Ionia, Ephesus, AR Drachm, 134/3 BC, SNG Von Aulock Plate Coin
City/Region:
Ionia, Ephesus
Denomination:
AR Drachm
Composition:
Silver
Date:
134/3 BC (A = year 1)
Obverse:
Lion’s skin hanging over club ; the whole within vine-wreath
Reverse:
ΕΦΕ, Bunch of grapes lying upon a laurel leaf; above, bee; to left, A; to right, a long torch (off-field)
Size:
17.04mm, 3.0g, 7h
Grade:
EF, well struck, old cabinet tone; likely the finest specimen of this type
Rarity:
exceedingly rare, only 1 other example found in online auction archives, from same dies
Provenance:
pedigreed: published in SNG von Aulock, from the von Aulock and GMH collections; ex Leu Numismatik Auction 13 (29 April 1975) Lot 227; ex Numismatica Ars Classica Auction 114, Part I (7 May 2019), Lot 239
References:
SNG von Aulock 1859 = Kleiner-Noe series 40, 8a and pl. XVII, 7 (this coin illustrated); Kleiner Ephesus 76; BMC Ionia p. 64, 155 var. (no A, bee in wreath to right); SNG Copenhagen 314 var. (same); SGCV II 4392 var. (same)

List of references used by Ancient Coin Traders


This coin is the plate coin from Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock. (Berlin, 1957-1967). SNG von Aulock is a standard reference for ancient greek coinage.

An exceedingly rare variant. The other example found in online auction archives, clearly from the same dies, shows that there is a long torch to the right on the reverse: refer Jean Elsen and ses Fils S.A. Auction 89 (9 September 2006), Lot 801. Ephesus was an ancient greek city in Ionia. The bee is often featured on its coinage. The writer Philostratos says that the Athenians who colonised Ionia were led by the Muses who took the shape of bees. The priestesses of the cult of Artemis were also called 'Bees' and led by a 'King Bee'.