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    Description

    Superb Later K-Type Mnaieion

    Ptolemy VI - VIII (180-116 BC). AV mnaieion or octodrachm (27.79 gm). Alexandria, circa 135-130 BC. Head of the deified Arsinoë II right, wearing diadem and stephane, lotus-tipped scepter behind head, Κ behind / ΑΡΣΙΝΟΗΣ ΦΙΛΑΔΕΛΦΟΥ, double cornucopiae bound with fillet. Svoronos 1498. SNG Copenhagen 322. A superb example, struck in high relief from a fresh obverse die and fully lustrous. In NGC holder graded Ch AU 4/5 - 4/5.

    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 Arsinoë II found on the gold pieces minted closer to her lifetime. Whether the difference is the result of stylization, as found in succeeding portraits of Ptolemy I Soter, or does in fact reflect the features of the contemporary Ptolemaic queen must remain an intriguing mystery.


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    Auction Dates
    September, 2011
    7th-12th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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