Author Topic: Sportive Siglos  (Read 824 times)

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Offline Pellinore

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Sportive Siglos
« on: December 31, 2015, 01:00:12 AM »
I always found Achaemenid sigloi boring, and they were not cheap, always worn and always the same. Those Persian Kings of Kings, with their vast richness and taste of art, couldn't they dgo any better than these dumpy, one-sided drops of silver? Finally, I was persuaded to buy one. It is in very reasonable condition. I wouldn't be able to run while kneeling, with a lance and a sword, and Artaxerxes I, II and III and all the others obviously were sportive enough to get themselves portrayed like that.

This coin is Carradice's Type IV, late (375-336 BC), and I fell for it because of the king's 8 on his mantle, like a soccer player.

UPDATE I'm having doubts about the coin now, in the first place because of the weight, which is 3,70 gr. (Diameter is 14 mm.) Does anybody know more about this?
-- Paul
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 08:42:42 AM by Pellinore »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Sportive Siglos
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2015, 10:10:15 AM »
Fun coin. Yes, that "8" is glorious.

I think the Achaemenid king is running, rather than kneeling (I guess he saw Alexander the Great coming.) You will find coins where Hanuman has his legs in the same position and he was running. Think also of the triskelion, where the legs are pictured in the same position and described as running legs.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline coinlover

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Re: Sportive Siglos
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 11:09:13 AM »
Why in almost all siglos's I have seen (in pictures only of course) , one side is always having a deep furrow ? Is it related in any way to the minting process ?

Anjan

Offline Manzikert

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Re: Sportive Siglos
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 02:31:25 PM »
Yes, the lower die was engraved with the figure of the king, the blank placed on it and the design was impressed by hammering a rough-ended roughly rectangular piece of metal into the blank.

One theory used to be that the impression from the rough end could be used to check authenticity of the finished coins, but though this might be true for the earliest coins, the sigloi were produced in immense quantities: it would be very difficult to keep any sort of records of the different batches, so I assume it just became the traditional way of making this type of coin, used as a frozen type like the Athenian tetradrachms to maintain confidence in the familiar 'feel'.

Alan

Offline Pellinore

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Re: Sportive Siglos
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2015, 03:53:00 PM »
I asked the seller (the coin was offered by a reputable seller on a Catawiki auction, it's quite the thing in the Netherlands, but Catawiki auctions is making noise in other countries, too), and he said it is an authentic coin, but probably a fourré, minted by the Persian state in a difficult period.

So I looked further into the coin and found evidence of it being a fourré. See the picture of the rim of the coin. What do you think, did the Achaemenids make fourré coins?

-- Paul
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 05:00:21 PM by Pellinore »

Offline Manzikert

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Re: Sportive Siglos
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2015, 05:18:34 PM »
Apart from one possibly historically attested example of officially issued fourres (Athenian tetradrachms, in time of severe financial strain) I always assume fourres to be contemporary forgeries, but still very interesting and actually rarer than the genuine issues of course ;D.

Alan

Offline Pellinore

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Re: Sportive Siglos
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2015, 06:42:08 PM »
Well, I would gladly trade this siglos for a nice Sassanian or early Islamic coin, if you have one to spare. I just wanted a siglos as an example of early Persian coinage, and I liked his shirt. But my joy in acquiring it has gone stale.
-- Paul

Offline Pellinore

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Re: Sportive Siglos
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 10:45:04 PM »
I decided to keep the siglos, because I now think it's a contemporary fourrée imitation. Had I known this, I wouldn't have bought it, and certainly I would have bid less. But still, I think it's a nice coin.
-- Paul