Ancient Coins (9 April 2008)

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Date of Auction: 9th April 2008

Sold for £4,000

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt, Ptolemy II (285-246), Mnaieion or Octadrachm, Alexandria, c. 253-246, in the name of Arsinoe II, veiled head right, lotus sceptre behind head, wearing diadem, stephane and ram’s horn, q behind, rev. double cornucopiæ bound with royal diadem, 27.75g/11h (Troxell, Arsinoe, Gp 3, p.44 and pl.7, 3; Svoronos 475; SNG Copenhagen 134; BMC 9). About extremely fine (£5,000-6,000)


Arsinöe II Philadelphos, doughter of Ptolemy I and Berenice I, married Lysimachos, king of Thrace, in about 299-298. After Lysmiachos’ defeat and a short marriage to Ptolemy Keraunos, she fled to Egypt and married her brother Ptolemy I in about 276. After her death in about 270/268, Ptolemy II made his deceased sister one of the most popular goddesses in the Ptolemaic sphere of influence and issued these exceptional mnaieia in her name. These coins, and the associated silver, must have been closely connected to the financial implications of her cult during Alexandria’s Golden Age