Monday, July 7, 2008
W O W ! ! ! ! !
Trajan, Phrygia, Hierapolis
AE32 (17.46 gm)
Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left, AV KAI ΘEOV VΩ NEPBA TPAIANΩ CEΓEPMA / Athena, holding spear and shield, standing right, and Hermes, holding purse and caduceus, standing left, IEPAΠO ΛEITΩN. BMC 129 (same obverse die).
Let me begin by reminding you that the photo above has been compressed to fit the dimensions allowed by blogger.com. A larger, more worthy image is available by clicking on the photo.
Occasionally, we are presented with a coin that we just can't stop thinking about. There was a large AE of Tiberius from Oea on which I truly regret not having bid just a little more. There was also a gorgeous tetradrachm of Alexander 'the Great' upon which I wish I had bid a little more! Both coins were in the same CNG auction and each diluted my chances at winning the other! I still think of those coins and how they 'got away'!
Then there was this coin. It was a 'cover coin', with it's reverse featured on the cover of the auction catalog. I couldn't get away from it! I obsessed about the coin for weeks. I finally decided I wouldn't let this one get away like the Tiberius and Alexander... and, as you can see, it didn't!
This coin bewitched me chiefly for reasons of eye appeal. First of all, it's a large coin, with full legends, and on a large flan. Additionally, the portrait of Trajan and depictions of both Athena and Hermes are of very fine style! And, to top all that off, the coin exhibits a lovely array of colors, including purple, copper, olive and gold! Unfortunately, I couldn't capture them all in my photo.
As if that weren't enough, the coin is from the city of Hierapolis in Phrygia, which was thought to be the site of an entrance into the underworld from which an offensive, noxious odor was emitted! Ah, stinky town... my kind of place! It was also known for its hot springs so I imagine the source of this odor was sulfur.
This coin is my new favorite, replacing the 'croc' coin I wish I'd never sold. This one's even sweeter though, as it's one I didn't let get away in auction!