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On the attribution of SC 118 (Price P229)

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  • Lloyd
    I recently had the good fortune to acquire this specific coin http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=44995 an example of Price P229 and SC 118. In Seleucid
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 28, 2012
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      I recently had the good fortune to acquire this specific coin http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=44995 an example of Price P229 and SC 118.

      In Seleucid Coins, the type is somewhat equivocally (see below) attributed to Seleukeia on the Tigris.

      Stylistically and in terms of mint controls the type bears little resemblance to supposedly contemporaneous issues from Seleukeia on the Tigris. In Seleucid Coins, despite listing the coin under Seleukeia on the Tigris, Houghton and Lorber conclude that 'a more plausible explanation is that this issue is what it seems – a lifetime issue of Philip III – one of whose obverse dies was rehabilitated under Seleukos I by a mint of limited resources (possibly but not necessarily Carrhae), just as old reverse dies of Philip were pressed into service at Uncertain Mint 6A and the native/satrapal workshop of Babylon.'

      On receipt of the coin I was struck by the similarity of its fabric to a number of Babylon II (Satrapal mint) issues in my collection. Specifically,the fabric of this coin with its thick, small diameter flan and subtle, remnant flan casting sprues (180 degrees apart) is reminiscent of much of the early product of the Babylon Satrapal mint, which also produced lion staters (Mitchiner type 8a; BMC 39-41; Nicolet-Pierre 5; SNG Copenhagen 265; Sear 6147 e.g. http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=273103 ) bearing the pentalpha symbol above the lion, accompanied by no other mint control.

      It appears likely that the possibly control linked lion staters from Babylon II (Satrapal Mint) were struck either immediately preceding, or during Seleukos' first satrapy,. Although this type is not listed in Seleucid Coins, it is contemporaneous with the time of Philip III and possibly overlaps Seleukos first satrapy. This earlier type of lion stater is not to be confused with SC 144 (ESM 269) lion stater of a different fabric and style bearing a pentalpha symbol in exergue plus an additional mint control M accompanied by the anchor insignia of Seleukos which is attributed to Seleukeia on the Tigris in ca. 280's BC.

      In view of Houghton and Lorber's expressed reservations with the attribution of SC 118 to Seleukeia on the Tigris, I wonder why this attribution was made?

      To me it appears that the weight of evidence is against it, plus on the principle of Occam's Razor the alternative proffered by Houghton and Lorber is most probable. Rather than the Seleukeia on Tigris attribution, an equally compelling case can be made that it is a lifetime issue of Philip III (as suggested by Houghton and Lorber) from the Babylon II (Satrapal) mint.

      If not convinced of the latter specific mint attribution, then would it not be better to attribute this coin (Price P229; SC 118) to an Uncertain Mint in Babylonia (possibly Babylon II) which seems to align more closely with Houghton and Lorber's reservations and expressed thoughts on the subject, plus the observation I have made on the coin's fabric and possible mint control to the earlier lion stater product of Babylon II (Satrapal) mint?

      Thoughts on this and any pointers as to what I may be missing in the consideration of the attribution of this coin would be most welcome.

      Unfortunately, I do not have access to Coins of the Seleucid Empire in the Collection of Arthur Houghton, Part II, therefore if someone can confirm that this coin is as listed in the Gemini II provenance Ex Arthur Houghton Collection NS744 I'd be grateful. Seleucid Coins illustrates SC 118 with and only makes reference to AHNS 665 and does not include this coin in the count of six known examples of the type, so I am a bit uncertain that the provenance is as stated.

      Regards
      Lloyd
    • AHA95@aol.com
      Dear Lloyd. I am away from home, and therefore my books, for the next several days, otherwise I would be pleased to respond to some of the questions you
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 30, 2012
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        Dear Lloyd.

        I am away from home, and therefore my books, for the next several days,
        otherwise I would be pleased to respond to some of the questions you raise.
        I can however confirm that this coin was in fact mine, registered as AHNS
        744.

        Best regards,

        Arthur Houghton


        In a message dated 1/29/2012 4:46:58 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
        lloyd.taylor@... writes:




        I recently had the good fortune to acquire this specific coin
        _http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=44995_
        (http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=44995) an example of Price P229 and SC 118.

        In Seleucid Coins, the type is somewhat equivocally (see below) attributed
        to Seleukeia on the Tigris.

        Stylistically and in terms of mint controls the type bears little
        resemblance to supposedly contemporaneous issues from Seleukeia on the Tigris. In
        Seleucid Coins, despite listing the coin under Seleukeia on the Tigris,
        Houghton and Lorber conclude that 'a more plausible explanation is that this
        issue is what it seems – a lifetime issue of Philip III – one of whose
        obverse dies was rehabilitated under Seleukos I by a mint of limited resources
        (possibly but not necessarily Carrhae), just as old reverse dies of Philip
        were pressed into service at Uncertain Mint 6A and the native/satrapal
        workshop of Babylon.'

        On receipt of the coin I was struck by the similarity of its fabric to a
        number of Babylon II (Satrapal mint) issues in my collection.
        Specifically,the fabric of this coin with its thick, small diameter flan and subtle,
        remnant flan casting sprues (180 degrees apart) is reminiscent of much of the
        early product of the Babylon Satrapal mint, which also produced lion staters
        (Mitchiner type 8a; BMC 39-41; Nicolet-Pierre 5; SNG Copenhagen 265; Sear
        6147 e.g. _http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=273103_
        (http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=273103) ) bearing the pentalpha symbol above the
        lion, accompanied by no other mint control.

        It appears likely that the possibly control linked lion staters from
        Babylon II (Satrapal Mint) were struck either immediately preceding, or during
        Seleukos' first satrapy,. Although this type is not listed in Seleucid
        Coins, it is contemporaneous with the time of Philip III and possibly overlaps
        Seleukos first satrapy. This earlier type of lion stater is not to be
        confused with SC 144 (ESM 269) lion stater of a different fabric and style
        bearing a pentalpha symbol in exergue plus an additional mint control M
        accompanied by the anchor insignia of Seleukos which is attributed to Seleukeia on
        the Tigris in ca. 280's BC.

        In view of Houghton and Lorber's expressed reservations with the
        attribution of SC 118 to Seleukeia on the Tigris, I wonder why this attribution was
        made?

        To me it appears that the weight of evidence is against it, plus on the
        principle of Occam's Razor the alternative proffered by Houghton and Lorber
        is most probable. Rather than the Seleukeia on Tigris attribution, an
        equally compelling case can be made that it is a lifetime issue of Philip III (as
        suggested by Houghton and Lorber) from the Babylon II (Satrapal) mint.

        If not convinced of the latter specific mint attribution, then would it
        not be better to attribute this coin (Price P229; SC 118) to an Uncertain
        Mint in Babylonia (possibly Babylon II) which seems to align more closely with
        Houghton and Lorber's reservations and expressed thoughts on the subject,
        plus the observation I have made on the coin's fabric and possible mint
        control to the earlier lion stater product of Babylon II (Satrapal) mint?

        Thoughts on this and any pointers as to what I may be missing in the
        consideration of the attribution of this coin would be most welcome.

        Unfortunately, I do not have access to Coins of the Seleucid Empire in the
        Collection of Arthur Houghton, Part II, therefore if someone can confirm
        that this coin is as listed in the Gemini II provenance Ex Arthur Houghton
        Collection NS744 I'd be grateful. Seleucid Coins illustrates SC 118 with and
        only makes reference to AHNS 665 and does not include this coin in the
        count of six known examples of the type, so I am a bit uncertain that the
        provenance is as stated.

        Regards
        Lloyd






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Lloyd
        Dear Arthur, Thank you very much for the confirmation that the coin is indeed AHNS 744. It now joins two other well credentialed AH coins in my collection CSE
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 31, 2012
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          Dear Arthur,

          Thank you very much for the confirmation that the coin is indeed AHNS 744. It now joins two other well credentialed AH coins in my collection CSE 937 and 938.

          The unique CSE 938 (SC 69.7) is my pride and joy for several reasons, not the least of which is that I have acquired recently a previously unrecorded (at least as far as I know) obverse die matched to it in an example of SC 50.1. This links Uncertain Mint 6A with Uncertain Mint 1. The linkage is not simply a matter of a die transfer as the reverse of the specimen of SC 50.1 has a reverse die that is a control modification (ΛY replacing HP) of the same die used to strike SC 69.1 (Uncertain Mint 6A). These two (obverse and reverse) die links accompanying the transition to coinage from Uncertain Mint 1/6A with the legend of King Seleukos raise some speculations around the nature of the mint, which I am currently working on with a view to posting the finding in the near future.

          The new SC 50.1 coin, plus another two I have acquired demonstrating obverse die linkage of SC 49.3 with SC 50.1 (a link previously unrecorded as far as I can establish) appear to have come from an undocumented component of the Commerce ('Seleucus I') Hoard 2005 (CH 10.265).

          Should you be interested in reviewing the material and die matches I'd be happy to forward my notes and images to you.

          In the meantime, I would very much welcome any thoughts or insights you may be able to share on the attribution of AHNS 744 (SC 118) when it is convenient for you to do so.

          Again my thanks. I greatly appreciate your confirmation of the provenance of the coin and look forward to your perspective on the possible mint attribution to Babylon II.

          Best Regards
          Lloyd

          --- In seleukids@yahoogroups.com, AHA95@... wrote:
          >
          > Dear Lloyd.
          >
          > I am away from home, and therefore my books, for the next several days,
          > otherwise I would be pleased to respond to some of the questions you raise.
          > I can however confirm that this coin was in fact mine, registered as AHNS
          > 744.
          >
          > Best regards,
          >
          > Arthur Houghton
          >
          >
          > In a message dated 1/29/2012 4:46:58 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
          > lloyd.taylor@... writes:
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > I recently had the good fortune to acquire this specific coin
          > _http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=44995_
          > (http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=44995) an example of Price P229 and SC 118.
          >
          > In Seleucid Coins, the type is somewhat equivocally (see below) attributed
          > to Seleukeia on the Tigris.
          >
          > Stylistically and in terms of mint controls the type bears little
          > resemblance to supposedly contemporaneous issues from Seleukeia on the Tigris. In
          > Seleucid Coins, despite listing the coin under Seleukeia on the Tigris,
          > Houghton and Lorber conclude that 'a more plausible explanation is that this
          > issue is what it seems â€" a lifetime issue of Philip III â€" one of whose
          > obverse dies was rehabilitated under Seleukos I by a mint of limited resources
          > (possibly but not necessarily Carrhae), just as old reverse dies of Philip
          > were pressed into service at Uncertain Mint 6A and the native/satrapal
          > workshop of Babylon.'
          >
          > On receipt of the coin I was struck by the similarity of its fabric to a
          > number of Babylon II (Satrapal mint) issues in my collection.
          > Specifically,the fabric of this coin with its thick, small diameter flan and subtle,
          > remnant flan casting sprues (180 degrees apart) is reminiscent of much of the
          > early product of the Babylon Satrapal mint, which also produced lion staters
          > (Mitchiner type 8a; BMC 39-41; Nicolet-Pierre 5; SNG Copenhagen 265; Sear
          > 6147 e.g. _http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=273103_
          > (http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=273103) ) bearing the pentalpha symbol above the
          > lion, accompanied by no other mint control.
          >
          > It appears likely that the possibly control linked lion staters from
          > Babylon II (Satrapal Mint) were struck either immediately preceding, or during
          > Seleukos' first satrapy,. Although this type is not listed in Seleucid
          > Coins, it is contemporaneous with the time of Philip III and possibly overlaps
          > Seleukos first satrapy. This earlier type of lion stater is not to be
          > confused with SC 144 (ESM 269) lion stater of a different fabric and style
          > bearing a pentalpha symbol in exergue plus an additional mint control M
          > accompanied by the anchor insignia of Seleukos which is attributed to Seleukeia on
          > the Tigris in ca. 280's BC.
          >
          > In view of Houghton and Lorber's expressed reservations with the
          > attribution of SC 118 to Seleukeia on the Tigris, I wonder why this attribution was
          > made?
          >
          > To me it appears that the weight of evidence is against it, plus on the
          > principle of Occam's Razor the alternative proffered by Houghton and Lorber
          > is most probable. Rather than the Seleukeia on Tigris attribution, an
          > equally compelling case can be made that it is a lifetime issue of Philip III (as
          > suggested by Houghton and Lorber) from the Babylon II (Satrapal) mint.
          >
          > If not convinced of the latter specific mint attribution, then would it
          > not be better to attribute this coin (Price P229; SC 118) to an Uncertain
          > Mint in Babylonia (possibly Babylon II) which seems to align more closely with
          > Houghton and Lorber's reservations and expressed thoughts on the subject,
          > plus the observation I have made on the coin's fabric and possible mint
          > control to the earlier lion stater product of Babylon II (Satrapal) mint?
          >
          > Thoughts on this and any pointers as to what I may be missing in the
          > consideration of the attribution of this coin would be most welcome.
          >
          > Unfortunately, I do not have access to Coins of the Seleucid Empire in the
          > Collection of Arthur Houghton, Part II, therefore if someone can confirm
          > that this coin is as listed in the Gemini II provenance Ex Arthur Houghton
          > Collection NS744 I'd be grateful. Seleucid Coins illustrates SC 118 with and
          > only makes reference to AHNS 665 and does not include this coin in the
          > count of six known examples of the type, so I am a bit uncertain that the
          > provenance is as stated.
          >
          > Regards
          > Lloyd
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
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