Saturday, April 28, 2007

Coins that are difficult to catalog

Some coins are difficult to catalog, because scholarship is not in agreement about the origin. The attribution of this coin is apparently insecure.

An anonymous cataloger (Künker auction 97, March 2005, lot 897) attributes to Euagoras II, 361-351 BC, Salamis Mint. Cites Babelon (Les Perses Achemenides (1893), #191) and Koray Konuk (SNG Kayhan 1066). The cataloger hedges saying an alternate is an uncertain Cilician mint.

Another cataloger (CNG, MBS 67, September 2004, lot 825) attributes to Datames, Satrap of Cilicia and Cappadocia. 384-362 BC, citing George Hill (BMC Cilicia (1900), pg. 100, 25) (as Mallos) and Babelon, (Les Perses Achemenides (1893), #191).

A similar coin is fancifully attributed to “Memnon, Satrap in Ionien (?)” in Nachfolger auction 376 (October 2003, lot 357). This attribution was not satisfying; a similar coin (auction 386, April 2006, lot 256) was catalogued as the satrap Mazaios, 361-334 BC, struck at an uncertain mint but possible Tarsos; citing Axel Winzer (Antike Portraitmünzen der Perser und Griechen (2005)).

A Baldwin’s cataloger attributes one of these (auction 34, October 2003, lot 84) to “Caria/Ionia, uncertain mint, satrapal coinage, time of Artaxerxes III, c. 358-340 BC” citing “Traité p.167, 30; Head, Coinage of Lydia and Persia, pl.III, 27, Pharnabazus”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


For an interesting take on cataloguing and attribution the book Analysis of Reasonings in Archaeology by Guillaume (translated into english by Boppereacchi) from 1990 is worth a read.

It takes the case of Graeco Bactrian coinage and looks at the principals for deriving a classification scheme and arriving at attributions where there is more than one king with the same name.

Even if you know little of Graco Bactrian coins the philosophy of attribution is well worth reading and simple to follow.

Regards, Mauseus from FORVM