Kochba large bronze TJC 221b (to see it on MCP, click here and scroll down to the 11th specimen listed under ''Mild 03'').
6. Aelia Capitolina (Rosenberger 48 - Meshorer Aelia #81) Medallion struck 193-211 C.E. in Jerusalem
Est.: $4,000 - 5,000 Final: $3,750 (3 bids: 3,253 - 3,750 - 3,750)
This impressive dynastic medallion of 21.16 grams struck in Jerusalem (called Aelia Capitolina from 135 to circa 300 C.E.) depicts Septimius Severus/Julia Domna on obverse and Caracalla/Geta on reverse. It is a very rare piece: In the 6 last years, only 3 specimens from the same type have been offered in auctions (Goldberg 2007, Baldwin & Sons 2010, CNG 2012), all were poorer and less complete than this one.
7. Charach Moba (Spijkerman 3 - Rosenberger 1) struck under Elagabalus (218-222 C.E.)
Est.: $900 - 1,100 Final: $1,128 (2 bids: 1,075 - 1,225)
Extremely rare coin type in an exceptional condition struck in Charach Moba, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Moab (Kir Moab). Of all the cities of the Transjordan region, the coins of Charach Moba are, by far, the rarest ones: They were only issued during the four years of reign of Elagabalus and struck by a very small number of dies (the obverse die of the coin above has been re-used for striking other types, with different reverse dies). In the 8 last years, only two other specimens are known to me to have been sold (Munzen und Medaillen 2005 #1778 and Heritage-Shoshana 2012 #20598). Both are in a much poorer condition than the one offered here. Weight: 10.12 grams.
SALE 45 (January 1-13 2013)
(In conjunction to the NYINC 2013)
2. Herod Antipas 4 B.C.E - 40 C.E. (Hendin 1201) Struck year 20 C.E. in Tiberias
Est.: $700 - 1,000 Final: $787 (3 bids: 556 - 750 - 950)
Struck by the pair of dies O5-R14 (click here), this is the 3rd or 4th finest specimen known for the type, with a nice reed framed by a quasi-complete inscription (only the top of the letters 'OY' at 10:00 are missing). Heavier than usual (4.99 grams), this coin has been recently found in the region of Beit Shean (Galilee, Israel).
3. Herod Antipas 4 B.C.E - 40 C.E. (Hendin 1207) Struck year 30 C.E. in Tiberias
Est.: $2,750 - 3,500 Final: $4,006 (6 bids: 2,250 - 2,250 - 2,650 - 3,650 - 3,816 - 4,600)
Struck by the pair of dies O2-R10, this impressive large denomination is the finest specimen ever seen for the type (click here), a bit better than the Hendin plate coin (GBC 1207) and much better than the Meshorer plate coin (TJC 83). Struck on the same year as the coin of Pilate dated LIZ, this coin is also contemporary of the crucufixion of Jesus, who was a 'subject' of Antipas (most of his public life took place in the years 27-30 C.E. in Galilee, the territory Antipas ruled over).
4. Agrippa I (Hendin 1246) Struck year 42-43 C.E. in Caesarea Maritima
Est.: $7,500 - 9,500 Final: $8,977 (5 bids: 6,250 - 6,250 - 8,012 - 8,550 - 9,101)
This very rare and important piece of Agrippa I depicting his own portrait is the 2nd finest known for the type (click here), better than the Hendin (GBC 1246) & Meshorer (TJC 122) plate coins, with a superb portrait on the obverse and a remarkably complete reverse. Two specimens from the same type have been sold at the Shoshana sale (#20078 & 20079), but they were much poorer than this one and affected by corrosion. This coin, that comes from an old, famous collection, had been purchased 18 years ago (Archaeological Center Sale 14, April 18 1995, coin #15).
5. First Jewish Revolt (Hendin 1363, UNLISTED HALF DENOMINATION) struck year 3 of the revolt (68-69 C.E.) in Jerusalem
Est.: $500 - 800 Final: $525 (5 bids: 325 - 325 - 500 - 500 - 655)
Never seen before, this unlisted coin type of year 3 is similar to the memorable year 2 specimen sold 8 years ago by CNG (click here)*: Same weight (1.10 g), same half-prutah sized flan with no 'ears', and struck by a regular pair of dies (they are definitely not minimas of Caesarea). It seems more and more probable to me that these extremely rare coins are UNLISTED half prutah, sometimes called lepton, but struck by regular, 'prutah-sized' dies and thus extremely partial on coins. That the coin makers did not cut half prutah dies for striking these small denominations can be explained by their extreme rarity: There was a high need for prutahs, but not for half prutahs, and they decided to not cut specific half sized dies for striking such a small quantity of coins.
*A single other specimen is known to me: TJC 199.
6. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1389) Struck year 133-134 C.E. (2nd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem
Est.: $6,000 - 7,500 Final: $5,832 (4 bids: 4,750 - 5,080 - 5,555 - 6,150)
Rare and superb specimen with a quasi complete border of dots on BOTH sides. As beautiful as the Hendin (GBC 1389) and Meshorer (TJC 238) plate coins, and far above the best specimen offered at the Shoshana sale (click here). The enlargement at left shows how strong and precise was the strike: the most minute details of the lyre are well visible and perfectly detailled. At top left of the lyre, a faint remain of the underneath coin is visible, but it does not affect the aesthetic quality of the illustration.
7. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1392) Struck year 133-134 C.E. (2nd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem
Est.: $750 - 900 Final: $945 (5 bids: 603 - 700 - 852 - 900 - 1,075)
For some obscure reason, this coin type always come in poor or very poor condition, especialy at the bottom of the side with the trumpets (compare with Mild. 26, GBC 1392, TJC 243). Is it due to the underneath coins or to technical problems with the dies? It is hard to say...
8. Bar Kochba Revolt (Hendin 1408) Struck year 133-134 C.E. (2nd year of the revolt) in Jerusalem
Est.: $750 - 950 Final: $787 (3 bids: 718 - 750 - 850)
Beautiful specimen struck on a super large flan. Double strike visible from 9:00 to 11:00. Much better than the Mildenberg's & Meshorer's plate coins (Mild. 61, TJC 260), superb eye appeal.
9. City of Neapolis (Samaria) depicting Faustina, wife of Marcus Aurelius. Struck year 158 C.E. (Rosenberger 20)
Est.: $550 - 650 Final: $425 (1 bid: 425)
Struck 20 years after the end of the revolt of Bar Kochba, here is a superb specimen with a perfect metal surface. A single 'better' specimen is known to me, but heavily tooled (click here)
10. City of Petra (Decapolis), struck year 161-169 C.E. under Marcus Aurelius & Lucius Verus (Spijkerman 22)
Est.: $650 - 750 Final: $525 (1 bid: 525)
Exceptional piece with complete inscription on both sides and beautiful portraits. This coin is as found, not cleaned, not restored. Such a beautiful eye appeal on an 'as-found coin' is very rare and is generaly the fact of coins found in the Jordan desert. This specimen shows the same pair of dies as this one.