Selected Greek
Slavey Replicas
And Imitations

 

 

The best ancient coin replica maker in the world today is the controversial Bulgarian Slavey Petrov, who goes by his first name and spells it this way, though sometimes you see it spelled "Slavei." He currently resides in Germany and has a Web site, Titiana & Slavey Art Numis, selling authentic ancient coins, and he no longer is active making replicas.

Slavey is controversial because indications are his apprentices have created forgery workshops in Bulgaria, which operate openly and take orders from anybody, often producing modern copies meant to deceive and leading to a huge influx of "Bulgarian School" forgeries that have polluted the ancient coin marketplace.

Slavey doesn't, or didn't, mark all of his replicas as replicas ("Slavey" in tiny Cyrillic lettering on the obverse or reverse, a larger "COPY" or "SL COPY" mark on the edge or on the obverse or reverse). Beginning collectors can be fooled into thinking that Slavey replicas are authentic ancient coins. But Slaveys have their own look, which an experienced eye can immediately recognize. Slavey's style is characteristically flamboyant. Slavey appears to have deliberately created his own interpretations of ancient coins rather than slavish copies of them. The die work is different, typically more detailed, flashy, or expressive, often with the eyes and facial expressions more sharply realized. It has been said that Slavey's flamboyance enhances the energy of the original design, though some regard his work as exaggerated and gaudy.

Like the ancients, Slavey hand cut his own dies rather than using modern machine tools or making casts. Unlike the ancients, he produced his work with a hydraulic press rather than striking planchets with a hammer. This typically leads to uniform, overflat fields.

Slavey began making coin replicas in 1966. At some point or points he sold many of his 300 or so replica dies to others, who have created Slavey replicas from them. One Bulgarian ancient coin dealer in California, who also sold Slavey replicas, once offered to sell me Slavey dies. At least three Bulgarians were selling Slavey replicas in number in the early 2000s, though this activitiy seems to have stopped.

Others dealers create casts of Slavey replicas, probably violating copyright statutes, and sell them as their own replicas, often selling them on eBay (they create casts of the work of other replica makers as well). These are typically lower in weight than Slavey's own works, which closely approximate the weight of the ancient coins they copy, and they typically show the characteristic evidence of casts, in particular less well defined details.

Unlike the American Peter Rosa, Slavey created replicas of silver coins in silver, specifically .950 silver. The best source about Rosa is Wayne Sayle's 2001 book Classical Deception. Antiquanova, the other great ancient coin replica maker, uses .999 silver (or optionally tin, if you request it).

Slavey created often beautiful work, even if not all of his work is consistently beautiful. He's sometimes called a counterfeiter, but there's no evidence he has ever made his copies to deceive.

As the pieces below illustrate, some "Bulgarian School" copies are sold as Slaveys, capitalizing on the famous Slavey name. They exhibit a similar kind of flamboyance that Slavey has made famous and that other Bulgarians have imitated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Athenian wappenmünzen Medusa and bull tetradrachm, 17.1g, "SL COPY" and "956" countermarks on edge. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin from Athens, c. 515-510 BC, Sear 1835.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Athenian wappenmünzen Medusa and lion (sometimes described as a panther) tetradrachm, 17.1g, "SL COPY" and "956" countermarks on edge. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin from Athens, c. 515-510 BC, Sear 1836.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Thasos satyr and nymph late classical stater, 8.5g, small "Slavey" signature in Cyrillic under satyr's leg, "COPY" and "95C" countermarks on edge. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin from Thasos, Thrace, c. 430-411 BC, Sear 1747v.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Thasos running quarter-facing satyr trihemiobol (ithyphallic, refined), 1.1g, unsigned and unmarked. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin from Thasos, Thrace, c. 411-350 BC, Sear 1755, SNG Cop. 1029.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian School forgery Thasos running three quarter-facing satyr trihemiobol (ithyphallic, ragged), 0.9g, unmarked. Sold as an unmarked Slavey replica. Not his work, according to Slavey. Copy of coin from Thasos, Thrace, c. 411-350 BC, SNG Cop. 1030. This fake is documented in the 2003 book by Ilya Prokopov, et al., Modern Counterfeits and Replicas of Ancient Greek and Roman Coins from Bulgaria as No. 13 and in the 2005 book by Ilya Prokopov and Rumen Manov Counterfeit Studios and Their Coins as No's 29-33.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Mesembria war helmet diobol, 1.2g, unsigned and unmarked. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin from Mesembria, Thrace, c. 450-350 BC, Sear 1673.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Athenian Early Classical Owl tetradrachm, 16.7g, "SL COPY" countermark on edge. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin Athens, c. 455-449 BC, Sear 2521.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Athenian New Style Owl tetradrachm, 16.9g, tiny "Slavey" signature in Cyrillic under Athena's neck. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin from Athens, c. 157-63 BC, Sear 2553v.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Istros inverted heads drachm/stater (left head up), 7.0g, unsigned and unmarked. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin from Istros, Moesia, Thrace, c. 400-350 BC, Sear 1669.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian School forgery Istros inverted heads drachm/stater (left head down), 7.0g, unmarked. Sold as an unmarked Slavey replica. Not his work, according to Slavey. Copy of coin from Istros, Moesia, Thrace, c. 400-350 BC, Sear 1669v. This fake is documented in the 1997 book by D. Dimitrov, et al., Modern Forgeries of Greek and Roman Coins as No. 8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian School forgery Istros inverted heads quarter stater, 1.1g, unmarked. Sold as an unmarked Slavey replica. Not his work, according to Slavey. Copy of coin from Istros, Moesia, Thrace, c. 400-350 BC, Sear 1670.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian School forgery Apollonia Pontika Apollo diobol, 1.2g, unmarked. Sold as an unmarked Slavey replica. Not his work, according to Slavey. Copy of coin from Apollonia Pontika, Thrace, c. 400-350 BC, Sear 1657.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian School forgery Cherronesos lion hemidrachm, 2.6g, unmarked. Sold as an unmarked Slavey replica. Not his work, according to Slavey. Copy of coin from Cherronesos, Thrace, c. 400-350 BC, Sear 1603v.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian School forgery Alexander the Great stater, 8.6g, unmarked. Sold as an unmarked Slavey replica. Not his work, according to Slavey. Copy of coin from Greece or Macedonia with ant symbol, c. 310-275 BC, M.J. Price 831.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Alexander the Great tetradrachm, 16.9g, "Slavey" signature in Cyrillic on Zeus' footstool, "COPY" countermark on edge. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin from Babylon, c. 317-311 BC, M.J. Price 3730.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian School forgery Alexander the Great tetradrachm, 16.5g, unmarked. Sold as an unmarked Slavey replica. Not his work, according to Slavey. Mule copy, combining obverse of tetradrachm from Pella, Macedonia (M.J. Price 249) and fantasy reverse. The obverse of this fake is documented in the 1997 book by D. Dimitrov, et al., Modern Forgeries of Greek and Roman Coins as No. 45.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian School forgery Alexander the Great tetradrachm, 16.5g, unmarked. Sold as an unmarked Slavey replica. Not his work, according to Slavey. Mule copy, combining obverse of tetradrachm from Pella, Macedonia (M.J. Price 249) and fantasy reverse. The obverse of this fake is documented in the 1997 book by D. Dimitrov, et al., Modern Forgeries of Greek and Roman Coins as No. 46.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Alexander the Great drachm, 4.2g, unsigned and unmarked. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin from Lampsakos, Asia Minor, c. 310-301 BC, M.J. Price 1382.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Alexander the Great hemidrachm, 1.7g, tiny "Slavey" signature in Cyrillic below Herakles' neck. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin from Marathos, Phoenicia, c. 323-300 BC, M.J. Price 3442.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Lysimachos tetradrachm, 17.2g, large "Slavey" signature in Cyrillic under exergual line, "COPY" countermark on edge. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of coin c. 288-281 BC, Sear 6814v.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavey replica Ptolemy I Alexander-portrait tetradrachm, 17.3g, small "Slavey" signature in Cyrillic under elephant's ear. High-quality pressed copy, .950 fine silver. Copy of Attic standard Ptolemy I tetradrachm, Sear 7748v.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian School replica in bronze of Roman Provincial Alexander the Great gold medallion found at Tarsos, Asia Minor, 58mm, unmarked. Sold as an unmarked Slavey replica. Not his work, according to Slavey. Copy of Svoronos Plate VIII, 1.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Here's a Slavey catalog from the late Bill Puetz illustrating more Slavey replicas of Greek and Roman coins. Here's more on ancient coin replicas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coin sites:
Coin Collecting: Consumer Protection Guide
Glomming: Coin Connoisseurship
Bogos: Counterfeit Coins
Pre-coins

© 2014 Reid Goldsborough

Note: Any of the items illustrated on these pages that are in my possession are stored off site.