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    Magnificent Later Mnaieion

    PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Arsinoe II, Deified (after 270 BC). AV mnaieion or octodrachm (29mm, 27.65 gm, 12h). NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 3/5. Posthumous issue of Alexandria under Ptolemy V-VIII, after 193/2 BC. Veiled head of the deified Arsinoe II right (with features of Cleopatra II?), wearing diademed stephane and horn of Ammon, lotus scepter over far shoulder, K behind / ΑΡΣΙΝΟΗΣ ΦΙΛΑΔΕΛΦΟΥ, double cornucopia bound with fringed diadem. Svoronos 1498. SNG Copenhagen 322. A few light field marks, otherwise deeply struck in sculptural high relief on an exceptionally broad flan from dies of fine style, the fields featuring lovely multi-hued toning and considerable luster. Featuring a much more pleasing portrait than usually found on these later issues.

    From the Northern California Collection; acquired from Classical Numismatic group, December 1999.

    It has been speculated that the later K-type mnaieions issued during the reigns of Ptolemy VI through VIII feature a disguised portrait of Cleopatra II, who was the sister and later wife of both brothers. If such is the case, the K behind the head could refer to Kleopatra (on the original issues of Ptolemy II-III, from which the later issues were copied, the K was one of several letters used to designate obverse dies). Certainly the portrait on these later issues bears little resemblance to the face of Arsinoe II found on the gold pieces minted closer to her lifetime. Whether or not these pieces do bear portraits of concurrent figures, it is a historical fact that the strongest of the later Ptolemaic rulers invariably were women, including the last of the line, Cleopatra VII. This coin in particular is one of the most pleasing examples of this impressive type we have encountered, with an exceptionally detailed strike from fresh dies.

    View all of [The Northern California Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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