Bruce and Kenneth Zuckerman, West Semitic Research/The Mouissaieff Collection, London
Bronze coin: “King Antigonus” is inscribed, in Greek, on the side of this bronze coin with the menorah depiction. Mattathias Antigonus was the last ruler of the Jewish Hasmonean dynasty, which reigned over Israel from 152 B.C.E. to 37 B.C.E. On the coin’s obverse side is inscribed, in Hebrew, “Matatya the High Priest”; on this side, too, there is a depiction of the shewbread table—like the menorah, an object associated with the Jerusalem Temple. What is unique about this coin is that the shewbread itself is depicted resting on the table. The bread’s concave shape has helped scholars to construe a previously indecipherable passage from the Mishnah in which the shewbread is described.