TAURIC CHERSONESOS. Chersonesos. Stater (Electrum, 20 mm, 7.53 g, 7 h), CY 151 (?) = 127 AD. XEP Laureate and draped bust of Chersonas to left; before, coiled serpent. Rev. ЄTOYC / A-N[P] (?) Artemis standing facing, holding bow and arrow in her left hand and hurling javelin with her right; in field to left, monogram. Anokhin -. Frolova & Abramzon -. RPC -. SNG BM Black Sea -. SNG Stancomb -. Apparently unpublished and unique. An exceptional piece of charming crude style, well struck and with excellent details. Light scrapes and die breaks, otherwise, nearly extremely fine.
Ex Leu 7, 24-25 October 2020, 1150.
The late civic coinage of Chersonesos is quite unusual in that it consisted of rather crude gold and electrum staters, all of which are very rare today and show the bust of Chersonas on the obverse and Artemis on the reverse. Luckily, all examples carry the year of a local era on the reverse, which allows for precise dating of each issue - in the case of this piece, the year reads AN = 51, which would be 27 AD. It is worth noting, however, that the rendering of Chersonas' bust to the left with a coiled serpent before as well as the appearance of ЄTOYC ('year') on the reverse suggests a much later date. Perhaps the year originally consisted of three letters, of which the last - presumably P for 100 - is off flan. If this is true, the date originally read A-NP = 151 = 127 AD, which would be an unusual spelling, but much more consistent with the types, style and fabric of the coin. In any case, it is a great example of this rare and mysterious coinage, with a noticeably convex obverse giving it a shield-like appearance in hand.