By Tauler and Fau ……
 

Cyzicus and Persephone

Today we introduce to you a magnificent tetradrachm from Mysia that will be auctioned in our upcoming Floor Auction 50, to be held on February 5, 2020 in the Gran Meliá Fénix Hotel in Madrid. This specimen is in extraordinary condition – the kind of ancient Greek coin that doesn´t frequently appear in the market and it is a great opportunity for collectors.

Lot 23. Mysia. Kyzikos. Tetradrachm. 390-340 BCE. Images courtesy Tauler and Fau

Lot 23. Mysia. Kyzikos. Tetradrachm. 390-340 BCE.. (Sng von Aulock-1218). (Sng Cop-unlisted). (Sng France-unlisted). Obv.: Head of Kore Soteira (Persephone) left, with spikes crown and collected hair, behind ΣΩΤΕΙΡΑ. Rev.: Head of lion left with the jaws open and tongue out, in the top KY, behind HI and barleycorn, below tuna left. Ag. 9,67g. Magnificent specimen. Very rare. About uncirculated. Estimated: 6000.00.

Cyzicus (Kyzikos in Greek) was a Greek town from the Marmara See region in Mysia, where coins were minted for the first time between the years 600 and 550 BCE.

From the first mintings, the symbols of the lion and the tuna fish can be found in these pieces struck in electrum, but it would not be until the middle of the sixth century BCE that Cyzicus started minting silver coins.

This beautiful tetradrachm points out the importance of grain for the inhabitants of Mysia in general and Cyzicus in particular. On one side of the coin we find Kore Soteira (Persephone), daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the embodiment of vegetation, connected with spring and fertility. Her head is garnished with a triangular earring, her hair held back with a band with a sprig finishing and the rest is covered by a veil.

On the reverse are the lion and the tuna fish, classical symbols that have been mentioned above. But we can also find a cereal grain under the letters HI on the right. It is a desirable piece full of symbolism in the purest Greek style.

Popular Ruler, Successful Soldier

We are also introducing to you today a Tacitus gold aureus of the highest rarity that we are also auctioning in our Floor Auction 50 on February 5. It is the best specimen known, with original luster, sharply struck and a magnificent portrait.

Ancient Roman Coins: Tacitus. Gold Aureus. 275-276 CE Serdica. Images courtesy Tauler and Fau

Tacitus. Aureus. 275-276 CE. Serdica. (Mal atribuida a Ticinum). (Spink-11759 variante). (Ric-118 variante). (Cal-4114 variante). Anv.: IMP C M CL TACITVS P AVG. Of the highest rarity, the best of only three examples known and one of only two still in existence, as the Cohen piece was melted down after the robbery of 1831. A wonderful coin, lustrous, sharp, and with a very attractive portrait. Almost UNC. Estimated: 18,000.00.

Observing an aureus in such excellent condition is a luxury that we seldom get to enjoy. And in this case, we are talking about a rare and scarce piece, which adds a plus of satisfaction in the observation of this coin.

As Tacitus was proclaimed emperor, he was already 75 years old, which was not usual at that time. His reign hardly lasted six months. Even so, he was remembered and later acknowledged as a “good senatorial ruler” who was concerned about the welfare of the people. This can be seen in the coins minted during his reign, whose reverses show allusions to the well-being of the citizens, such as Felicitas temporum, Pax perpetua, Pax publica, Salus publica or, like in the piece we are offering, Securitas publica; happiness, peace, health, safety.

His interest in the common good did not prevent him from dedicating himself to military issues. He had to take care of the raids of the Goths and achieved a victory in the battle against the Alans near Palus Maeotis (delta of the Don River at its mouth).

For all these reasons, we can state that Tacitus, despite his short mandate, was a very complete emperor, who knew how to be endeared by his people and his army, as acknowledged afterward.

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