Saturday, 13 February 2010

An unlisted bronze of Saitta in Lydia

This small (18mm diameter) bronze coin of Saitta in Lydia has been in my coin fair stock for six months and attracted very little attention from the buying public. Not an unattractive coin on one side is a female wearing a turreted crown, often referred to as Tyche or a city matron goddess, on the other is Herakles standing holding a club and the lion skin over his arm.

However, I came to catalogue it properly to list it in my online sales and was quite surprised to find it absent in all the references that I checked; Lindgren I and III, Imhoof-Blumer's Lydische Stadtm├╝nzen, British SNG's online,, ANS online collection database, or SNG Glasgow. It also does not appear to be in the ISEGRIM database.

It turns out to be a rare little coin, or so I thought, until another message board member posted an illustration of a similar coin from their collection, albeit from different dies. Still, that's only two known specimens so far!

As for it staying in my fair stock, well, maybe it will come out of there for the time being.
I've just found out that this coin is listed and described as very rare in Mionnet's supplement volume 7 (published 1835), coin no.413, citing Sestini's record of a specimen in the Fontana collection. I never fail to be surprised how useful Mionnet's seven volume catalogue and nine volume supplement actually is.