No stranger to the coin world, Cleopatra is back, this time in high-relief as part of the newly independent Spectres historical range. We recently covered their Hannibal Barca coin, the first in a ‘Masters of War’ series, but Cleopatra appears to be a standalone coin, even though it does inherit the two-ounce, 45 mm diameter format from its predecessor. It also continues with high-relief on both faces.
The depiction of Cleopatra is not that of the beautiful seductress of lore. This is a focused individual, hardened by circumstance, and fully in control of her surroundings, however deluded that might be. It makes a nice change from the damsel in distress meme she often attracts. The reverse face has her seated on a throne, the eagle of Zeus to her left (a popular motif on coins from her reign), and the asp that would end her life, to the right. The employment of a low perspective works well, giving us a better view of the columns of the Temple of Hathor..
The obverse is an agglomeration of various elements, with the typical Sphinx and Great Pyramid in the background, but the main element is Cleopatra standing in the waters of the Nile. Dinner for a crocodile? The asp returns behind her, the only thing we aren’t so keen on, but the relief remains impressive. Overall, a very different version of Cleopatra from the norm, and perhaps, one more realistic, given her clever manipulation of events, and callous treatment of her siblings. Available to order from now.