PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter.
|Sale: CNG 69, Lot: 719. Estimate $2000.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 8 June 2005.
Sold For $4000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
As Satrap, 323-305 BC. AR Tetradrachm (15.59 gm, 12h). Alexandria mint. Struck in the name of Alexander III of Macedon, circa 310-305 BC. Diademed head of Alexander right, wearing elephant's skin / Athena Alkidemos advancing right; monogram and eagle to right. Svoronos 107; SNG Copenhagen 25. Near EF, light graffiti on reverse under attractive toning. Refined style. ($2000)
The engraver who created this obverse die seems also to have been responsible for the portraits on Copenhagen 21, 22, and 25, all of which are masterpieces of Hellenistic art. He was obviously a talented artist, but he may have become a bit confused about one detail. All his Alexander portraits show a distinct fold or loop in the upper part of the elephant skin headdress. This loop does not equate with any detail of elephantine physiognomy, but it is in about the same position as the ear on Alexander's lion skin headdress. Did the engraver conflate the details of the two types?