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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 47. Estimate CHF2600. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF2200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THRACO-MACEDONIAN REGION, Siris. Circa 500-490 BC. Trihemiobol or 1/8 Stater (1.02 g). Nude satyr kneeling right between two pellets Rev. Diagonally divided incuse square. SNG ANS 971-973. Svoronos pl. VIII, 13-17. Attractively toned, boldly struck, well-centered and made from good metal. Extremely fine.

Coins of this type were long attributed to the so-called mint of ‘Lete’ but, thanks to the inscriptions that can be read on some staters, have now been given to Siris. Most of the surviving stater fractions are marred by being poorly struck, overly worn or through corrosion. This piece is exceptionally fine and most impressive with a wonderfully detailed view of the kneeling satyr with his long horse’s tail curling up behind him. Satyrs, and the Maenads and Nymphs they continually tried to interest in themselves, were very appropriate types for coins from northern Greece. These were forest creatures who were the companions of Dionysos, god of wine and of the vines that produced it. Much of this area was, and still is, famous for its wines and the ancient people who lived there were very proud of it, and derived great profit from its export.