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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Fifth Known Aineia Tetradrachm

Sale: CNG 78, Lot: 307. Estimate $2000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2008. 
Sold For $3500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MACEDON, Aineia. Mid 4th century BC. AR Tetradrachm (13.90 g, 10h). Wreathed head of nymph right, wearing single-pendant earring / Bull standing right, head reverted. CNG 76, 250; Triton VIII, 104; Giessener Münzhandlung 102, lot 133; CNG 67, lot 401 (all from the same dies). VF, rough surfaces, some cleaning marks. Extremely rare, the fifth known, all from a single pair of dies.

Aineia (mod. Nea Michaniona) was located on the north-east coast of the Chalkidike. It was a comparatively obscure place in ancient times, occupied from the Archaic through the Hellenistic periods. Some fine burial mounds from the city have produced gold treasures, and the city is attested in Athenian fiscal documents. According to legend it was founded by Trojans, who named it after the famous Trojan hero, Aineias (Aeneas).

The occasion for the issue of this impressive silver tetradrachm is not known, though by its style and fabric it can be dated to the middle of the fourth century BC. Its designs were clearly inspired by existing Greek coin types, though it does distinguish itself with some local flare. The head of the nymph on the obverse, wreathed in grain, is seemingly based upon the prolific issues of staters of Lokris in central Greece, which often circulated in northern Greece. The reverse is perhaps inspired by the standard issues of Ainos, which also featured a lone standing animal, albeit a goat.