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    Mint State Arsinoe Mnaieion

    PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Arsinoe II (277-270 BC). AV mnaieion or octodrachm (29mm, 27.42 gm, 11h).  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. Deeply struck on a broad flan from dies of fine style and possessing brilliant, mirror-like luster. A few scratches at edge of flan at 4-5:00, otherwise perfect. NGC MS 5/5 - 3/5, scratches. 

    Ex Classical Numismatic Group 50 (23 June 1999), lot 960.

    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. 




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    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
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