Tuesday, March 24, 2009


On a recent suggestion thread Kevin expressed an interested in my collection.

I am collecting ancient coins depicting gorgons. I hope to write a book about them someday. (I have extensive notes towards that end.) If anyone has a coin with a gorgon they can't identify send it my way for a free ID or a chance to be in a book. Dealer inquiries encouraged.

Recently I purchased a tiny fraction on eBay. 0.21g, 7mm, and thin. I'm not sure what it is. The seller attributed it as Selge so I'm assuming he thinks it came from southern Turkey.

My hunch is that it matches a unique (or formerly unique) fraction published in SNG Levante and attributed by Edoardo Levante to Kelenderis. That piece weighs only half as much and may lack the beaded border so I am not certain. Selge and Kelenderis are fairly close geographically.

Perhaps the coin is merely blank due to heavy wear? Last year I bought a coin that appeared to have a strange blank reverse from a VCoins dealer but it turned out to just be a damaged image of Athena on a non-rare coin usually attributed to "Selge or Aspendos".

If Levante knew the provenance of his coin he didn't say. A blank side is unusual in Greek coins. Nearby Selge has a lion/blank type (very rare; in the Paris collection). There are also gorgon fractions and a unique stater attributed to Selge but the attributions are somewhat dubious. As far as I can tell the common attribution of numerous gorgon types to Selge rests upon a coin in the BM with inscription "ΣΤ" in the Pisidian language and some coffins Waddington saw in the 1850s. I don't know what a "Τ" is doing in the name Selge but then I don't speak Pisidian!

Cities proposed for the gorgon/Athena fractions are Aspendos (by George Hill), Selge (by Waddington), Etenna (by Imhoof-Blumer), and Side (by Imhoof-Blumer).

1 comment:

Alfredo De La Fe said...

Hey Ed, why dont you treat us to a preview of some favorites from your collection?