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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 78, Lot: 932. Estimate $500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2008. 
Sold For $680. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

JUDAEA, Herodians. Herod I (the Great). 40-4 BCE. Æ 8 Prutot (7.83 g, 12h). Samaria mint. Dated RY 3 (40 BCE). Lebes above tripod; date to left, monogram to right / Military helmet; star above, palm to left and right. Meshorer 44; Hendin 486. Good VF, green sandy patina.

The helmet on the reverse of this type has been the subject of much research. Initially called a vessel by Madden in 1864, others, like Kindler in 1974, refer to it as a thymaterion (an incense burner), but Meshorer and Hendin now believe it to be a helmet. Its confirmation as a helmet was presented by Hendin in the Israel Numismatic Journal Vol.11 in which he showed that, through the analysis of a superb specimen, there was a wreath on the helmet which included a large leaf as a central device. Thus, he concluded that the object is a soldier's helmet with a wreath, cheek pieces, and straps. Leaves on helmets were a suitable symbol and design motif at this time as Herod I did not depict human images on any of his coins