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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 29. Estimate CHF12500. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF16500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Syracuse. Agathokles. 317-289 BC. Dekadrachm or 50 Litrai (Gold, 2.86 g 7), circa 295-289. Laureate head of Apollo to left Rev. Charioteer, holding goad in his right hand and reins in his left, driving biga galloping to right; below horses, triskeles to left; in exergue, Φ. Bérend, l’or pl. 9, 13 = SNG ANS 706. Very rare and of splendid style, a superb coin. Good extremely fine.

Ex Tkalec 19 February 2001, 47.

The types of this coin, a head of Apollo and a biga, are surely meant to be reminiscent of the gold coinage of Philip II of Macedon: they are virtually straight copies. Agathokles liked identify himself with the great Macedonian kings and especially liked comparing his victories over the Carthaginians with those of Alexander over the Persians. While Agathokles lived longer than Alexander did, his empire collapsed even faster.