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Research Coins: Feature Auction


First Issue with the Portrait of a Jewish King

CNG 106, Lot: 616. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $3000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

JUDAEA, Herodians. Herod IV Philip, with Augustus. 4 BCE-34 CE. Æ (21.5mm, 7.12 g, 12h). Caesarea Philippi (Panias) mint. Dated RY 5 (1/2 CE). [KAICA]PO[C] CЄ[BA]CTOY, bare head of Augustus right / ΦIΛIΠΠOV [T]ЄTPA[PXOV], bare head of Herod Philip right; L-E (date) across field. Meshorer 95; Hendin 1219; cf. Sofaer 117 (year 3?); RPC I 4938. Fine, earthen green patina, minor cleaning marks. Extremely rare.

This issue was the first to carry the portrait of a Jewish King. David Hendin (p. 257) notes: “Philip was able to immortalize his face on his coins largely because so few Jews lived in the territories over which he ruled. Jews would have taken this act as an insult and violation of the Mosaic Law against ‘graven images’.”

Philip is repeatedly mentioned in the New Testament (see Matthew 14.3; Mark 6.17-29; Luke 3.1, 3.19).