Fake pressed Kentoripai, again!

In the wake of the previous article, it was enough to spot the star as false detail of the undertype and to make a quick online search, to find another similar modern fake die. Also in this case we see the “impossible” trace of undertype always in the same position on the lion’s body, but the die is different, look at the foreleg of the lion, more angled. Likely these fakes were produced in the same modern forger’s workshop from which comes the coin currently listed on ROMA auction.

Here four fake specimens I’ve found, all sold by major auction houses…


ken cgb1ken cgb1 l


ken cgb2ken cgb2 l


ken cng fken CNG


ken kunkerken kunker l


Two notes

  • the 2006 CGB sold fake shows the following commentary: “Poids léger. Notre exemplaire ne semble pas surfrappé sur une litra de Syracuse comme cela se produit souvent. Cependant, nous avons la trace d’une petite molette sur le poitrail de l’animal au revers.” Maybe their experts should have raised some more questions about how could be possible to see traces of undertype of a coin which should weight much more.
  • The CNG sold fake “includes a David Sear Certificate of Authenticity“. Chapeau!


Fake pressed Kentoripai – Update

An update for this article I published yesterday:


BTW, this same specimen, now on auction at Roma Numismatics, was first sold on 13 october 2014 by the german auction house Gorny & Mosch: https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=2156639

To understand that here we are facing a pressed fake would be enough to look at concavity of both sides, as if the coin had been struck by two hammer dies, this feature is sometimes seen on modern pressed forgeries.. The concave obverse should be the first feature to raise a red flag on an ancient coin.

But in this case we have another feature which screams that the coin is a fake. Look at the detail I circled in red…

fake-kento-roma star

…that little star was added by the forger to simulate an overstrike on a bronze drachm of syracuse, the type with Athena/dolphins around star (traces of the undertype are clearly visible on some genuine specimens published by Calciati in the third volume of CNS). Well, that little star is indeed the key to spot other fakes!! In fact it is impossible that this little trace of undertype could be found in the same exact position of the lion’s body.

Now, look here: another fake, struck by the same modern dies, where the star is engraved directly on the fake reverse die, not really being a trace of the undertype.

kento fake gornykento gorny list



Fake pressed Kentoripai bronze currently on auction.

Fake pressed Kentoripai bronze currently on auction.

fake kento roma.jpg

The british auction house Roma Numismatics Ltd. is currently selling on auction a fake bronze coin attributed to Kentoripai in Sicily.

Source: http://www.lamoneta.it/topic/148851-a-proposito-di-pedigree-e-provenienza/

fake kento roma list.jpg


Experts of the italian forum lamoneta.it condemned the coin as modern forgery, despite the pedigree. One of them stated that the “pedigree” of this coin (i.e. some passages on auctions, not a provenance from old collection) is a proof that collectors try to get rid of the coin after purchasing and realizing it’s a fake.

For an interesting discussion on the type, with notes on correct epigraphy, where also some beautiful genuine specimens are shown, see this other thread: http://www.lamoneta.it/topic/130645-kentoripai-calciati-1

In the thread is also discussed another fake defined by experts as “ridiculous”, sold as genuine some time ago by the german auction house Dr. Busso Peus:


EDIT 29/04/14: Today Roma Numismatics has withdrawn the coin discussed in this article (e-sale 26, lot 50)