Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 14

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Lot 4871

A Choice and Desirable Set of Inscribed Stone Weights. Judaea, c. 7th to 6th century BC. Diameters: 10 mm. to 27 mm. Lot of 8 pieces. These weights are fashioned in colored limestone -- red, or "salmon," brick red, tan, and dark gray. All are domed in shape and nearly approach a sectioned sphere. All are marked on the top with their value -- on the larger a shekel sign (like a X with a cross bar connecting the bottom legs) -- plus additional or other signs instead. In this group are weights of: four shekels, two shekels, one shekel, nezef, beqa (half shekel), five gerah, and four gerah. All are in choice condition, only one or two with minor chips, and but for two, the signs are extremely legible. The beqa and the nezef are worn with the Hebrew inscription only just discernible. Interestingly the nezef had two additional "replacement " signs added in either the Hellenistic or Greco-Roman eras. Rounding out the set is a larger, and scarcer, weight in a fine grain, almost crystalline, limestone of warm gray color. Clearly seen on it is a V mark, the Judaean equivalent of "4," plus off to the side a faint "I." This weight 90 grms., equaling eight shekels. This with a few minor chips on the bottom. Rare and desirable artifacts!
Estimated Value $1,750-UP.
Ex Shirley Barr Sage Collection, published in her Biblical Numismatics: Thirty Pieces of Silver, illustrated and discussed on pp. 4-7. In ancient Israel there were seven weights that were related to metal, and which were mentioned in the Bible: the talent, mina, shekel, beka, gerah, pim, and kesitah. Three of them are found in this lot. This set is about as fine a one that can be found on the market these days. It is the effort of many years of searching and collecting, since the inscribed examples range from scarce to very rare. An equally fine set was auctioned off in Israel several years ago, to the tune of nearly $3000! Don't pass this one up.

Realized $2,415

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