I bought a selection of various silver coins minted in Arados, which included tetrobols and obols.
One coin in particular caught my attention when browsing through them. The obverse was instantly recognisable as that of Ba´al (image 1), but the reverse i had never seen before. Although i was certain that this coin was a new type never before published or documented, i searched the internet and found two similar but extremely worn coins in the “Bibliothèque nationale de France”. Both of these coins were published in the following work by J. Babylon “Catalogue de la collection de Luynes” and were listed as unidentifiable. The denomination of the Babylon coins are 1/8 obol, where has mine falls into the bracket of obol. Both the 1/8 obols can be seen below, my coin is far right (image 2).
In his publication, Betylon lists the following types of smaller denominations;
Reverse description for 1/8 obol.
1. Prow of galley right.
Reverse description for 1/16 obol.
1. Head of Satyr facing.
2. Conical headdress.
3. Scorpion between two branches.
In respect to the 1/16 obols, it must be extremely difficult to make out any features on these coins. I would suggest that some of the descriptions noted above are incorrect, this because the majority of coins minted in Arados have some kind of maritime theme on them.
So what do we see on the reverse of my obol ?
I posted this question to the members of FORVM, two of the most prominent suggestions put forward were that of a cephalopod, i.e octopus or squid.
Rotation varies quite a lot on smaller silver coins, but the majority of obols i own have a rotation of 6. If we assume that the reverse is a cephalopod, then the rotation is bang on 6 (180 degrees).
After many hours of deliberation, i have decided for authentication purposes that the identity of the object/animal on the reverse is that of a squid. Indeed, seven of the eight tentacles are visible when looking closely through a magnifying glass. Also i can see what looks like beading along the legs, could this be the engravers interpretation of suckers i wonder (image 3).