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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 159. Estimate CHF32500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF35000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VIII. 180-116. Oktodrachm (Gold, ), circa 134 BC (?). Head of Arsinoë II (?) to right, wearing diadem and stephane, and with a lotos-tipped scepter behind her head; in field to left, Κ. Rev. ΑΡΣΙΝΟΗΣ ΦΙΛΑΔΕΛΦΟΥ Double cornucopiae bound with fillet; border of dots. Du Chastel 298 (there dated to 134 BC). SNG Copenhagen 322. Svoronos 1498. Superb, lustrous and most attractive. Virtually as struck.

From the collection of APCW, ex Nomos 2, 18 May 2010, 152.

The large K on the obverse of this coin, ostensibly a regnal date (=20) copied from an actual piece of Arsinoe from the 3rd century, is surely something else. It is generally thought to indicate that the portrait is actually that of either Cleopatra II or her daughter Cleopatra III; the first was the wife of both Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VIII, the second was only the wife of Ptolemy VIII. Any form of certainty seems doubtful.