05 May 2023
The recent Spink sale of Ancient and British Coins, featuring the ‘White Rose’ Collection, included an example of the only known Egyptian gold coin to have employed hieroglyphs.
On 3 April, Spink held a sale of Ancient and British Coins, featuring the ‘White Rose’ Collection.
From ancient Egypt, there was an example of the only known Egyptian gold coin to have employed hieroglyphs (lot 634).
One of only 48 examples officially documented, this extremely fine example went under the hammer for £180,000. While the obverse depicted a horse prancing to the right, the reverse featured two hieroglyphic signs – a necklace with six pendant beads (‘nebew’ meaning ‘gold’) crossing over a heart and windpipe (‘nepher’ meaning ‘good’).
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Struck under the rule of the last native Pharaoh of Egypt, Nectanebo II (359–40 BC), this beautifully centred coin was described as of the highest rarity and greatest numismatic importance from the twilight of Ancient Egypt.
Nectanebo II (c.361–42 BC) was the last native Pharaoh of the 30th Dynasty who opposed Egypt being reincorporated into the Achaemenid Persian empire.
This coin was part of his attempts to consolidate and revive traditional Egyptian culture and religion in the face of Persian invasion, and it is one of the only ancient Egyptian coins not to directly imitate Greek or Persian coinage.
It is believed the hieroglyphics are Nectanebo presenting himself as a legitimate native pharaoh defending Egypt against the Persians. In the end, Nectanebo II was ousted from power and Egypt didn’t mint coins with hieroglyphic designs again.
SOLD FOR £180,000