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    Splendid First Year Shekel

    JUDAEA. The Jewish War. AD 66-70. AR shekel (23mm, 13.88 gm, 11h). Jerusalem, dated Year 1 (AD 66/7). Paleo-Hebrew Shekel of Israel around ritual omer cup with flat base and pearled projections, date [Year] 1 above / Paleo-Hebrew Jerusalem [the] Holy,  sprig of three pomegranates on stem with round end. Hendin 1354. Samuels 81 (this coin). Meshorer 187. AJC 3. MCP dies O1/R3. Scarce! A truly exceptional example of the usually poorly made first year issues, deeply struck from dies of good style. NGC Choice AU ★ 4/5 - 4/5.

    Ex Shoshana Collection Part II (Heritage 3018, 5 September 2012), lot 20106 (realized $15,535).

    After decades of abuses heaped by the Romans upon the denizens of Judaea, the Jews were ripe for revolt. In AD 66, the Procurator Gessius Florus summarily seized 16 talents of silver from the Jerusalem temple. A massive protest by the citizens brought a typically brutal Roman response and more than 3,000 Jews were slain. Pleas for calm by the client King Agrippa II fell on deaf ears as the city and countryside rose in full-scale revolt. Florus and the Roman garrison were driven from the city; an attempt by the legate of nearby Syria to put down the rebellion led to the loss of an entire Legion, XII Fulminata, and consternation in Rome. Once freed of the Romans, Jerusalem temple authorities began striking their own silver coinage, the first time that a sovereign Jewish government had done so. The coins carried Jewish symbolism dating back centuries and slogans ("For the Freedom of Jerusalem," "For the Redemption of Zion") that showed the leaders of the rebellion well understood how to use coins for mass communication. Workmanship in the manufacture of these thick shekels and half-shekels (smaller silver fractions were also struck in tiny numbers) was unusually high, given the wartime conditions under which they were created. Coins were dated to the year the revolt started; coins dated Year 1 (AD 66) are considered scarce, with about 120-150 recorded specimens; Years 2 and 3 (AD 67-69) are relatively common, with known examples in the low hundreds, Year 4 issues quite rare (about 40 known examples), and Year 5 (AD 70) the rarest of all, with a dozen "regular" issues and 14 of "irregular" shekels recorded. Heritage is thus proud to present an offering of shekels from the Jewish War covering all five years, including specimens from the world-famous Shoshana Collection. 


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    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    11th Thursday
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