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apollonia

Statere record del 2016?

Chissà se questo statere di Tolomeo I Sotere battuto alla Triton XIX del gennaio 2016 per 120.000 $ rappresenterà il record di aggiudicazione dell’anno tra gli stateri dei successori di Alessandro Magno o di Alessandro stesso.

 

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The Rarest of Ptolemy’s Coinage

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. As satrap, 323-305 BC. AV Stater (16mm, 8.51 g, 12h). Alexandreia mint. Struck circa 312/11 BC. Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, wearing elephant skin and aegis, horn of Ammon over ear / Prow of galley to right, adorned with one large and one small protective eye. Svoronos 25; Zervos Type V, Issue 87 (unlisted dies); Gulbenkian 1071 = Jameson 999; Saida 41. EF, lightly toned, minor marks, a hint of die wear on obverse. Extremely rare, one of five known, and one of only two in private hands (the others in Athens, Lisbon, and Paris).

From the collection of Dr. Lawrence A. Adams. Ex Mieza Collection (Nomos 7, 15 May 2013), lot 149; Numismatica Ars Classica 46 (2 April 2008), lot 303.

Triton XIX, Lot: 2076. Estimate $75000. Sold for $120000
 

In his die study of the early coinage of Ptolemy I, Zervos remarks that this issue is unique among the entire corpus of this king’s coinage due to the lack of any legend or control marks. While he is certain that it was struck by Ptolemy I (W.H. Waddington thought these were non-Ptolemaic imitations), that it was contemporary to the Attic weight silver, and that the mint was likely Alexandreia, he was unable to place it into an historical context that would explain its iconography and purpose. Nonetheless, it is the rarest of all Ptolemy I’s issues, with only five known today, from three obverse and four reverse dies.

 

 

apollonia

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Sempre dalla Triton XIX del gennaio 2016 questo statere dello zio di Alessandro Mano, Alessandro d’Epiro, fratello di mamma Olimpiade.

La stima era a sei cifre (100.000 USD) ma è stato venduto a ‘solo’ 95.000 USD.

 

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Extremely Rare Stater of Alexander the Molossian

KINGS of EPEIROS. Alexander. 350-330 BC. AV Stater (17mm, 8.53 g, 2h). Tarentum mint. Struck circa 334-332 BC. Bearded head of Zeus Dodonaios right, wearing wreath of oak leaves / AΛEΞANΔPO[Y] [T]OY NEOΠTOΛEMO[Y], horizontal thunderbolt; above, spearhead right. Vlasto, Alexander, Group C, Type 4; R. R. Holloway, “Alexander the Molossian and the Attic Standard in Magna Graecia,” in La circulazione della moneta ateniese in sicilia e in magna grecia. Atti del I convegno del centro internazionale di studi numismatici, Napoli 5-8 Aprile 1967 (Rome, 1969), pl. XI, 7 = Vlasto, Or, pl. IE, 16 = ACGC 686 = Traité IV 329 = BMC 1; Hunterian 1. Good VF, light marks in fields, a few edge bumps. Extremely rare, one of four known, and the only piece not in a public collection.

Ex J. William Middendorf II Collection (Christie’s New York, 30 November 1990), lot 42; Classical Numismatic Auctions 1 (1 May 1987), lot 46.

 

Alexander the Molossian, in 334 BC, was invited by Tarentum to defend the city against the Samnites, Brettii, and Lucani of central Italy. While Alexander accepted their appeal, the true purpose for his intervention was to extend his dominion in the West just as his namesake, the king of Macedon, was establishing a great empire in the East. After initial successes, his career was abruptly terminated in 330 BC beneath the walls of Pandosia where he perished in battle against the Bruttians, much to the relief of the Tarentine Republic. Alexander honored Zeus of Dodona, the central deity of the Molossians, on his coins. The sanctuary of Zeus Naïos at Dodona was reputed to be the oldest Greek oracle, and was known to Homer.

 

apollonia

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Chissà se questo statere di Tolomeo I Sotere battuto alla Triton XIX del gennaio 2016 per 120.000 $ rappresenterà il record di aggiudicazione dell’anno tra gli stateri dei successori di Alessandro Magno o di Alessandro stesso.

 

attachicon.gifStatere Tolomeo 2016 record 10102076.jpg

 

The Rarest of Ptolemy’s Coinage

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. As satrap, 323-305 BC. AV Stater (16mm, 8.51 g, 12h). Alexandreia mint. Struck circa 312/11 BC. Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, wearing elephant skin and aegis, horn of Ammon over ear / Prow of galley to right, adorned with one large and one small protective eye. Svoronos 25; Zervos Type V, Issue 87 (unlisted dies); Gulbenkian 1071 = Jameson 999; Saida 41. EF, lightly toned, minor marks, a hint of die wear on obverse. Extremely rare, one of five known, and one of only two in private hands (the others in Athens, Lisbon, and Paris).

From the collection of Dr. Lawrence A. Adams. Ex Mieza Collection (Nomos 7, 15 May 2013), lot 149; Numismatica Ars Classica 46 (2 April 2008), lot 303.

Triton XIX, Lot: 2076. Estimate $75000. Sold for $120000

 

In his die study of the early coinage of Ptolemy I, Zervos remarks that this issue is unique among the entire corpus of this king’s coinage due to the lack of any legend or control marks. While he is certain that it was struck by Ptolemy I (W.H. Waddington thought these were non-Ptolemaic imitations), that it was contemporary to the Attic weight silver, and that the mint was likely Alexandreia, he was unable to place it into an historical context that would explain its iconography and purpose. Nonetheless, it is the rarest of all Ptolemy I’s issues, with only five known today, from three obverse and four reverse dies.

 

 

apollonia

C'è qualcosa di non chiaro... il Saida Hoard dal quale proverrebbe uno dei cinque esemplari noti di questa moneta si ritiene normalmente che abbia come data di chiusura il 324/323, il che sarebbe incompatibile con una moneta coniata da Tolomeo... e infatti viene scritto "statere di Tolomeo I ?". Indagherò...

http://coinhoards.org/id/igch1508

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Lo statere d'oro di apertura discussione ha subito una serie di passaggi di mani: è stato venduto una prima volta nel nel 2008  a 95.000 CHF..... 

 

Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG

Auction Lot Date Estimate Result Auction 46 303 (« | ») 2. April 2008 - 95'000 CHF
Description Greek Coins 
Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt, Ptolemy I Satrap circa 323-305
Stater, Alexandria circa 313-311, AV 8.53 g. Diademed head of Alexander r., wearing elephant skin headdress. Rev. Prow r. Jameson 999. Gulbenkian 1071. Svoronos 25 and pl. I, 23.
Of the highest rarity, only the fourth specimen known. Minor mark on cheek,
otherwise virtually as struck and almost Fdc
This gold stater, struck alongside bronze coins of 18mm and 15mm that bear a portrait of Ptolemy I and a prow, is one of the prizes of Ptolemaic coinage. Though it bears no inscription, it must have been issued by a Ptolemaic king – undoubtedly Ptolemy I because of its affinities with the Attic-weight Athena Promachus coinages struck in Alexandria from c. 314-310 B.C. (or, according to Lorber in the 2005 Numismatic Chronicle, slightly later). It may have been struck in 313 after Ptolemy acquired Cyprus, or perhaps in 312/1 as part of the combined effort of Ptolemy and Seleucus to eject Demetrius Poliorcetes from Gaza. Though this latter victory paved the road for Seleucus to recapture his former satrapy of Babylon, the results were fleeting for Ptolemy, who by the spring of 311 was forced out of the region by Demetrius. 
The head of Alexander that appears on the obverse of this coin lies at the core of Ptolemy’s claim to Alexander’s legacy, for in 322/1 he took possession of Alexander’s embalmed body by intercepting it in Syria as it was in transit from Babylon to Macedon. He initially brought the corpse to Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt. Some time later, either during Ptolemy’s reign or under a successor, the body was relocated to a grand tomb in Alexandria. In the same way that Alexander’s body became an object of cult worship, Ptolemy’s coinage with the head of Alexander wearing an elephant scalp helped to promote the idea that the conqueror’s legacy resided within the realm of the Ptolemies. 
The legacy survived well into Roman times, and many emperors visited Alexander’s tomb. When Augustus landed in Alexandria not long after his victory at Actium, he gazed upon the mummified body of Alexander, and Suetonius (Augustus 18) tells us he placed a golden diadem on Alexander’s head and sprinkled flowers on his body; when the attendant asked him if he wished to see the Mausoleum of the Ptolemies, Augustus responded “I came to see a king, not a row of corpses.
Estimate: 60000 CHF

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...e una seconda volta nel 2013 a ben 128.000 CHF. Perchè viene continuamente comprato e rivenduto? Porterà iella??

 

Nomos

Auction Lot Date Estimate Result Auction 7 149 (« | ») 15. May 2013 160'000 CHF 128'000 CHF
Description GREEK COINS
Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt
Ptolemy I Soter. As satrap, 323-305 BC. Stater (Gold, 8.53 g 12), Alexandria, c. 313-311. Diademed head of Alexander III to right, wearing elephant’s scalp headdress and an aegis, and with the horn of Ammon over his ear. Rev. Prow of galley to right, adorned with one large and one small protective eye. Gulbenkian 1071 = Jameson 999. Svoronos 25 and pl. I, 22-23. Extremely rare, one of four examples known, the only example in private hands . Minor marks and struck from a slightly worn obverse die, otherwise , good extremely fine. From the Mieza collection, ex Numismatica Ars Classica 46, 2 April 2008, 303.
This is one of the greatest rarities of Ptolemaic coinage, and it celebrates Ptolemy I’s use of Alexander’s figure as a badge of legitimacy. As is well known, Ptolemy arranged to capture Alexander’s body in 322, when it was in Syria on the way to Macedonia. It was soon placed in a great tomb in Alexandria where it remained until at least the 3rd century AD (though there are reports of it having been seen in the 9th and 10th centuries). This coin bears the typically Ptolemaic portrait of Alexander (with the elephant’s skin headdress) and a prow, which probably commemorates some initial Ptolemaic victories in Cyprus. The portrait itself is remarkably evocative with the visage of a human who is also divine.

post-37078-0-51958700-1454157051_thumb.j

Modificato da King John

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davvero degli stateri superlativi!

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...e una seconda volta nel 2013 a ben 128.000 CHF. Perchè viene continuamente comprato e rivenduto? Porterà iella??

 

Nomos

Auction Lot Date Estimate Result Auction 7 149 (« | ») 15. May 2013 160'000 CHF 128'000 CHF
Description GREEK COINS

Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt

Ptolemy I Soter. As satrap, 323-305 BC. Stater (Gold, 8.53 g 12), Alexandria, c. 313-311. Diademed head of Alexander III to right, wearing elephant’s scalp headdress and an aegis, and with the horn of Ammon over his ear. Rev. Prow of galley to right, adorned with one large and one small protective eye. Gulbenkian 1071 = Jameson 999. Svoronos 25 and pl. I, 22-23. Extremely rare, one of four examples known, the only example in private hands . Minor marks and struck from a slightly worn obverse die, otherwise , good extremely fine. From the Mieza collection, ex Numismatica Ars Classica 46, 2 April 2008, 303.

This is one of the greatest rarities of Ptolemaic coinage, and it celebrates Ptolemy I’s use of Alexander’s figure as a badge of legitimacy. As is well known, Ptolemy arranged to capture Alexander’s body in 322, when it was in Syria on the way to Macedonia. It was soon placed in a great tomb in Alexandria where it remained until at least the 3rd century AD (though there are reports of it having been seen in the 9th and 10th centuries). This coin bears the typically Ptolemaic portrait of Alexander (with the elephant’s skin headdress) and a prow, which probably commemorates some initial Ptolemaic victories in Cyprus. The portrait itself is remarkably evocative with the visage of a human who is also divine.

 

 

 Perchè viene continuamente comprato e rivenduto? Porterà iella??

 

Mah, c'è da dire però che questi passaggi in aste precedenti sono specificati nella didascalia:

 

From the collection of Dr. Lawrence A. Adams. Ex Mieza Collection (Nomos 7, 15 May 2013), lot 149; Numismatica Ars Classica 46 (2 April 2008), lot 303.

 

apollonia

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Anche per motivi affettivi preferisco lo statere di Alessandro d’Epiro, zio materno di Alessandro Magno e sposo di Cleopatra, la bellissima sorella del Grande.

Inoltre fu lui a dare in dono ad Alessandro il cucciolo (la cui mamma era stata vittima in una caccia al leone) Peritas, che sarà poi l’inseparabile compagno del Grande.

 

apollonia

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Ciao.
 
"...e una seconda volta nel 2013 a ben 128.000 CHF. Perchè viene continuamente comprato e rivenduto? Porterà iella??"

 

A me pare che porti soprattutto commissioni alle casa d'asta che lo vendono.

 

Vi viene difficile pensare che gli acquirenti di monete che passano e ripassano in asta con questa frequenza siano dei collezionisti.

 

A meno che non siano dei collezionisti impazienti e volubili.....ma allora forse non sono, appunto, collezionisti.

 

M.

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Quando sono monete di grande rarità e alto prezzo, entrano in gioco investitori piuttosto che puri collezionisti e cercano di guadagnare qualche migliaio di dollari (a parte le commissioni per le Case di asta, che per questa ragione tendono a favorire chi è disposto a investire grosse somme di denaro e non è un vero collezionista che conserva e rimira con amore il suo acquisto, anche se poi è tutto relativo...).

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Quando sono monete di grande rarità e alto prezzo, entrano in gioco investitori piuttosto che puri collezionisti e cercano di guadagnare qualche migliaio di dollari (a parte le commissioni per le Case di asta, che per questa ragione tendono a favorire chi è disposto a investire grosse somme di denaro e non è un vero collezionista che conserva e rimira con amore il suo acquisto, anche se poi è tutto relativo...).

Grazie per il chiarimento: effettivamente le cose devono essere andate così.

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Monete di grande rarità, ma stilisticamente davvero piuttosto povere...

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Adams e' certamente un collezionista che ha saputo mettere insieme un raccolta di monete d'ori - di ogni epoca - tra cui figurano pezzi straordinari come questo statere - ma se me potrebbero citare decine di altri fel medesimo livello.

Non e' un collezionista di studio come , ad esempio il celeberrimo Dimitriades i cui cataoghi sono veri e propri libri di testo , e' comunque un collezionista di amplissimi mezzi che ha fatto delle emissioni auree ol suo focus per oltre trent'anni

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Colgo l’occasione per presentare un ottodramma sempre della collezione Adams

 

Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.
Triton XIX Sessions 3 & 4 - Adams Collection  6 January 2016

Lot 2070

Estimate: 100000 USD Price realized: 275000 USD

 

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SELEUKID EMPIRE. Antiochos III 'the Great'. 222-187 BC. AV Oktadrachm (29mm, 34.14 g, 12h). Seleukeia on the Tigris mint. Struck circa 220-187 BC. Diademed head right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTI-OXOY, Apollo Delphios seated left on omphalos, testing arrow in his right hand, left hand on bow set on ground to right; monograms to outer left and right. SC 1157 (this coin referenced and illustrated); ESM –; HGC 9, 440d corr. (SC reference); CSE 972 (this coin). EF, lustrous, a few light marks on obverse, softly struck on reverse. Unique. 


From the collection of Dr. Lawrence A. Adams, purchased from Spink America, July 1995. Ex Christie's New York (20 September 1994), lot 162 and front cover; Arthur Houghton Collection (Numismatic Fine Arts XVIII, 31 March 1987), lot 323; Leu 20 (25 April 1978), lot 161.

This oktadrachm is the cover coin for SAN XIX.2 (1995), and the subject of a short note by Dr. Adams on the journal's front endpaper.

 

 

apollonia

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Nel trend in crescendo, a questo punto ci sta anche il decadramma tolemaico.

 

Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.
Triton XIX Sessions 3 & 4 - Adams Collection  6 January 201.

Lot 2103. Estimate: 100000 USD. Price realized: 300000 USD

 

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PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Berenike II, wife of Ptolemy III. Circa 244/3-221 BC. AV Dekadrachm (32.5mm, 42.75 g, 12h). Attic standard. Alexandreia mint. Struck under Ptolemy III, circa 242/1-222. Veiled and draped bust right, wearing necklace / BAΣIΛΣΣHΣ BEPENIKHΣ, filleted cornucopia; stars flanking, small E below. Svoronos 972β = van Driessche dies D1/R4, a = Hunt III 58 (this coin, van Driessche's further listing of ex de Luynes 3425 is erroneous); SNG Copenhagen –; SNG Lockett 3416 (same obv. die); Boston MFA 2277 (same obv. die); Jameson 1818 (same obv. die); Pozzi 3236 (same dies). Superb EF, lustrous, light scratch on cheek. Well centered and struck. Very rare, one of 15 noted by van Driessche, six of which are in museums. 
 

From the collection of Dr. Lawrence A. Adams. Ex Numismatic Fine Arts XXX (8 December 1992), lot 177; Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection (Part III, Sotheby's New York, 4 December 1990), lot 58; Numismatic Fine Arts VI (27 February 1979), lot 431; Münzen und Medaillen AG XXV (17 November 1962), lot 494; Cabinet de Medailles, Bibliothèque Nationale, L 3925 = Fond général 342bis (deaccessioned 1961).

 

apollonia

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Statere fuori gara per il record in quanto non è di Alessandro o di un suo successore, ma di interesse storico come si legge nella lunga didascalia.

 

Gold Taken from Athena Parthenos. Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. Triton XIX Sessions 3 & 4 - Adams Collection  6 January 2016. Lot 2041. Estimate: 100000 USD. Price realized: 265000 USD.

 

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ATTICA, Athens. 295 BC. AV Stater (17mm, 8.60 g, 9h). Head of Athena right, with profile eye, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with a "pi-style" palmette, disk earring, and pearl necklace / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent to left, AΘE and Eleusis-ring to right. J. Kroll, "The Reminting of Athenian Silver Coinage, 353 B.C." in Hesperia 80 (2011), fig, 12, b; Svoronos, Monnaies, pl. 21, 17 = Jameson 1193 (same rev. die); HGC 4, 1577; SNG Copenhagen 83; BMC 129–31; Boston MFA 1099; Gillet 946; Gulbenkian 925 = Weber 3499. Near EF, a few scattered marks, minor deposits on reverse. Very rare. 

From the collection of Dr. Lawrence A. Adams. Ex Numismatic Fine Arts XXX (8 December 1992), lot 71; Distinguished American Collection (Leu 52, 15 May 1991), lot 74; Christie's New York (22 September 1986), lot 8.

 

On the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, his empire was divided up among the Diadochoi, or "successors," who were the top generals in Alexander's army. With the aid of Antigonos I Monophthalmos, ruler of Phrygia, Kassander seized Macedon and most of Greece, including Athens (319-317 BC). Antigonos, however, had ambitions of his own. Planning to reunite Alexander's empire under his own leadership, he frightened the other Diadochoi, including Kassander, to join forces in the First Diadoch War (315-311 BC). Though he was slowed, Antigonos' plans were not altogether thwarted. He continued in his attempts to reunite Alexander's empire under the title 'liberator of Greece.'

The Second Diadoch War broke out in 310 BC and lasted until 301 BC. During this war, in 307 BC, Antigonos' son, Demetrios I Poliorketes, ousted Demetrios of Phaleron, Kassander's governor of Athens, and reestablished the old Athenian constitution. The grateful Athenians venerated Antigonos and Demetrios as divine saviors (theoi sōtēres). The freedom granted by the Athenian constitution, however, would prove to be a thorn in the side of Poliorketes. Soon, a demagogue by the name of Lachares came to power in the city and secretly allied himself to Kassander. Kassander pushed Lachares to increase his power, hoping to use the tyrant as a puppet through which he could exert his influence over Athens. Meanwhile, Demetrios lost favor with the Athenians as a result of various publicly financed extravagances and his sacrilegious installation of a harem in the Parthenon. Upon the death of Kassander in 298 or 297 BC, however, the Athenians were left in a vulnerable position. In 296 BC, Demetrios returned to Greece, temporarily blockading the city, until he was pulled away to deal with events in the Peloponnesos. Having secured his southern territory, Poliorketes again returned to besiege Athens in 295 BC. This siege lasted until early 294 BC, when the Athenians, starving and isolated, surrendered. Upon the fall of Athens, Lachares fled to Thebes, taking with him as much treasure as he could carry. Demetrios soon caught up to the tyrant, conquering his city of refuge. Thereafter, until 279 BC, when mention of him is lost, Lachares seems to have run from city to city, desperately trying to flee his many enemies.

This gold coin is thought to have been struck by Lachares during the siege in order to help finance the war effort (see Kroll, supra, pp. 251–4 for a full analysis). The gold used to produce this issue, according to Pausanias (Description of Greece 1.XXV.7), was taken from the statue of Athena Parthenos, created during the massive Periklean building projects of the Thirty Years Peace. Such use of sacred gold would not be alien to the Athenians, who had previously used the gold from the statue during the Peloponnesian War (Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, ii.13). Perikles himself commissioned the sculptor Pheidias to craft the colossal chryselephantine statue. Today, the sculpture survives in a few small-scale copied votive sculptures, as well as on bronze coins of Lysimachos of Thrace and Athenian bronzes of the third century BC. In addition, a reproduction of the statue stands in the replica of the Parthenon in Centennial Park, Nashville.

A story is told of Lachares by Polyaenos (Stratagems 3.7). As Lachares was fleeing Athens, he was pursued by a squadron of Tarentine cavalry. To distract his pursuers, the tyrant scattered "gold darics" (τῶν δαρεικῶν) on the road. The Tarentines stopped to pick up the money, giving Lachares enough time to escape. It is very possible, if not likely, that Polyaenos is not referring to Persian darics, but rather, the gold coins minted by Lachares. The Persians had been expelled from Greece two hundred years previously, and the Persian Empire itself had fallen to Alexander nearly 50 years before the time of Lachares. Therefore, it is unlikely that Persian darics were in circulation in Greece at the time. Since the Athenians, however, did not regularly mint gold coins, it is possible that when Polyaenos is using the word for daric, he is using it simply to mean "a gold coin," and that the story refers to these emergency gold coins minted by Lachares.

 

 

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Tornando ai successori di Alessandro guardate un po' che splendore...

 

 

Auction Lot Date Estimate Result Auction 66 77 (« | ») 17. October 2012 100'000 CHF 190'000 CHF
Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt, Ptolemy I Satrap, circa 323-305Stater, Alexandria 312/311, AV 8.53 g. Diademed head of Alexander r., wearing elephant skin headdress. Rev. ALEXANDROU Athena Promachos advancing r., brandishing spear and holding shield; in r. field, eagle / DI.
Apparently unique and unpublished, a coin of exceptional interest and historical
importance. A portrait of superb style struck on a full flan. Extremely fine This seemingly unpublished gold stater is a missing gold component of Ptolemy I's first substantial issue of the Athena Promachus coinage. In silver, the type was struck in large quantities as tetradrachms, and rarely as smaller denominations (Svoronos 33-35). It belongs to an early phase of Zervos’ issue XIII, usually thought to have commenced in c.314 B.C., though Lorber has made a case for its introduction in c.312/1 B.C.
If Lorber’s re-assessment is correct, this stater would be contemporary with the combined effort of Ptolemy I and Seleucus I to eject Demetrius Poliorcetes from Gaza. Though their victory paved the road for Seleucus to recapture his former satrapy of Babylon, the results were fleeting for Ptolemy, who by the spring of 311 had been forced out of the region by Demetrius.
The head of Alexander on the obverse of this type lies at the core of Ptolemy’s claim to Alexander’s legacy, for in 322/1 he took possession of Alexander’s embalmed body by intercepting it in Syria while it was in transit from Babylon to Macedon. The presentation is complex, and layered in symbolism: the elephant scalp refers to the conquest of India and perhaps also alludes to Alexander’s connection to Heracles, the ram’s horn is an attribute of Zeus-Ammon and must allude to Alexander’s fateful visit to the oracle of Ammon in Siwa, and the scaly aegis is a clear reference to Zeus. The band at his forehead is usually described as a diadem to signify kingship, but may be a tainia intended to symbolize victory, perhaps specifically in association with young Dionysus.
Ptolemy initially brought Alexander’s corpse to Memphis, but some time later it was relocated to a grand tomb in Alexandria. In the same way that Alexander’s body became an object of cult worship, Ptolemy’s coinage with the head of Alexander wearing an elephant scalp helped to promote the idea that the conqueror’s legacy resided within the realm of the Ptolemies.
Interest in Alexander’s corpse survived well into Roman times, and many emperors visited his tomb. Suetonius (Augustus 18) tells us that when Augustus landed in Alexandria after his victory at Actium, he gazed upon Alexander’s mummified body, placed a golden diadem on his head and sprinkled flowers on his body. When the attendant asked him if he wished to see the Mausoleum of the Ptolemies, Augustus responded “I came to see a king, not a row of corpses.”
The source of the battle-ready Athena, which replaced the seated figure of Zeus as the reverse type for silver coins of Ptolemy I, cannot be confirmed. It is generally agreed that it copies an archaistic statue. It is often described as Athena Promachos (“Athena who leads in battle” or “fighter in front”). Sometime between about 465 and 450 B.C., Phidias created a renowned statue of Athena Promachos which was installed to face the entrance of the Acropolis. She was known to the Athenians as the “bronze Athena” and was dedicated from the victory over the Persians; her spear and helmet could be seen at a great distance by sailors entering the Piraeus harbour.
Some scholars, however, see her as a different Athena. Zervos suggested she was a striding variety of the Palladian Athena, which had fallen from the heavens to Troy. Others, including Brett and Hazzard, make a strong case for it being Athena Alkidemos (the “defender/protector of the people”) since her temple was located in Pella, home of the ancient palace of the Macedonians, and the birthplace of Alexander.

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Una rarità di un successore poco noto di Alessandro (o forse aspirante successore). 

 

Roma numismatics

Auction Lot Date Estimate Result Auction 2 366 (« | ») 2. October 2011 200'000 GBP -
Baktria, Pre-Seleukid Era. Sophytes AV Stater. Circa 315-305 BC. Head of Sophytes right, wearing crested Attic helmet, decorated with laurel wreath, intricate decorations on crest and wing on cheek guard; artist signature MNA on bust truncation / Kerykeion with Herakles knot decoration and dragon head terminals; SWFUTOU below. Bopearachchi & Flandrin, ‘Le Portrait d’Alexandre le Grand’, 200-201ff (this coin); Bopearachchi, Notae 4: Sur les pas d’Alexandre, 16 (this coin); Bopearachchi, “Royaumes grecs en Afghanistan. Nouvelles données“, in L’art d’Afghanistan de la préhistoire à nos jours, CERDAF, Actes d’une Journée d’étude, UNESCO, 11th March 2005, Paris, p. 60-1 (this coin). 8.58g, 19mm, 6h.Fleur De Coin. A coin of incredible style and quality, not to mention historical importance and numismatic interest.
Exhibited at Musée Archéologique Henri Prades – Lattes, April-August 2003.
The identity and origin of Sophytes has been the subject of much debate since the discovery of the first coin bearing his name, in 1866. While it has been suggested that he was a Greek mercenary captain, it is more likely that he was an Indian king, as was reported in the Bibliotheca of Diodorus Siculus, with a capital at Baktra/Balkh. Bopearachchi argues in ‘Le Portrait d’Alexandre le Grand’ that Sophytes’ gold coinage must have been struck before Seleukos’ eastern campaign against Chandragupta, and furthermore that they are the coins of a powerful and independent dynast rather than those of a satrap of Seleukos, since the striking of an innovative gold coinage of such regal character by a satrap under Seleukid dominion would have effectively constituted an invitation to war. It has been alternatively suggested that this stater and the accompanying silver issues depict a portrait of Seleukos, in order to placate him while Sophytes proceeded to spin the wheels of his own independent ambitions, However, Bopearachchi suggests that this hypothesis relies on the portrait indeed being a copy of the Susa tetradrachm issue (see lot 356), but it should be noted that this is not necessarily the case - Sophytes used iconography from far beyond Baktrian lands as the inspiration for his coinage: the tetradrachms and didrachms have Athenian coins as their model, and Bopearachchi posits that this helmet type more closely resembles those of Thourioi with the addition of a cheek guard, than that of Seleukos on the trophy issue. While the features bear some resemblance to known images of Seleukos, they are markedly different to the Susa tetradrachms it has been suggested they copy, and there are also substantial differences to the image of Seleukos on the coins of Philetairos. Were this an attempt - thinly veiled or otherwise - to pay homage to Seleukos then the type would surely have been more of a direct representation than a vague allusion.
The circumstances of this issue may lie hidden in the turmoil of the years following Alexander’s death and the fracture of his empire. A man such as Sophytes would have stood to gain much in this time of conflict and opportunity, and throughout the period of 316-305 BC there are no surviving records regarding the satrapy of Baktria. Boperarachchi therefore suggests the possibility that it was in this time, when Seleukos was campaigning to regain the lost eastern provinces, that Sophytes seized power and struck his enigmatic series of gold and silver coinage, and that furthermore it is also possible that Seleukos’ campaign also had as one of its many goals, the removal of this rebel upstart. The letters MNA visible on the bust truncation are unique to Baktrian coinage of this period. This mark appears in varied forms, and is also seen as ‘MN’ and simply ‘M’. This monogram, carefully placed in a deliberately unobtrusive location is almost certainly associated with the engraver himself, and in all probability is a signature of the die engraver responsible for this coin. It is interesting to consider the possible reasons for such a prominent placement of a kerykeion on the reverse, and its true meaning. The use of a symbol of Hermes perhaps alludes to the wealth of the province and its position as a commercial hub; it may also have a political meaning, suggesting some form of balance or mutually supportive relationship, however this would simply be speculation. That the symbol also appears on the silver coins of Sophytes, but as an adjunct of the design, is significant. It clearly has some pertinent meaning either to Sophytes personally, or specifically to the Kingdom of Baktria. It also appears again as a distinct reverse type in its own right approximately a century later on the coinage of Demetrios I. The design is identical, and may be a reference to this important early Baktrian issue. While the facts of Sophytes life and identity may forever remain unknown to us, this coin is nevertheless of great historical and numismatic interest, and represents certainly one of the earliest, or indeed very possibly the first ever issue of a gold Hellenistic coin.

 

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