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Research Coins: Electronic Auction


Extremely Rare Contemporary Imitation of an Alexandrian Tetradrachm

398, Lot: 454. Estimate $100.
Sold for $475. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Nero. AD 54-68. BI Tetradrachm (22mm, 12.71 g, 12h). Dated RY 13 (AD 66/67). Radiate bust left, wearing aegis; L IΓ (date) before / ΗΡΑ ΑΡΓΕΙΑ (retrograde), diademed, veiled, and draped bust of Hera left. Cf. Köln –; cf. Dattari (Savio) 234; cf. K&G 14.95; cf. RPC I 5299; cf. Emmett 122.13; William E. Metcalf, “Two Alexandrian Hoards. 1. A Hoard of Forgeries from Luxor,” (Revue Belge de Numismatique Vol. CXXII, 1976, pp. 65-69) Obv. VII/Rev. 12 (same dies). VF, deeply toned with traces of green, some coppery highlights. Extremely rare.

According to Metcalf’s article: “Thus a hoard of Alexandrian forgeries in the collection of the American Numismatic Society is of particular interest. It was acquired at Luxor in March, 1908, by the late E. T. Newell. The 76 pieces still in the ANS may or may not represent the entire hoard, since Newell was in the habit of disposing of duplicate or damaged specimens; but the presence of many die-duplicates suggests that the hoard was not systematically culled.”

This cataloguer has seen about a half dozen of these forgeries over the years, and they are all die matches to the coins published by Metcalf in 1976. Hence, most likely, they are part of the Luxor hoard acquired by Newell, and were either sold by him, or by the person(s) that he purchased his group from in 1908. In any case, contemporary counterfeits of Alexandrian coins, as noted by Metcalf, are extremely rare.