Roma Numismatics Ltd > E-Sale 101Auction date: 13 October 2022
Lot number: 561

Price realized: 7,000 GBP   (Approx. 7,750 USD / 7,989 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


South Arabia, Qataban. Anonymous Scyphate AV Fraction. ḤRB mint, late 2nd century BC. Small square head to right, South Arabian monogram "MR" behind / Small square head to right; oblong symbol to right, "ḤRB" (mint name in South Arabian) below. Unpublished, cf. CAF 3.28iii (AR); cf. Huth 385 (AR). 0.28g, 10mm, 9h.

Good Very Fine. Unpublished in this metal, and possibly unique.

From a private North American collection.

Martin Huth presented a survey of the known gold coins of Arabia in Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms (pp. 125-132), examining a group consisting of only thirteen extant examples, eleven of which come from South Arabia. This Anonymous Scyphate Fraction in gold is a novum to add to the diverse selection of types represented.

Estimate: 250 GBP

Match 1:
Roma Numismatics Ltd > E-Sale 105Auction date: 19 January 2023
Lot number: 394

Price realized: 1,800 GBP   (Approx. 2,231 USD / 2,059 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


South Arabia, Kingdom of Ma'in (Minaia?) AR Tetradrachm. Circa 200-100 BC(?). Imitating Athens. Helmeted head of Athena to right / Owl standing facing, [olive sprig and crescent] behind; South Arabian letters z and ['ayin] to right. Huth, 'Monetary Circulation in South West Arabia' in CKK, Al-Jawf Hoard 21; Roma e72, 626 (hammer: GBP 2,200); Roma e73, 527. 15.32g, 21mm, 12h.

Near Very Fine. Very Rare; one two other examples on CoinArchives.

From the inventory of a UK dealer.

Martin Huth has argued that this series was struck on 'folded flans' which were prepared by hammering an existing coin to obliterate its design and then folding it once, then hammering together two such pieces before striking, resulting in a triangular shape (Huth, 'Monetary Circulation' in CKK, pp. 86-7). The Al-Jawf Hoard contained 21 tetradrachms struck on flans produced in this way and were found alongside numerous heavily bent Alexander III type tetradrachms (some Arabian imitations, see nos. 210-229 and 232-246). Huth suggests that the deformation of the Alexander III types may have been a way of invalidating coinage entering South Arabia, preventing its entry into local circulation and may have provided the raw material for new flans (ibid, p. 88). Despite this, Huth notes that the large size of the Alexander tetradrachms were not conducive to the method of production used to create the flans for the striking of the imitative Athens tetradrachms. The source material for flans used to strike this series of imitative Athens tetradrachms probably came from elsewhere and the exact reasons for this seemingly unnecessarily complicated method of production remain unclear.

The likely burial date of the hoard is thought to be around the turn of the second century BC and the folded Alexander type tetradrachms date to the first half of the second century BC. This series of imitative Athens tetradrachms were probably produced around the same time the Alexander tetradrachms were circulating and the find spot suggests they were struck by one of the small states situated in the Wadi al-Jawf. Huth suggests the importance of the trading activities of Mai'in during this period, when other South Arabian states were minting their own coins, and its nature as a loose confederation of states make it a possible candidate for the attribution of this coinage (Ibid, p. 89).

Estimate: 500 GBP

Match 2:
Roma Numismatics Ltd > E-Sale 101Auction date: 13 October 2022
Lot number: 562

Price realized: 1,900 GBP   (Approx. 2,104 USD / 2,168 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


South Arabia, Saba' AR Half Unit. 3rd-2nd centuries BC. Imitating Athens. Head of Athena to right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves and palmette; Γ ('g' in South Arabian) on cheek / AΘE, owl standing to right, head facing; yanaf-monogram to left, 'Mukarrib' monogram before owl, South Arabian minuscule inscription above. Huth in CCK, 46b; Huth 248; CAF 1.7ii. 1.63g, 11mm, 5h.

Good Very Fine; Extremely Rare.

From a private North American collection.

Estimate: 100 GBP

Match 3:
Roma Numismatics Ltd > E-Sale 101Auction date: 13 October 2022
Lot number: 563

Price realized: 220 GBP   (Approx. 244 USD / 251 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


South Arabia, Saba' AR Half Unit. 3rd-2nd centuries BC. Imitating Athens. Head of Athena to right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves and palmette; Γ ('g' in South Arabian) on cheek / AΘE, owl standing to right, head facing; yanaf-monogram to left, 'Mukarrib' monogram before owl, South Arabian minuscule inscription above. Huth in CCK, 46b; Huth 248; CAF 1.7ii. 1.64g, 11mm, 6h.

Very Fine; Extremely Rare.

From a private North American collection.

Estimate: 75 GBP

Match 4:
Roma Numismatics Ltd > E-Sale 105Auction date: 19 January 2023
Lot number: 386

Price realized: 130 GBP   (Approx. 161 USD / 149 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


South Arabia, Himyar. 'Amdān Bayān Yahaqbiḍ AR Unit. Raidan, circa AD 100-120. Bare head to right, within plain border terminated by arrowhead / Small head to right; YNF monogram in left field; South Arabian legend: 'MDN BYN (king's name) above, RYDN (mint) below, 'sceptre' symbol to right. CAF 3.2ai; Huth 430-1 corr. (obv. border interrupted); SNG ANS 1582-94. 1.34g, 15mm, 5h.

Near Extremely Fine; attractive old cabinet tone.

Estimate: 75 GBP

Match 5:
Roma Numismatics Ltd > E-Sale 102Auction date: 3 November 2022
Lot number: 91

Price realized: 750 GBP   (Approx. 860 USD / 871 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
Lot description:


Philistia (Palestine), uncertain mint AR Tetradrachm. Imitating Athens, circa 450-400 BC(?). Head of Athena to right, wearing crested Attic helmet ornamented with three olive leaves above visor and spiral palmette on bowl, round earring with central boss, and pearl necklace; uncertain Aramaic or Phoenician letter on cheek, perhaps a shin(?) / Owl standing to right with head facing, olive sprig and crescent behind, ΑΘΕ before; all within incuse square. Unpublished in the standard references; for examples with similar letters on obv., cf. SNG ANS 3 and CNG 84, 738; for similar examples with differing letters, cf. Heritage 3042, 29128 (uncertain letter on cheek), CNG 97, 399 (aleph on cheek guard), Leu Numismatik 83, 246 (aleph on neck); for general classification, cf. Van Alfen, Mechanisms III.C.2. 17.21g, 24mm, 9h.

Extremely Fine.

From the inventory of a UK dealer.

This fascinating specimen, which is struck in fine style and is a faithful rendering of the contemporary Athenian iteration, bears not a countermark but instead a raised letter on Athena's cheek, probably either an Aramaic or Phoenician character and most closely resembling an Aramaic taw, that was cut into the original die. One comparable example, found in SNG ANS (3), has been linked to the Samaritan city of Shomron, owing to the presence of a shin-like character on the right cheek, but whether or not the letter observed here, and others akin to it, can genuinely be associated with particular governors, satraps, magistrates or indeed locales is, at present, uncertain.

The altering of imitative Athens tetradrachms from Levantine, Egypt and Arabia with (most commonly) Aramaic style countermarks and/or graffiti was widespread during the fifth-fourth century BC. Van Alfen, in his exhaustive and illuminating review of the subject (The 1989 Syria Hoard, 2002, p. 5), maintains that such punches were most likely the personal emblems of specific magistrates or bankers, and advises against attempting to associate marks with particular Eastern mints. With this in mind, the questions arises whether the letter observed in relief here should also be considered the mark of an individual as opposed to a city ethnic. Clearly, further investigation is required.

Estimate: 500 GBP