Greek Silver & Bronze Coins


Lot 3066    SESSION 7 (9.30AM THURSDAY 30TH JULY)    Greek Silver & Bronze Coins

Estimate $1,300
Bid at
SOLD $1,600

CARIAN ISLANDS, Rhodes, (304-189 B.C.), silver tetradrachm, (13.48 g), obv. radiate head of Helios three-quarter face to right with hair loose, rev. rose, with bud on right, O**DION* above, to left prow of vessel to right, below **AMEIN IAS*, all within dotted border, (S.5046, BMC 120 [p.241, Pl.xxxviii, 1], SNG Cop.752, SNG Finland 542). Attractive grey tone, slightly off centred on the reverse, good very fine/extremely fine and rare.

Ex Noble Numismatics Sale 74, lot 4542.

A most interesting coin as this tetradrachm coin type was treasured by several religious foundations in the middle ages as one of the actual 'Thirty Pieces' of silver which were accepted by Judas Iscariot for the betrayal of Christ (Matt XXVI, 15). In the middle ages the appearance of this coin from the Greek world showed, to the uninitiated, several 'proofs' of identification. The obverse of these coins shows a facing head of the sun god Helios surrounded by rays of light and to some medieval minds, this clearly was the head of Christ himself wearing the crown of thorns! The reverse type, a rose, was thought of as the rose of Sharon - symbolizing the Resurrection. The rose is actually the emblem of Helios and a punning allusion the the name of the mint, Rhodes (which is Greek for rose). These 'Judas Pennies' as they are sometimes called would hardly have been current in quantity in Palestine so long after their issue but an odd one or two might have appeared on the money changers tables at the time of Christ and during the following centuries. But it is now clear that they were not one of the 'Thirty Pieces'.

Estimate / sale price does not include buyer's premium (currently 22% including GST) which is added to hammer price. All bids are executed on the understanding that the Terms & Conditions of sale have been read and accepted. For information on grading and estimates please refer to the Buying at Auction advice.

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Adjacent lots

  • Lot 3064  

    CARIA, Island of, Rhodes, c.400-385 B.C., silver tetradrachm, (15.04 g), obv. head of Helios three-quarter ...

    Estimate $8,000

  • Lot 3065  

    CARIA, Island of, Rhodes, (c.375-360 B.C., Ashton dates c.360-late 340's B.C.), silver tetradrachm, (15.092 grams), ...

    Estimate $20,000

  • Lot 3066   This lot

    CARIAN ISLANDS, Rhodes, (304-189 B.C.), silver tetradrachm, (13.48 g), obv. radiate head of Helios three-quarter ...

    Estimate $1,300

  • Lot 3067  

    CARIA, Carian Islands, Rhodes, (c.340-316 B.C.), silver didrachm, (6.69 g), obv. head of Helios three-quarter ...

    Estimate $600

  • Lot 3068  

    PISIDIA, Antiochia, Gordian III, (238-244 A.D.), AE 32 (19.44 g), obv. around IMP CAES M ...

    Estimate $100