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livingwater
Apr 25, 2010, 08:19 PM
I'm considering buying an AE of Cleopatra VII. I've noticed some dealers are selling small bronzes with female head/cornucopia as being formerly assigned to Ptolemy IV, but are now attributed to Cleopatra VII. They base this on a self published book by Matthew Kreuzer, The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII and Augustus (2004). Of course the valus of these small bronzes have increased due to this re-attribution. These coins are on ebay as well as Vcoins. However, I ran across an ANS article which questions Kreuzer's conclusions. Before anyone buys one of these "Cleopatra" coins they might want to read this ANS article and ask the seller to better explain their position.

http://ansmagazine.com/Winter05/Cyprus

djmacdo
Apr 26, 2010, 02:45 PM
The female heads on that issue never look even remotely like any other Cleopatra portraits. I too doubt the attribution to Cleopatra VII--which does vastly increase the value of these coins.

ptolemy
May 1, 2010, 03:00 AM
The female heads on that issue never look even remotely like any other Cleopatra portraits. I too doubt the attribution to Cleopatra VII--which does vastly increase the value of these coins.

These small coins with the female head and two cornucopiae not only fail to resemble the known Cleopatra VII portrait types (e.g. Svoronos 1871, 1872) but they also don't have the name, KLEOPATRAS, or even a monogram of it, on the coins. Cleopatra VII had no problem putting her name on her bronze coins. The portrait on the small coins is possibly Arsinoe IV or perhaps a representation of Aphrodite, the patroness of Cyprus, where those coins are almost as common as grains of sand. Hundreds of them have passed through the ancient coin market in recent years. The review, by an eminent scholar, of Kreuzer's book (which contains many other novel 're-attributions') refuted it well and thoroughly. For some time the book was virtually unavailable but it is now online for anyone to read and see why its arguments and conclusions were so easily demolished by the reviewer. Nevertheless some sellers continue to use it, perhaps because it makes these otherwise mundane coins seem more important or exciting or valuable.

There are links to both the Kreuzer book and the review at

www.ptolemybronze.com

That said, though the small 'female / two cornucopiae' bronzes are extremely common, choice examples of them are scarce, as is true of all Ptolemaic bronzes, and they are nice collector coins for what they are. Watch for a good quality specimen and pay what you think is fair if you want to buy one. Nothing wrong with owning one, but afaik current scholarship on Ptolemaic coinage does not associate them at all with Cleopatra VII.

DW