SILVER TETRADRACHM, c. 80-51 BC - PTOLEMY XII of Egypt, the Father of Cleopatra VII
This is an extremely fine example of the large silver coinage of Ptolemy XII of Egypt, beautifully mounted as a pendant in a custom 14k gold setting. The mounting on the front, framing the portrait head of Ptolemy, features two snakes in reference to Cleopatra’s demise. It is designed so that the reverse featuring an imperial eagle is also visible.
Ptolemy XII (117-51 BC) was the twelfth consecutive Emperor (from 80-58 and 55-51 BC) in the Egyptian Ptolemaic Dynasty. Before Ptolemy XII's reign, the geographical distance between Rome and Egypt resulted in an indifferent attitude towards each other. Ptolemy XII attempted to secure his own fate and the fate of his dynasty by means of a pro-Roman policy. An internal rebellion sent him into exile to Rome in 58 BC. He pledged an enormous debt for Roman assistance, and when he returned to Alexandria in 51 BC, he was accompanied by more than 2000 Roman soldiers and mercenaries. After the death of Ptolemy XII, he was succeeded by his daughter Cleopatra VII, the “last of the Pharaohs”, who died in 30 BC from an asp’s poisonous bite after the defeat of her lover Mark Antony.
Provenance: ex Syracuse estate collection. Pendant hand-crafted in 14k gold by Aber & Levine,jewelers of Kedumim, Israel. Diameter without loop 34 mm, total weight 21.2 gm.