|Volume 63 No. 7||July 2017|
Starting with this August convention in Denver, ANA has made some schedule changes to the start of the summer convention. First, the 3-day pre-show with PNG has been reduced to a one-day ANA/PNG Numismatic Trade Show, on Monday, July 31. Public admission on that day is $5 at the door, or free if you pre-register with PNG – see PNG main page, http://pngdealers.org, for details. Second, dealer setup for the ANA convention is only on Tuesday, August 1 – this year from 8AM until 1PM, with the general public being admitted on the first day at 1PM instead of at 10AM as in recent years. Follow the “Schedule of Events” link at https://www.money.org/worldsfairofmoney for the latest in official dates and times.
So far, the schedule for setup of Collector Exhibits is the same as in recent years – from noon until 6PM on Monday, and from 7AM until 9:30AM on Tuesday – but exhibitors should look for a letter from ANA with the official dates and times.
Paul Hybert, editor
The 1182nd meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Richard Lipman called the meeting to order at 6:45 PM with attendance of 20 members and 2 guests, Shanna Schmidt and Mark Zak.
The Minutes of the May 10th meeting as published in the Chatter were approved. The Treasurer reported May revenue of $0.00, expenses $156.00, and total assets $26,719.25. A motion was passed approving the report.
Secretary’s Report and Announcements:
No New Business was discussed.
First V.P. Marc Stackler introduced Shanna Schmidt, the featured speaker, who spoke on the subject Coinage of Syracuse, 5th–3rd Century B.C. Following questions and answers, Shanna was presented with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal suspended on a neck ribbon.
Second V.P. John Riley announced the evening’s eleven exhibitors. MARK WIECLAW – separate double sestertius of Trajan Decius (249-251 BC) and Herennia Etruscilla, his wife. DEVEN KANE – a hemidrachm from Bactria, two coins commemorating the end of the 30-Years-War. RICH LIPMAN – five English banknotes demonstrating regional interplay with Irish and Scottish banks. DALE LUKANICH – two early banknotes from Will County, IL. ROBERT FEILER – Greek tetradrachm of Ptolemy II, a $1 Kirkland Ohio Safety Society note signed by Joseph Smith, and a remainder note from Brunswick and Florida Steamboat &: Stage. LYLE DALY – 10 cent note from Westerbork Concentration Camp in Holland, and the book Counterfeiter: How a Norwegian Jew Survived the Holocaust. STEVE HUBER – set of six pattern 1873 U.S. Trade Dollars. STEVE ZITOWSKI – a coin from Axum and 3 coins from Saba. WILLIAM BURD – the Club’s first bulletins issued in 1920. ANDREW MICHYETA – four international silver coins dated 1919, donated to Club for display at the 2019 ANA Convention if more coins are added. JEFF AMELSE – newly acquired French Marianne medals and some Shield Nickels.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:06 PM.
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary
a presentation by Shanna Schmidt,
to our June 14, 2017 meeting.
Syracuse, located on the eastern coast of the island of Sicily southwest of the Italian peninsula, was founded in about 734 BC by Greek colonists from the cities of Tenea and Corinth. The local aristocracy (the Gamoroi) held power until 490 BC when they were expelled by the lower class (the Killichiroi) of the city. Thanks to the help of Gelon, the ruler of nearby Gela, the Gamoroi returned to power in 485 BC – Gelon became the despot of the city, and moved many inhabitants of Gela, Kamarina, and Megera to Syracuse.
Equestrian pursuits were popular around Syracuse, and the Syracusans were strong competitors in the equestrian events at the sporting contests of Delphi and Olympia in Greece. Their pride was shown by the use of a horseman on the obverse of the didrachm (the reverse had a four-part incuse to bring up the obverse design). Another design showed a slow moving biga (a two-horse chariot) with the name Syracuse above. A small head of Arethustra, the local fountain goddess, soon appeared in a medallion at the center of the four square incuses. These two styles lasted for about 15 years, and 22 obverse dies are known. It is believed that these styles ended when the Gamoroi were expelled in 490 BC.
The style of the early Syracusan coins was influenced by the northern Greeks of Acanthus, coins of which are known from Sicilian hordes. Syracuse did not have silver mines, so the source of their silver was the silver coins of Greece which were traded for Sicilian exports, mainly wheat. With Gelon ruling Syracuse, silver coinage resumed, mostly in tetradrachms. Although the quadriga still occupied the obverse, it was presented in a much freer and less archaic style. Instead of showing four horses with parallel outlines, each horse had its own pose within the team. Nike hovered above, to crown the horses or the charioteer? Perhaps this commemorated Gelon’s Olympic victory in 488 BC. But the greatest change took place on the reverse.
The tiny head of Arethusa was enlarged, becoming the main reverse element, and was surrounded by four circling dolphins. The mintage was small in the first years, due to a shortage of silver – five obverse dies are known. Gelon’s finances greatly improved after his victory in 480 BC over the Carthaginians at Himera, on the northern coast of Sicily. An indemnity of 2,000 talents was imposed on Carthage, and the large number of Carthaginian captives provided labor and a steady income of ransoms. This resulted in a massive increase in the output of the Syracuse mint, with about 140 dies used in the next 15-20 years. (During the reminder of the century, only a further 111 dies were used.) But Gelon did not see much of this, as he died in 478/477 BC.
The mint at Gela stopped producing Gelon’s series of didrachms, and started a series of tetradrachms on the Syracusan model, of a quadriga on the obverse but with a man-headed bull on the reverse. The mint at Leontini also used designs influenced by Syracuse; the obverse quadriga had a reverse with a lion’s head (punning the city’s name), surrounded by four grains of barley (similar to the four dolphins around Arethusa’s head). A later coin replaced the lion head with Arethustra, but kept the barley corns.
It appears that the massive mintage of tetradrachms at Syracuse ended with the fall of the despots in 465 BC, or maybe a little later. The last of these issues included a special decadrachm, known as a Demareteion, where a running lion appeared in the exergue below the quadriga, and a wreath of olive branches was added to Arethusa’s head on the reverse. These coins are rare, and are either connected with the fall of the despots or the establishment of the ensuing democracy – the truth is hard to establish without any real literary evidence.
During the years of peaceful development (about 460-425 BC), Syracuse was the dominant mint in Sicily. The quadriga and Arethusa remained on the coins, but there were changes. A sea monster was added under the quadriga, which had the horses at gallop instead of walking. The hair style of Arethusa changed from long hair over the neck to a number of styles: in a bun, in a knot at the top of the head, elaborately weaved, or in a sakkos (a soft woven cap). Her face became less archaic, with wider eyes, the appearance of eyelashes, and heads larger and more elaborate in detail.
The most artistic Syracusan coins were minted about 425-400 BC, when the artistry of their die engravers was at an all time high and they issued some of the most beautiful coins ever struck, even by the standards of today. This turbulent time saw the Carthaginians overrun much of Sicily, while an expanding Syracuse became the only Greek power on Sicily. And a major Athenian attack on Syracuse utterly failed. Among the cities mentioned earlier in this presentation, Carthage took Himera in 410 BC, and Gela in 406 BC; Syracuse took Leontini. On the tetradrachms, the galloping quadriga design was further enhanced, even using a three-quarter facing view instead of in profile. Even Arethusa’s head was rendered in a facing view – or is it a three-quarters view? It was during this time that some of the dies were signed, at least that is the general concensus about the personal names that sometimes are prominent in the field, and on other coins are in the design. Euainetos and Kimon are the most renowned of the engravers, but full and partial names of others are known. An engraver’s name appears on some coins from Sicilian cities allied with Syracuse, and some names appear on the coins from multiple cities.
The decadrachm was reintroduced late in this period. The issue was small, using only three dies, but there are many surviving specimens of these large artistic coins; Long thought to commemorate the defeat of the Athenians in 413 BC, now they are thought issued for the failure of the Carthaginian siege of Syracuse in 405 BC. The long sequence of tetradrachms ended about 400 BC, and was replaced by a system mainly of a silver decadrachm and gold denominations valued at a decadrachm and higher – the coinage no longer was needed for trade with neighboring cities, but only as payment to mercenaries.
Staters of the Corinthian type were minted by Syracuse throughout the second half of the fourth century BC, possibly for use in the grain trade with Greece. In the western part of Sicily, the Carthaginians minted coins to pay their armies, as the inscriptions on the coins often declare. The quality and execution were extremely variable, with a few masterpieces among the caricatures of their prototypes.
This area of numismatics is much too large to be covered in under an hour, so Shanna brought some reference books:
|CSNS Convention||Chicago Coin Company|
|PCDA Convention||Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.|
Items shown at our June 14, 2017 meeting.
|Date:||July 12, 2017,|
At the Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth Court, 3rd floor meeting room. Please remember the security measures at our meeting building: everyone must show their photo-ID and register at the guard’s desk. Nearby parking: South Loop Self Park, 318 South Federal Street; that is two short blocks west of our meeting site. Note: Their typical rate of $33 is reduced to $9 if you eat at the Plymouth Restaurant, 327 S. Plymouth Court (next to our meeting site at the CBA) — show the restaurant your parking ticket, and ask for a parking voucher. The restaurant offers standard sandwiches, burgers, and salads for members who want to meet for dinner. Members start arriving at 5pm.
|Featured Program:||Dale Lukanich
— Counterfeit British Bank Notes Produced in a German Concentration Camp
Operation Bernhard was the code name for the largest paper money counterfeiting attempt to date. The idea was to disrupt the British economy and to cast doubt on the economic future of Great Britain. This plan was so top secret that less than a dozen people knew about it in all of the German government. This talk will help shed light on the key players, the conditions that they had to work under, and how the end came about. We will also discuss some of the differences between the genuine and counterfeit British White notes.
Unless stated otherwise, our regular monthly CCC Meeting is in downtown Chicago on the second Wednesday of the month; the starting time is 6:45PM.
|July||12||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Dale Lukanich on Counterfeit British Bank Notes Produced in a German Concentration Camp|
|August||1-5||ANA in Denver, Colorado this year, so we can relax and play tourist — for details, see http://www.worldsfairofmoney.com.|
|August||9||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|September||13||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced|
|September||21-23||ILNA 58th Annual Coin & Currency Show at the Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 East Main Street, St. Charles, IL. Details, including hours and events, is available at http://www.ilnaclub.org|
All correspondence pertaining to Club matters
should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:
CHICAGO COIN CLUB
P.O. Box 2301
CHICAGO, IL 60690
|Elected positions (two-year terms):|
|Richard Lipman||- President|
|Marc Stackler||- First Vice President|
|John Riley||- Second Vice President|
|William Burd||- Archivist|
|Elliott Krieter||- Immediate Past President|
|Carl Wolf||- Secretary|
|Steve Zitowsky||- Treasurer|
|Paul Hybert||- Chatter Editor, webmaster|
|Jeffrey Rosinia||- ANA Club Representative|
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