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Electronic Auction 477

Lot nuber 194

JUDAEA, Jewish War. 66-70 CE. AR Shekel (22mm, 12.68 g, 12h). Jerusalem mint. Dated year 4 (69/70 CE).

Electronic Auction 477
Lot: 194.
 Estimated: $ 7 500

Greek, Silver

Sold For $ 13 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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JUDAEA, Jewish War. 66-70 CE. AR Shekel (22mm, 12.68 g, 12h). Jerusalem mint. Dated year 4 (69/70 CE). Omer cup; “Y[ear] 4” (date, in Hebrew) above, “Shekel of Israel” (in Hebrew) around / Sprig of three pomegranates; “Jerusalem the holy” (in Hebrew) around. Deutsch 15 (O4/R15); Meshorer 207; Kadman 27; Hendin 1364; Bromberg II 382 (same obv. die); Shoshana I 20212 = Shoshana II 20124; Sofaer 36; Spaer 178. Toned, roughness on obverse. VF.

Ex Jonathan P. Rosen Collection (Triton XXIII, 14 January 2020), lot 494 (hammer $8500, but not paid); Stack’s (2 December 1997), lot 648; Classical Numismatic Group 38 (6 June 1996), lot 599.

Year 4 shekels are decidedly rarer than those of Years 1-3, reflecting the deteriorating military and political situation of the Judean rebels. While surviving shekels of each of the first three years number in the hundreds, fewer than 50 survive for Year 4. The Jewish forces, increasingly confined to the environs of Jerusalem, were suffering severe shortages of everything from precious metals to foodstuffs, meaning there was far less silver available to strike coins, and very little in the way of goods for them to be spent buying. The dies used for striking coins also show signs of haste in preparation. This specimen appears to have a noticeable metal defect, or “delamination,” in the obverse field left of the chalice; however, this same “metal flaw” appears on the only other known specimen struck from this obverse die (sold in Heritage 3005, May 2009, lot 20062), indicating it is a raised area in the die itself. Normally such a die flaw would have been abraded and polished away before striking, but here it was apparently overlooked or not viewed as important enough to correct, all indications of mounting difficulties at the mint.

Closing Date and Time: 23 September 2020 at 11:04:20 ET.

All winning bids are subject to an 18% buyer’s fee.