|Sale: CNG 63, Lot: 766. Estimate $750.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 21 May 2003.
Sold For $1265. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
Circa 375-333 BCE. AR Obol (0.51 gm). Bearded, triple-faced head / Pile of five Athenian tetradrachms; all in dotted incuse. Meshorer & Qedar 141. VF, dark toning. Rare. ($750)
The obverse of this coin is derived from obols of Cilicia (SNG Levante 201). An example in Good VF sold for sf 2200 in Sternberg XXXIV (22-23 October 1998), lot 195.
The reverse concept is nearly unique in ancient numismatics, with its clear representation of the reverses of five Athenian coins. The only comparable type of a 'coin on coin' type that we know of is the Roman Republican denarius of L. Julius Bursio with a subsidiary symbol of two Roman asses (see Classical Numismatic Group 38, lot 793).
Ronn Berrol, in "Coinage for Redeeming the Firstborn: an Ancient and Modern Jewish Ritual," The Celator, December 2002, pp.14-22, postulates a connection with the Pidyon Ha-Ben ceremony, wherein a Jewish family would pay five shekels to redeem a first-born son, who was to be consecrated to the priesthood.