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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
10100082

The Ghazzat Hoard

Triton XIX, Lot: 82. Estimate $300000.
Sold for $450000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

The Ghazzat Hoard. Hoard of twenty-seven archaic and early classical silver coins. Includes the following:

(a) THRACE, Ainos. Circa 500-475 BC. AR Oktadrachm (27mm, 27.52 g). Griffin seated left, raising left foreleg; ZA and rosette to left / Quadripartite incuse square. May, Abdera, Period II, Group XX, 40 (A34/P38); Asyut 134.

(b) THRACO-MACEDONIAN TRIBES, Derrones. Circa 480-465 BC. AR Dodekadrachm (32mm, 35.07 g). Herdsman, in background, guiding bull right; ΔEP[PO] to right / Quadripartite incuse square. Peykov –; HPM –; Asyut 31 (same obv. die).

(c) THRACO-MACEDONIAN TRIBES, Derrones. Circa 480-465 BC. AR Dodekadrachm (32.5mm, 36.64 g). Herdsman, in background, guiding bull right; traces of ethnic to right / Quadripartite incuse square. Peykov –; HPM –; cf. Asyut 30–1.

(d) THRACO-MACEDONIAN TRIBES, Derrones. Circa 480-465 BC. AR Dekadrachm (26.5mm, 30.85 g). Two bulls, yoked and wearing fillets around neck, standing left; [Δ]ERONIKO above, wheel of cart to right / Wheel of four spokes within incuse square. Peykov A1530; Asyut 33.

(e) THRACO-MACEDONIAN TRIBES, Derrones. Circa 480-465 BC. AR Dekadrachm (27.5mm, 27.81 g). Two bulls, yoked and wearing fillets around neck, standing left; [Δ]ERONIKO above, wheel of cart to right / Wheel of four spokes within incuse square. Peykov A1530; Asyut 33.

(f) THRACO-MACEDONIAN TRIBES, Ichnai. Circa 485-470 BC. AR Oktadrachm (32mm, 28.60 g). Herdsman, wearing petasos, in background, guiding two bulls left; traces of ethnic to right / Quadripartite incuse square. Peykov A1700; Asyut 43 (same obv. die).

(g) THRACO-MACEDONIAN TRIBES, Ichnai. Circa 485-470 BC. AR Oktadrachm (28mm, 26.14 g). Herdsman, wearing petasos, in background, guiding two bulls left; traces of ethnic to right / Quadripartite incuse square. Peykov A1700; Asyut 40–4.

(h) THRACO-MACEDONIAN TRIBES, Orreskioi. Circa 480-465 BC. AR Stater (20.5mm, 7.54 g). Centaur advancing right, carrying protesting nymph / Quadripartite incuse square. Peykov A0600; Asyut 81–4.

(i) MACEDON, Aineia. Circa 490-480 BC. AR Stater (25.5mm, 13.48 g). Aineias, holding spear in right hand and Ankhises on left shoulder, advancing right, and Kreousa, holding Ioulos on shoulders, advancing right, head left; to left, [ИIA] above head of ram right / Quadripartite incuse square. Asyut 194 (same dies).

(j) MACEDON, Akanthos. Circa 500-480 BC. AR Tetradrachm (31.5mm, 15.29 g). Lion right, grasping onto and biting on back of a bull crouching left, its head raised; no ornament in exergue / Quadripartite incuse square. Desneux –; Asyut –.

(k) MACEDON, Akanthos. Circa 500-480 BC. AR Tetradrachm (25mm, 14.86 g). Lioness right, grasping onto and biting on back of a bull crouching right; no ornament in exergue / Quadripartite incuse square. Desneux –; Asyut 153 (same obv. die).

(l) MACEDON, Akanthos. Circa 500-480 BC. AR Tetradrachm (25mm, 11.85 g). Lion right, grasping onto and biting on the back of a bull crouching left, its head lowered; floral ornament in exergue / Quadripartite incuse square. Cf. Desneux 22–7; Asyut –.

(m) MACEDON, Akanthos. Circa 500-480 BC. AR Tetradrachm (26mm, 13.34 g). Lion right, grasping onto and biting on back of a bull crouching left, its head raised and reverted; floral ornament in exergue / Quadripartite incuse square. Cf. Desneux 43–4; Asyut 173–7.

(n) MACEDON, Argilos. Circa 495-478/7 BC. AR Stater (25mm, 9.77 g). Pegasos standing right / Quadripartite incuse square. Liampi Period IV, 32 (O27/R31); Asyut –.

(o) MACEDON, Argilos. Circa 495-478/7 BC. AR Stater (25mm, 11.31 g). Pegasos standing right / Quadripartite incuse square. Liampi Period IV, 32 (O27/R31); Asyut –. (p) MACEDON, Argilos. Circa 495-478/7 BC. AR Stater (23mm, 11.46 g). Pegasos standing left; three pellets around / Quadripartite incuse square. Liampi Period IV, – (O32/R37 [unlisted die combination]; Asyut 50 (same obv. die).

(q) PHOKIS, Delphi. Circa 485-475 BC. AR Tridrachm (24.5mm, 15.76 g). Two rhytons in the form of ram heads; two dolphins confronted above, ΔAΛΦ-I-KON around lower edge / Incuse square in the form of a “coffered ceiling”, each coffer ornamented with a dolphin above a palmette or spray of laurel leaves. BCD Lokris 376; Asyut 239–45.

(r) PHOKIS, Delphi. Circa 485-475 BC. AR Tridrachm (23mm, 15.57 g). Two rhytons in the form of ram heads; two dolphins confronted above, [Δ]AΛ[Φ-I-K]O[N] around lower edge / Incuse square in the form of a “coffered ceiling”, each coffer ornamented with a dolphin above a palmette or spray of laurel leaves. BCD Lokris 376; Asyut 239–45.

(s) ATTICA, Athens. Circa 500/490-485/0 BC. AR Tetradrachm (20mm, 16.47 g, 8h). Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet and earring, hair in thin rows of ringlets / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig to left, [A]-ΘE to right; all within incuse square. Seltman Group G; Asyut Group IV, 268–394.

(t) ATTICA, Athens. Circa 500/490-485/0 BC. AR Tetradrachm (21mm, 15.51 g, 8h). Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet and earring, hair in thin rows of ringlets / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig to left, [A]-ΘE to right; all within incuse square. Seltman Group G; Asyut Group IV, 268–394.

(u) ATTICA, Athens. Circa 500/490-485/0 BC. AR Tetradrachm (20.5mm, 14.89 g, 5h). Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet and earring, hair in thin rows of ringlets / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig to left, AΘE to right; all within incuse square. Seltman Group G; Asyut Group IV, 268–394.

(v) ATTICA, Athens. Circa 500/490-485/0 BC. AR Tetradrachm (21mm, 14.85 g, 11h). Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet and earring, hair in thin rows of ringlets / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig to left, A-Θ[E] to right; all within incuse square. Seltman Group G; Asyut Group IV, 268–394.

(w) ATTICA, Athens. Circa 500/490-485/0 BC. AR Tetradrachm (21mm, 15.05 g, 12h). Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet and earring, hair in thin rows of ringlets / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig to left, [A]-ΘE to right; all within incuse square. Seltman Group G; Asyut Group IV, 268–394.

(x) CORINTHIA, Corinth. Circa 500-480 BC. AR Stater (18mm, 6.78g, 7h). Pegasos flying left; koppa below / Head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet and pearl necklace, within incuse square. Ravel Period II, Class 1 (unlisted dies); Asyut 566–84.

(y) DYNASTS of LYCIA. Kuprilli. Circa 480-440 BC. AR Stater (18.5mm, 8.96 g). Boar standing left / Triskeles; KOΠ-P-ΛΛE around; all in dotted square within incuse square. Mørkholm & Zahle –; Asyut –; Falghera 107.

(z) KYRENAIKA, Kyrene. Circa 500-480 BC. AR Tetradrachm (22mm, 15.34 g, 6h). Silphion plant to left; to right, silphion fruit above and below head of lion right / Head of eagle left; turtle to lower left; all in dotted square within incuse square. Asyut 819–22 (same dies); Zagazig 249 (same dies).

The following coin, of much later date than all the other contents of the hoard, must be considered an intrusion:

(aa) ATTICA, Athens. Circa 454-404 BC. AR Tetradrachm (23.5mm, 12.53 g, 10h). Head of Athena right, wearing earring, necklace, and crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent to left, AΘE to right; all within incuse square. Kroll 8; Asyut –.

. Average Fine to VF, toned, water-worn surfaces. Twenty-seven (27) coins in lot.


CNG is pleased to present this hoard of 27 Greek coins – The Ghazzat Hoard – found in the sea off the coast of Gaza in the 1960s. The coins have been consigned by the Tarazi family, who acquired the coins immediately after they were found. In recognition of the significance of this hoard, the Tarazi family has requested that the coins be sold as one lot, in order that the coins can be kept together for further study and the benefit of scholarship. The family has retained two coins (two Delphi tridrachms, out of a total of four in the hoard) as family keepsakes. Thus, the present offering consists of 27 coins out of a total of 29 that comprised the complete hoard.

Khader Joseph Tarazi, who passed away in 2014, was a prominent member of the Palestinian Christian community in Gaza. He was the owner of a gold and metal shop, called Al-Tarazi, in downtown Gaza, and he was known as a buyer of coins and antiquities.

Mr. Tarazi’s daughter, Rawia Khader Tarazi, has related the history of the hoard:

My father had a big passion for collecting…. He loved antiques from all periods…. These pieces [The Ghazzat Hoard] came from a fisherman called Haj Salama and my father bought all the pieces. [Haj Salama] had a boat and stand at the fish market, Hesbt El Samk on el Bahr Street… [My father] knew they were important and only until my son looked at the Internet a few years ago we realized that they are extremely important.

On 5 December 1967, Mr. Tarazi deposited the Coins for safekeeping with Penyot Khair, the priest at St. Porphyrius Church of Gaza (within the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem). The church acted as a repository for valuables and was regularly used by the community for safekeeping. Mrs. Tarazi, who was six years old at the time, recalls the circumstances:

The Christian community was always a minority and the Church was responsible for handling all Christian affairs and it was common to keep valuable pieces in the Church. There were no banks or safe places to keep items. The times were difficult and not secure. Many times we would not be allowed to go outside after 3PM or 7PM or sometimes for the whole day. My father would travel a lot and leave us alone and this was the safest place to store our valuables.

The coins were left with the Church from 1967 until 2005. On 2 March 2005, the coins were released to Mrs. Tarazi by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and were collected from St. Porphyrius Church. The family recognized the significance of the coins while Mr. Tarazi was still alive and had intended to have the hoard published. Mrs. Tarazi adds:

We are very thankful to the Orthodox Church of Gaza for supporting us and all the Christian community. My father left us many things before he died last year and he had many hopes for these coins and unfortunately we are sad that he will not be able to see them published by academics… and sold to a collector or museum.

The hoard itself includes a remarkable variety of types from different areas of the Greek world. The composition is parallel to the Asyut Hoard, which contained many of the same or related issues. The closure date for the Ghazzat Hoard (ignoring the single late 5th century Athens tetradrachm that must be an intrusion) appears to be circa 480-475 BC, around the same time as Asyut. The Ghazzat and Asyut Hoards together, along with other famous hoards such as Zagazig, may now be considered to illustrate the extent of trade in the eastern Mediterranean in the early 5th century, although the differences in these hoards may also be informative. For example, Ghazzat is lacking the Aegina issues that made up more than 10% of both Asyut and Zagazig. A detailed study of the Ghazzat Hoard may not only increase our understanding of trade patterns but also contribute to the refinement of dating for these hoards and their contents.

CNG is most grateful to Archbishop Alexios of St. Porphyrius Church in Gaza, in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, for searching the Church archives and providing supporting documentation and photographs. Copies of the Church documents provided by Archbishop Alexios will be provided to the purchaser of the lot and are available to interested bidders by request prior to the auction.