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Kyrene, Cyrenaica (Ptolemy III Euergetes / KOINON overstrike)


[B]Kyrene, Cyrenaica (Ptolemy III Euergetes / KOINON overstrike; 246-222 BC.) AE Unit[/B] [u]Obv[/u]: Zeus Ammon, facing right; Diademed head of Ptolemy I, facing right, original strike features still visible. [u]Rev[/u]: KOINON-type silphium reverse with "N-N" legend visible in the rightmost field; Head of Libya, facing right; double cornucopia underneath Libya's chin; legend surrounding; dotted circular border, original strike features still visible. [u]Attribution[/u]: Svoronos 870; SNG Cop. 437 [u]Provenance[/u]: ex. CNG e181 (#6), 2.6.08; ex. J.S. Wagner Collection [u]Weight[/u]: 7.17 gm. [u]Maximal Diameter[/u]: 21 mm. [u]Axis[/u]: 1 [u]Note[/u]: A historically interesting bronze unit from the Kyrene mint that cements the KOINON rule era squarely between the reigns of Ptolemy I and Ptolemy III Euergetes. The KOINON era AE issues were routinely recycled during Ptolemy III's ascendency that untouched examples are relatively rare. The reverse KOINON overstrike die matches that of another coin, but with a different obverse [see picture below; n.b., KOINON reverse die match coin sold M&M GmbH Auction 17 (lot#1114), 10.4.05. / http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=110644&AucID=125&Lot=1114 ]. This suggests that the Ptolemy III/KOINON overstrike coin above represents a die link between the obverse on the matched coin and an alternate KOINON obverse yet to be matched. Based upon the appearance of "rowed hair" on Zeus Ammon, there are some similarities between the Ptolemy III/KOINON overstrike coin obverse and obverse on a KOINON coin listed in BMC Cyrenaica (Pl.XXVII, 20), but the facial similarities between these coin obverses is not as convincing. Robinson (BMC Cyrenaica) attributes the Zeus Ammon/silphium overstrikes to the KOINON, which was the federal reorganization under Ecdemus and Demophanes the Megalopolitian philosophers in c.250 BC. This federation was short-lived and ended sometime in 240s BC., when Ptolemy III (Euergetes I) married Berenice and reunited Kyrene to Egyptian rule. Of the KOINON overstrikes, Robinson states, "Characteristic of the KOINON coinage and perhaps a sign of prevalent political feeling is the reversion to the types and detail of the earlier republican period. The Apollo Carneius head, which had been almost universal since the Ptolemaic conquest and occassionally reflected the features of the ruler himself, gives place again to that of Zeus Ammon, diademed and with the uraeus, while the silphium generally imitates, with a tendency to archaism, the ample proportions and the arrangement to leaves and umbels prevalent in the fifth and early fourth centuries. The dotted border also reappears after half a century's intermission. Overstriking is frequent and observed on the Ptolemy I Soter/Libya local royal coinage struck by Magas before and after his reconciliation with Philadelphus [e.g., BMC 28 (Pl. XXVII, 25); BMC 21bis]. To this indiscriminate overstriking may be ascribed the wide fluctuation apparent in the weights, which vary in all groups from 50 to 100 percent. There is no indication that different denominations are intended." (BMC Cyrenaica, pgs. cxxxiv-vi). GK276 [IMG]http://www.neuropsychologycentral.com/temp/Kyrene_PtolemyIII_KOINON_overstrike_overlay.jpg[/IMG]

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North Africa - Cyrenaica

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