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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 55. Estimate CHF25000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF21000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of EPEIROS. Alexander son of Neoptolemos. 350-330 BC. Stater (Silver, 10.94 g 12), Tarentum (?), circa 332. Head of Zeus Dodonaios to right, wearing oak wreath; below neck, Γ. Rev. ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ / ΤΟΥ ΝΕΟΠΤΟΛΕΜΟΥ Thunderbolt. Dewing 1438. PCG III. B, 28. Vlasto, Alexander Group D, 9c (this coin). Ward 460 (this coin). A particularly attractive example, of lovely style and unusually well preserved. Nicely toned, about extremely fine.

From the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and John Ward, Sotheby & Co., Zurich, 4 April 1973, 380.

Alexander the Molossian was yet another high-born general who came to the aid of the Greeks of Magna Graecia against their native enemies. His greatest legacy was numismatic: gold and silver staters bearing a head of Zeus and a thunderbolt, which were struck on his behalf to pay his troops. They are generally thought to have been minted in Tarentum, and are certainly only found in southern Italy, but HN III ignores them and they tend to be classified under Epirus alone (though they seem not to have circulated there). This piece is one of the finest known examples.