Decadrachm

Features

Country Uncertain Punic mint (Carthaginian Empire)
Type Standard circulation coin
Years 264 BC - 241 BC
Value Decadrachm = 5 Shekels (5)
Currency Zeugitana - Shekel
Composition Silver
Weight 37.80 g
Shape Round
Orientation Variable alignment ↺
Demonetized Yes
Number N# 194299
Numista (https://numista.com)
References SNG-B Lloy# 1665,
Andrew Meadows, Peter Bagwell Purefoy, Edward S. G. Robinson; 1933. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum (Great Britain) / Volume 2. The Lloyd Collection / Parts 1-2. Etruria to Thurium. Oxford University Press, London, United Kingdom.
And 3 more volumes.
Dewing# 437,
Leo Mildenberg, Silvia Hurter; 1985. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. American Numismatic Society, New York, United States.
Kraay&Hirm# 211,
Colin Mackennal Kraay, Max Hirmer; 1966. Greek Coins. Thames & Hudson, London, United Kingdom.
SNG-B Fitz# 1512,
Fritz Heichelheim; 1940. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum (Great Britain) / Volume 4.1. The Fitzwilliam Museum. Leake and General Collections : Spain (Emporiae, Rhoda) - Italy. Oxford University Press, London, United Kingdom.
And 7 more volumes.
J&L# 446
Gilbert Kenneth Jenkins, Richard Boyes Lewis; 1963. Carthaginian Gold and Electrum Coins. Royal Numismatic Society, London, United Kingdom.

Obverse

Head of Tanit-Kore-Persephone to left, wearing barley wreath and earring.

Reverse

Pegasus flying right. Below, B'RST in Punic characters.

Translation: In the land

Comments

Struck in the earliest phase of the First Punic War (264-241 B.C.), this issue represents a strict departure from earlier Punic coinages in Sicily. The bulk of the earlier types were struck to the Greek Attic weight standard, whereas this coin employs the Punic weight standard, being five of its shekels. Their style and fabric are markedly different than that of earlier types. The Pegasus must have been derived from Corinthian-type staters of the Syracusan King Agathocles (317-289 B.C.), yet the head of the goddess is inarguably Tanit, rather than a modified Artemis-Arethusa. Most importantly, the designs are engraved in a somewhat abstract style that is uniquely Carthaginian.

Jenkins translates the Punic legend "B'RST" as meaning 'in the land' or 'in the territories,' noting that it might suggest an effort by Carthage to stake its claim as a rightful occupant of Sicily over the Romans, who were newcomers. He also suggests that these coins were minted in Sicily on the basis of hoard evidence, the inscription, and, perhaps most persuasively, the die axes, which are irregular on these five-shekel pieces and their related issues. By comparison, the much larger and more enduring series of coins assigned to Carthage are struck with the upright die alignment of a 'medal turn.' (source: Numismatica Ars Classica , Auction 66 Catalog)

Examples of this type:

Example #1 (37.80g; About Extremely Fine):

© Image courtesy of Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG
◦ Auctioned by Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 66, 17 October 2012, Lot 24. Sold for 140,000 CHF.
◦ Auctioned by Hess-Leu 28, 1965, 120;
◦ Auctioned by Sotheby's 4 December 1990, Hunt part III, 49, sales.

Example #2 (38.04g; Good Extremely Fine):

© Image courtesy of Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG
◦ Ex-A.D.M. collection.
◦ Auctioned by Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 114, 6 May 2019, Lot 109. Sold for 160,000 CHF.
◦ Auctioned by NAC 9, 1996, 290;
◦ Auctioned by Leu 83, 2002, 129 sales.


Example #3 (37.95g; Extremely Fine):

© Image courtesy of Chaponnière et Firmenich SA
◦ Auctioned by Chaponnière & Firmenich SA, Auction 8, 5 July 2017, Lot 22. Sold for 90,000 CHF.
◦ Auctioned by Lanz auction 54, 12 november 1990, lot 358.

See also

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Date VG F VF XF AU UNC
ND (264 BC - 241 BC) 

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Past sales

Pictures Sale Date Grade Price
Picture 1 of a sold DecadrachmPicture 1 of a sold Decadrachm
Numismatica Ars Classica
Auction 114
Lot 109
May 6, 2019 XF
(very broad flan)
177 050.89 USD
(160 000.00 CHF)

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