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The Results of Obolos 22

Why haven’t you heard from us for so long? Well, there has actually been a vaguely good reason – even several – the major one being the usual last minute rush to prepare the text for our forthcoming floor auction, Nomos 24, which will take place on 22nd May 2022. The reason for the last-minute rush is simply that with Dimitris running things we occasionally drift into Greek Time, which means we get a lovely consignment just a day or two before our deadline! But since our cover coin came that way, and it is one of the most wonderful coins that I have seen in over 40 years in the coin trade, I won’t complain too much. Another thing that has happened is that I have had two cataract operations, which have had the great result of allowing me to actually see the coins I write about, rather than just do the descriptions by touch! Seriously, going through such operations is extraordinary: the professionalism of the medical team is awe inspiring. Close up vision is somewhat clearer, but now I no longer need glasses for distance, which is quite a change!

Anyway, let’s get back to coins and take a quick look at the results of Obolos 22:

Lot 483: Greek. Kings of Elymais. Kamnaskires II Nikephoros (c. 147-139 BC). Dichalkon, Susa. Extremely rare, and with an extraordinary facing portrait of the king. Cleaning scratches on the reverse, otherwise, good very fine. Result: 900 CHF.

Lot 483 – Yes, we illustrated this coin, a bronze dichalkon of Kamnaskires II, before, and that’s because I thought it was remarkable; lots of other people did too! It went from an starting price of 200 CHF up to a record price of 900 CHF!

Lot 69 – This gold tetrobol of Metapontum had a starting price of 2,000 CHF, but it also had 11 bidders and went to 10,000 CHF!

In the 1970s, and before, Greek coins that were rare and attractive but only around very fine in condition were very much in demand and went for strong prices. Then the atmosphere changed and top condition became the sine qua non for many collectors, thus, turning many coins that used to be quite desirable into real bargains for connoisseurs. But could it be that the tide is turning?

Lot 80 – a stylish tetradrachm of Gela with an starting price of just 200 CHF. It was only nearly very fine but it sold for 3,200 CHF!

Lot 89: Greek. Sicily, Syracuse. Tetradrachm, 413-399 BC. The obverse die in the style of Euarchidas, the reverse die signed by Phrygillos. Very rare, the dies of lovely Classical style. Very fine. Result: 7,000 CHF.

Even more excitingly, lot 89, a very fine tetradrachm of Syracuse with an obverse die in the style of Euarchidas and a reverse die by Phrygillos: given an starting price of 500 CHF it was bid up to a final price of 7,000 CHF!

Lot 156: Greek. Kings of Macedon. Philip II (359-336 BC). Didrachm, Pella. Rare. Good very fine. Result: 3,200 CHF.

Lot 156 – The didrachms of Philip II are really quite rare and hard to find, and this one, lot 156 (starting price 250 CHF), struck in Pella c. 359-355/4 BC, is no exception: it sold for 3,200 CHF.

All through the Greek section prices were strong and almost everything found a buyer (with a few exceptions, most of which should not have appeared as single lots) – bronzes, silver fractions, large silver, gold and electrum – all sold at anything from the starting price to the stratosphere!

Roman Provincial coins continued the trend:

Lot 521 – This apparently unique triassarion of Elagabalus (lot 521, starting price 60 CHF) bears the Centaur Chiron on its reverse: this meant that, after a hard fight, it sold for 1,400 CHF!

Lot 559: Roman Provincial. Ilicia. Diocaesarea. Pseudo-autonomous issue, time of Antoninus Pius (138-161). Green patina with sandy highlights. Very fine. Result: 130 CHF.

Lot 559 – This is not an expensive coin, though it is probably fairly rare, and it certainly isn’t in perfect condition, but it has the most extraordinary reverse (lot 559, starting price 75 CHF): a single bunch of grapes hanging from a branch with at least two vine leaves behind it. This is like the emblem on a Japanese Samurai’s clothing or an Art Nouveau design. And it only sold for 130 CHF! That’s a bargain!


You can find all results of Obolos 22 in the online catalog.

For further information about the auction house, visit the Nomos website.