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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 147. Estimate CHF10000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF10000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

JUDAEA, Bar Kochba Revolt. 132-135 CE. Large Bronze (Bronze, 35mm, 43.56 g 12), year 1 = 132/133. Inscription in three lines reading “Shim’on Prince of Israel” within palm wreath with large oval jewel at the top. Rev. Year One of the Redemption of Israel Amphora with fluted body, high foot and curved handles. AJC II 3b. Hendin 677. Mildenberg 1 (O1/R1). TJC 220b. . Very rare. Partially flat struck, otherwise, very fine.

From the Patrick H. C. Tan Collection.

What is interesting about this coin is how off struck it is: while Bar Kochba’s minters were primarily interested in getting coins out into circulation, and were working very rapidly, they usually did not produce such partially struck pieces. In addition this coin seems to have seen a great deal of actual circulation wear and that, in itself, is most strange since the war only lasted about four years. It seems more than likely that this large coin later served as a talisman for its owner, being carried for many years before its ultimate loss. Such use is attested by the appearance of a number of other Bar Kochba coins that have been holed for suspension in antiquity and then lost. It seems quite certain that after the revolt was crushed the coins were outlawed by the Roman authorities so that their continued possession, even as talismans, would have been dangerous for their ancient owners. The owner of this piece must have been a great patriot to have held it long enough to give it the amount of wear it has.