Carthaginian and Cyrenaican coins at the antiquarian market

Trihemistater. Carthage. Circa 260 B.C. Gold. Lot sold for $20 000. 46th auction. Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles. Beverly-Hills, May 26

Antique coins owing to the age represent special value for science and are very popular in the antiquarian market. Ancient Greek and ancient Roman models – drachmas, denariuses, sestercies are usually make the basis of the catalogue of any numismatic auction. However along with them there are interesting coins of other antique countries − Persia, Egypt, Selevkids Empire and certainly, Carthage up to now. The ancient city-state Carthage was the largest Mediterranean centre of the intermediary trade the merchants of which developed the relations with the countries of East Mediterranean and the basin of the Aegean Sea. The Carthaginian bank note − trihemistater was minted throughout many centuries in various variants. This coin was considered as one of the most popular bank notes of the Mediterranean.

Today the Carthaginian trihemistater in the majority dated 300–220 BC are highly appreciated by the experts-numismatists and are popular among collectors. The cost of some models in good condition can reach €15 000-20 000. One of the main records in this area was made during the 46th numismatic auction Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles which took place in Beverly-Hills on May, 26. Then, the golden trihemistater in excellent condition was sold by auction for $20 000 having exceeded the estimate more than in three times. The avers of this coin represents the profile of Persephone while the reverse − a horse that is the main difference from the Greek drachmas which reverse was decorated with the image of a battle chariot.

On April, 29 similar golden trihemistater weighting 12,52 gr. was sold on the sales of LHS Numismatik AG auction house for CHF 15 000. At the same time, one of the oldest coins of Carthage minted of bronze in about 340 BC was sold by auction from the 393rd auction Dr. Busso Peus Nachfolger for €240.

The Cyrenaican coins are also very interesting. Cyrenaica is the ancient historical region which in the period of 7th century BC and to the late 20th century was a part of various European and eastern countries. The centre of Cyrenaica is the city Cyrene included into the number of the largest trading ports of the North Africa and consequently it had the developed monetary system. The oldest Cyrenian coins dates to the 5th century BC. They are extremely rare and of high collection value. One of the oldest Cyrenian coins is the silver trihemistater of 480–435 BC. It was sold on June, 21, 2007 at the Freeman & Sear auction house for $8500. In the end of January of the same year the golden Cyrenian litra was sold by auction at the American Gemini, LLC house for $425.

One more Cyrenian coin dated 308–277 BC was sold on June, 27 at Freeman & Sear auction house for $225. The averse of this silver drachma in bad condition is decorated with a profile of Apollo Carneios while the reverse represents a tree and a snake.

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Published in: on September 19, 2008 at 2:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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