Elephant Scalp Alexander

I love this banded intaglio in the BnF–its just so beautiful. I’m not sure why the catalogue identifies it as Alexander of Epirus. What struck me about it was how the portrayal of Alexander (the great?), echoes that on Ptolemy’s coins.

ANS Specimen

Found using HRC database and searching elephant headdress.

The BnF identifies this as a portrait of Ptolemy VI Philometor. The portraiture of this king isn’t straight forward. Two gold rings in the Louvre are associated with him (no. 1, no. 2). The two rings look much like each other but neither looks like the above intaglio. There is also one stone head (again in the Louvre) so identified, but it too looks pretty different. The intaglio does have a passing resemblance to some of the obverse heads on the tetradrachms of Philometor BUT typically this head is associated with Ptolemy I Soter.

1 thought on “Elephant Scalp Alexander”

  1. Isn’t there some dynastic connection between Aiakids of Epirus and Ptolemies? There’s something there…

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