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    PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Arsinöe II Philadelphus (277-270 BC). AR decadrachm (34.5mm, 34.35 gm, 12h). NGC Choice XF 4/5 - 3/5, light smoothing. Posthumous issue of Alexandria under Ptolemy II, ca. 265-241 BC. Veiled head of the deified Arsinöe II right, wearing diademed stephane and horn of Ammon, lotus-tipped scepter over far shoulder; Y in left field / APΣINOHΣ-ΦIΛAΔEΛΦOY, double cornucopia, grape bunches hanging at sides, bound with fillet. Svoronos 508. SNG Berry 1474. Matte surfaces with underlying luster, area of dark toning along rim.

    From the Collection of a Philhellene. Ex Classical Numismatic Group, Auction 42 (29 May 1997), lot 636; Classical Numismatic Gallery, Auction 28 (8 December 1993), lot 207.

    The ostentatious display of Egypt's wealth under the Ptolemies was not confined to gold coinage. Ptolemy I and his immediate successors also struck silver coins in larger denominations than any contemporary kingdom or city-state. Along with the vast outpouring of gold in the name of his sister-wife Arsinöe II, Ptolemy II also struck silver decadrachms displaying her veiled portrait backed with the cornucopia, symbolizing Egypt's agricultural abundance. Having died in about 270 BC, Arsinöe is shown as a goddess, with the tip of a ram's horn (symbolic of the god Ammon) poking out from beneath her veil, and the lotus-tipped scepter of the goddess Isis just visible above her head. 


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    Auction Dates
    August, 2018
    17th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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