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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Conjectural Attribution

Sale: CNG 78, Lot: 321. Estimate $500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2008. 
Sold For $880. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander I. 498-454 BC. AR Diobol (1.69 g). Struck circa 480-470 BC. Forepart of goat right / Quadripartite incuse square. Raymond -; SNG ANS -; SNG München -; SNG Alpha Bank -; SNG Saroglos -; AMNG III/2, p. 137, 23 (uncertain Macedon); Traité I 1948 (Paros); Weber 1845 (Thraco-Macedonian); Leu 81, lot 174. Fine, porous. Extremely rare, possibly the fourth known.

The attribution of this piece is still conjectural. With the exception of Traité, all references and prior sales have placed these coins, rightfully so, within the Thraco-Macedonian region, based on their fabric and style. The most obvious attribution would be to the Thraco-Macedonian tribe of the Mygdones or Krestones, but Lorber’s study of their coinage (formerly given to Aigai) discounts such an attribution. Instead, Lorber convincingly argues for its placement among the issues of Alexander I, who used a similar goat forepart on the reverse of his early tetradrachms, particularly those assigned to his second group (cf. SNG ANS 24-6). Although the dating of the present issue is given to correspond to this group, it is possible that it may also belong to his group I coinage, which featured a goat head on the reverse of some tetradrachms (cf. SNG ANS 12-15).