Royal bronze issue
Alexander I in lion skin headdress/Apollo with bow
Denomination B (19 mm., 5.47 gm.)
Obv. Head of Alexander r. in lion skin headdress, dotted border.
Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r., ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ on l., Apollo standing l., testing arrow and resting l. hand on bow.
Symbol (outer l.): PALM BRANCH
Countermark (on reverse): PANTHER R., LEFT PAW RAISED, WITHIN IRREGULAR PUNCH.
Reference: VCoins Auction, 6 March 2014, lot 144.
The previously unrecorded panther countermark was almost certainly applied at Apamea, an important center of the Dionysus cult in Syria. The panther occurs as a reverse type on civic coins of Apamea and on the royal bronze coins of Antiochus VI, who took Dionysus as one of his epithets. It is unclear whether this coin was countermarked by the authority of the city (after the fall of Alexander?) or by the partisans of Antiochus VI. The countermarking episode that produced this coin may be related to the extensive countermarking of the quasi-municipal bronzes of Apamea with a palm branch under Demetrius II, or more likely, under Antiochus VI.
For the palm branch countermarks at Apamea, see O. Hoover, “Quasi-municipal coinage in Seleucid Apamea: Countermarks and counterrevolution,” SNR 80 (2001): 20-34.