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    Description

    Elegant Arsinoe

    PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Arsinöe II Philadelphus (died 270/268 BC). AV mnaieion or octodrachm (28mm, 27.66 gm, 12h). NGC Choice XF★ 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style. Posthumous issue of Alexandria, under Ptolemy II, ca. 253/2 BC. Veiled head of the deified Arsinöe II right, wearing diademed stephane and horn of Ammon, lotus-tipped scepter over far shoulder; Θ in left field, dotted border / APΣINOHΣ-ΦIΛAΔEΛΦOY, double cornucopia bound with fillet, grape bunches hanging at sides. CPE 388. Svoronos 460. Lovely portrait of fine style on satiny flan.

    Gold mnaieions were first struck under the enlightened Ptolemy II (282-246 BC), who built the famous Library of Alexandria and towering Pharos lighthouse. In 279 BC he married his sister, the beautiful and ambitious Arsinöe, in the manner of the old Egyptian pharaohs. The sibling marriage scandalized Greek society, which gave Arsinöe the nickname Philadelphus, or "brother-lover." Arsinöe embraced the term, making it part of her royal title, and she proudly placed it on her coinage. Arsinöe's regal profile, veiled and crowned with a jeweled coronet, graces the obverse of most Ptolemaic gold octadrachms. The double-cornucopia on the reverse symbolized both Egypt's abundance and the joint rule of Ptolemy and Arsinöe. Gold coins bearing Arsinöe's portrait continued to be struck for centuries after her death in 271 BC.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2019
    25th-29th Thursday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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