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British Museum Electrotype

552223. SOLD $395

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. 305/4-282 BC. Electrotype “Tetradrachm” (28mm, 14.68 g, 12h). British Museum electrotype by Robert Ready (marked RR on edge). Diademed head right, wearing aegis around neck, tiny Δ behind ear / Eagle standing left on thunderbolt; Σ to left. Head, Guide, Period IV.A., 22; cf. GPCG pl. 28, 20 = BM no. 1863,0728.1 (for prototype). Toned. As made.


Duplicate from the England - McFadden Electrotype Collection.

In 1859, the British Museum engaged the seal-maker Robert Cooper Ready to produce replicas of notable Greek coins held in the national collection. Though he initially attempted to produce casts, Ready soon took to the newly-developed method of electrotyping, which uses electrolytic deposition of copper on a mold to reproduce a form. The high-quality replicas produced by Ready were first used in a display in the King’s Library, with the coins divided into seven eras based on the contemporary interpretation of artistic growth and decline, described by Barclay Head in A Guide to the Select Greek and Roman Coins Exhibited in Electrotype published in London in 1880. Individual electrotypes from this set were later sold at the price of 2s 6d, with complete encased sets available for schools and museums. Some examples produced by Robert Ready are marked RR on the edge. Others marked R on the edge or unsigned were produced by Robert Ready or his sons. Some electrotypes are marked MB on obverse or reverse, MM on edge, or B on reverse. Later, other museums also produced similar electrotypes.