A European Collection of Ancient Spanish Coins
|CNG 87, Lot: 1. Estimate $500.
Sold for $1600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
End of 3rd century BC. AR Hemiobol or 1/12 Shekel (10mm, 0.36 g, 4h). Laureate head of Apollo right / Pellet above crescent. CNH 6; SNG BM Spain -. Good VF, darkly toned, minor porosity.
Classical Numismatic Group is pleased to offer this European collection of ancient Spanish coins. The collector carefully selected these coins with an eye for quality, as most are in a better state of preservation than others of their type, and some may represent the finest known. This offering represents an excellent opportunity for the specialist collector of ancient Spanish coinage.
The Second Punic War (218-200 BC), called The Hannibalic War by the Romans, and also referred to as The War Against Hannibal, was the second major war between the Roman Republic and Carthage. By the conclusion of the war, Rome had conquered much of the Iberian peninsula. Except for some issues minted in Rhode, Emporion, and Gades, not many coins were produced in Spain prior to the Second Punic War, as coinage was not adopted as a universal medium of exchange in Spain until after this transformational time. Much of the coinage in circulation in Spain during the second and first centuries BC, both bronze and silver, was produced locally, but Roman Republican coins also circulated there, though probably not in the interior.
Very little is known about the coinage of ancient Spain beyond the basic attribution to various cities. The absolute chronology and denominational systems are still questionable, but certain characteristics are observable. Three main regions minted coins in Spain: the northeastern coast (approximately modern Cataluña), the upper Ebro valley, and the Quadalquivir valley. The coinage of the northeastern coast is characterized by a language and script that are both Iberian, while the coins of the upper Ebro valley are characterized by a Celtic language and cognate Iberian script. In the Quadalquivir valley, coinage is characterized by an Iberian language and a different Iberian script, known as Turdetanian. The Iberian coinages of the north typically display on the obverse a head right, and on the reverse, a horse, horseman, Pegasos, or dolphin; those of the Quadalquivir valley exhibit a male head on the obverse, and on the reverse, a horseman or sphinx.
Roman Provincial coins of Spain usually host the name of the city from which it comes, making attribution definite. There is a considerable variety of reverse types, often inspired by coins of the Roman Republic and Empire, though earlier Iberian types, such as the horseman, are also found. Used to convey political or cultic messages to the people, the coins feature religious temples and symbols, statues, wreaths, and imperial portraits. Coins of some of the cities display military symbols, reflecting the military attributes of the people settled there. The bull, right or left, head facing, is among the religious types.
Much is yet to be learned about this fascinating coinage, making it an alluring area of collecting.