Roma Numismatics Ltd > Auction XXIIIAuction date: 24 March 2022
Lot number: 368

Price realized: 17,000 GBP   (Approx. 22,413 USD / 20,364 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Arsinoe II (wife of Ptolemy II) AV Mnaieon (Oktadrachm). Alexandria, circa 254-252 BC. Head to right, veiled and wearing stephane; lotus-tipped sceptre in background; Θ to left / Double cornucopiae, grape bunches hanging at sides, bound with fillet; APΣINOHΣ ΦIΛAΔEΛΦOY around. CPE 388; Svoronos 460, pl. 15, 12; Troxell p. 44, pl. 6, 2 (this coin); Olivier & Lorber dies 1/30, 127-130; SNG Copenhagen 134.

NGC graded Ch VF 5/5 - 3/5, light marks (#6055572-002).

This coin published in H. A. Troxell, 'Arsinoe's Non-Era' in American Numismatic Society Museum Notes 28 (1983);
Ex Roma Numismatics Ltd., Auction II, 2 October 2011, lot 341;
Ex Ars Classica S.A., Auction 17, 3 October 1934, lot 626.

The daughter of Ptolemy I and his wife Berenike, Arsinoe II was born in 316 BC in the nascent Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt. After a swift political marriage to Lysimachos of Thrace at the age of fifteen, she was married again to Ptolemy Keraunos, her half-brother, but fled Macedon immediately after the wedding to the protection of Egypt, which had passed to her younger brother Ptolemy II. The two gained the epithet 'Philadelphoi' or 'sibling-lover' after they married in 273-272 BC: the practice of sibling marriage was traditional for Egyptian pharaohs, but was known only to the Greeks in deities such as Zeus and Hera. However, their marriage provided a model which was followed by most subsequent Ptolemaic monarchs, and its divine connotations only advanced their power. The image of Arsinoe here portrays a beautiful and serene queen, with considerable attention devoted to her curled hairstyle and the drape of her veil, while her usual attributes of cornucopiae associate her with peace and prosperity.

She was considered a capable co-ruler who directed Egypt's foreign affairs, and her death in 270-268 BC prompted a great outpouring of gold coinage to mark her full deification, emphasised in this portrait by a glimpse of a ram's horn emerging from her veil, reminiscent of the horn of Ammon on images of the deified Alexander the Great.

Estimate: 12500 GBP