BECKER FORGERIES (Pb/St restrikes, ca 1911-1914) - Akarnania. Federal Coinage. Drachm, circa 250 BC

BECKER FORGERIES (Pb/St restrikes, ca 1911-1914) - Akarnania. Federal Coinage. Drachm, circa 250 BC

Akarnania. Federal Coinage. Drachm (16.99 mm, 4.65 g). Circa 250 BC. Leukas mint.
Obv: Head of the river-god Achelöos right; monogram to right.
Rev: Apollo Aktios seated right on throne, holding bow; Ξ to right.
Ref: Hill, Becker 58

Karl Wilhelm Becker, born in 1772, is probably one of the best known forgers of ancient, medieval and early modern coins. He was concerned with coins as early as 1796, and from 1806 at the latest - he initially worked as an art and antiques dealer in Munich but, at that time, he was working as a goldsmith in Mannheim - he copied ancient coins. Not by casting, but by cutting new dies. Initially Becker forged Greek coins, but later he also created numerous copies of Roman, medieval and modern coins which were sold to his wealthy clientele. Although being accused of forgery from time to time - soon some numismatists/archaeologists were aware of the fact that Becker also sold copies - it never led to a conviction; Becker claimed that his “coins” were “instructive” in nature and not sold with the intention to deceive. Becker died in April 1830, after which his family started using the dies made by Becker to strike coins in a pewter alloy. Later these dies were sold to the Saalfeld Museum and in 1911 they were added to the collection of the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum in Berlin; the Berlin museum actually used the dies again to strike off-metal sets of the “coins”, such as the examples included in this themed auction. In ‘Becker the Counterfeiter’ (1924) British numismatist George F. Hill describes the various types of fake coins created by Becker - 331 die pairs are known, of which 133 copying Greek coins and 136 copying Roman coins - and he notes the following: “some of his efforts are of course wide of the mark; but others are as near to the original as anything that his successors have produced,”.

See images for a proper impression. Will be sent by registered mail.

Lot details
BECKER FORGERIES (Pb/St restrikes, ca 1911-1914) - Akarnania. Federal Coinage
Year/Period and Variation
circa 250 BC
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