The Athenian Decadrachm

AthenianDecadrachm_CoverPICThe Athenian Decadrachm

(Numismatic Notes and Monographs 168, 2008)

by Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert

ISBN 978-0-89722-309-6
List Price: US$95


Read/download via HathiTrust (Open Access)

The first monograph in over 35 years in any language to study the coinage of classical Athens. It collects for the first time the evidence for the largest denomination ever produced by the Athenian state, the ten-drachma piece, and situates the coinage within its social, political and economic background. This book represents a huge advance on the previous study of the material, Chester Starr’s Athenian coinage, 480–449 B.C. (Oxford, 1970). Fischer-Bossert has collected more than three times as many specimens as were known to Starr, and has provided a full account of the known forgeries drawn from the photo-files of major dealers, scholars and museums. A die-study of forty genuine Athenian decadrachms in public and private collections is provided, together with a catalogue of more than ninety modern forgeries. Almost all are illustrated. This will be an indispensable work for all interested in the coinage and history of 5th-century Athens. In addition, its judicious discussion of the history of the forgery of these remarkable coins will make this volume a handbook for all serious collectors of ancient Greek coinage.


The types
Internal arrangement of the series
Provenances and hoards
Dating the series
The purpose of the issue
Known specimens
Old specimens without known afterlife
Lead trial pieces
Ancient forgeries
Modern fakes and suspected specimens
a. Becker’s fake, before 2 October 1827
b. The second Strangford coin, before 1828
c. “Hoffmann”, before 1866, or even before 1857
d. “de Luynes”, before 1891
e. “Alexandria”, before 1900
f. Christodoulou’s fake, at least partly before 1903
g. “Schulman”, before 1922
h. “Ars Classica”, before 1928
i. “Burgon”, before 1970
k. “Phoenician style’§ before 1985
l. Origin unknown, before 1992
m. Tourist fakes from Turkey and Syria, before 1993
n. From Syria, 2008
0. Still more fakes
Appendix: The Acquisition of the Prokesch-Osten Specimen