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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

 
90020151
Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 151. Estimate CHF52000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF52000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Berenike II, wife of Ptolemy III. Circa 244/3-221 BC. Octodrachm (Gold, 27.80 g 12), Alexandria. Veiled and draped bust of Berenike II to right. Rev. ΒΕΡΕΝΙΚΗΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ Cornucopiae bound with fillet. BMFA 2348. SNG Copenhagen 169. Svoronos 1113. Very rare. A superb piece of wonderful style. Virtually as struck.


Berenike II was the daughter of Magas of Cyrene and Apama and was born c. 267. Soon after her father’s death she married the Macedonian prince Demetrios the Fair but, after finding him in bed with her mother (!) she had him killed and then married Ptolemy III of Egypt. When Ptolemy III was on campaign in Syria she cut off her hair and dedicated it to Aphrodite to ensure his safe return. The hair mysteriously disappeared and was then thought to have been carried up to the heavens where it became known as the constellation Coma Berenices. She was murdered by her mercuric son Ptolemy IV in 221, shortly after the death of Ptolemy III.