Ali Aboutaam Presents One of the Most Important Early Greek Coins in Existence

Exhibition is on display at 6, rue Verdaine, Geneva, Switzerland.

Ali Aboutaam - Kraay and Hermer Potidaea Coin

Silver coin of Poseidon on Horseback, Potidaea (modern day Cassandrea), a Chalcidian city, circa 540-520 B.C.

Classical masterpieces are on display by Ali Aboutaam of Phoenix Ancient Art at its main gallery, which is located in the center of Geneva's old town. He is showcasing a variety of antiquities that combine artistic excellence, historical intrigue, and the enthusiasm of the famous collections that they once belonged to. Several of these artifacts have provenance as early as the 18th century and were frequently published up until the present. 

Ali Aboutaam says: "I am excited to be holding in my hand one of the most important early Greek coins in existence: the coin is from Potidaea (modern day Cassandrea), a Chalcidian city in Northern Greece, which contrary to other Chalcidian cities, was founded by the Corinthians, not the Euboeans. It shows the earliest representation of Poseidon on horseback on coinage from around 540-520 B.C. We can see the letter 'P' under the horse for "Potidaea", and Poseidon, holding his trident, is riding a very noble and archaic styled horse. This can be compared to the best of Corinthian black figure pottery, also dated to the same period. If we turn to the reverse, it shows a triangular incuse which is extremely rare on archaic Greek coinage, as it would otherwise typically be squared. This coin is in excellent condition, and as far as we know, it is unique. It had belonged to some of the most important collectors of Greek coins, including the Jameson collection, and has been published several times, notably in the famous Kraay & Hirmer book (Greek Coins) with a big enlargement. Kraay & Hirmer's 1966 publication is an important reference for the most beautiful ancient Greek coins from private collections and museums."

Alongside the exquisite coin of Poseidon is a lovely Hellenistic cornelian gem portraying the same god. The juxtaposition of the two miniature masterpieces from 400 years apart is extraordinary. And from 2000 years earlier, visitors can see an outstanding Cycladic marble idol among the display: a treat for contemporary creative tastes.

The exhibition is on display at 6, rue Verdaine in Old Town, Geneva, until the end of June 2023. 


With galleries in New York City (Electrum) and Geneva, Switzerland, Phoenix Ancient Art is one of the world's leading dealers in rare and exquisite antiquities with a focus on Greek and Roman, Near Eastern and Egyptian art. Its works of art have been acquired by world-class museums around the world, as well as by private collectors. Phoenix Ancient Art is a second-generation family business that was founded by Sleiman Aboutaam in 1968 and continues today under the leadership of his sons, Ali and Hicham Aboutaam.

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Alexander Gherardi
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Original Source: Ali Aboutaam Presents One of the Most Important Early Greek Coins in Existence