PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I.
|Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 374. Estimate $10000.
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004.
Sold For $13000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
305-285 BC. AV Stater (7.12 gm). Kyrene mint. Struck circa 300-298 BC. Diademed bust right, wearing aegis / PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS
, deified Alexander in elephant quadriga left; monogram in exergue. Svoronos 102; BMC Ptolemies pg. 11, 94 var. (monograms); SNG Copenhagen 426 var. (monograms); Naville pl. vii, 244 (this coin). EF. Very rare. [See color enlargement on plate 4] ($10,000)Ex Triton II (1-2 December 1998), lot 525; Hermitage Museum Collection (F. Schlessinger 13, 4 February 1935), lot 1565.
The Egyptian mint was originally located at Memphis. Ptolemy I struck staters and distaters, first at Memphis and later at Alexandria, after the transfer of the mint in 314 BC. This coinage continued until about 310 BC when gold coinage production was suspended, not to resume until 305/4 BC when Ptolemy assumed the royal title. This coinage, after a six year hiatus, was remarkable for several reasons. First, the new gold staters were struck at a reduced weight (7.12 grams), a new standard which would become known as the Ptolemaic standard. Second, and more importantly, Ptolemy became the first king in history to place his own portrait on his coinage, a precedent still followed today. The obverse of this stater shows Ptolemy wearing the royal diadem and the aegis, a symbol implying a special relationship with Zeus. The reverse type emphasizes Ptolemy's claim to be the rightful successor of Alexander.