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    Description

    Regal Arsinöe

    PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Arsinöe II Philadelphus (died 270/268 BC). AV mnaieion or octodrachm (30mm, 27.67 gm, 12h). NGC XF 4/5 - 4/5. Alexandria, under Ptolemy II, ca. 253/2 BC. Veiled head of the deified Arsinöe II right, wearing stephane, lotus-tipped scepter behind, Λ left / APΣINOHΣ ΦIΛAΔEΛΦOY, double cornucopia, grape bunches hanging at sides, bound with fillet. Svoronos 476. Troxell Group 3, p. 44 and pl. 7, 4 (same obverse die). A few minor surface flaws, otherwise struck on an immense flan from dies of pleasing style.

    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 Arsinoe, in the manner of the old Egyptian pharaohs. The sibling marriage scandalized Greek society, which gave Arsinoe the nickname Philadelphus, or "brother-lover." Arsinoe embraced the term, making it part of her royal title, and she poudly placed it on her coinage. Arsinoe'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 Arsinoe. Gold coins bearing Arsinoe's portrait continued to be struck for centuries after her death in 271 BC.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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