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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 70. Estimate CHF7500. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF12000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ELIS, Olympia. 97th Olympiad. 392 BC. Stater (Silver, 121.01 g 1). Eagle standing left, grasping coiled snake with his talons and tearing at its coils with his beak; all on round shield with raised rim Rev. F Α Thunderbolt, with volutes above and flames below. BCD Olympia -. Seltman, Temple 167 ff. var. (BW/δζ, but this die combination unknown to Seltman). Very rare. Toned and nicely struck. Good very fine.

The oddly incuse partial legend on the reverse was caused by the need to recut the letter because of die wear. The way the obverse is made indicates that it is copying a shield blazon - presumably that used by soldiers protecting the sanctuary. Similar shield blazons are found on coins of various Lykian dynasts; they are also paralleled by the representations of shields on Greek painted pottery.