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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 98. Estimate CHF8000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF9750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LESBOS, Mytilene. Circa 521-478 BC. Hekte (Electrum, 2.60 g 12), circa 480. Ram’s head to right; below, cock walking to right, pecking at the ground Rev. Incuse head of a bull to left, the neck truncation formed by a rough incuse rectangle. Bodenstedt 22. Very rare. An unusually sharp and beautiful example. Minor marks, otherwise, good extremely fine.

This is one of the last of the early Mytilene hektai with the incuse-type reverse. What is interesting is that the authorities seem to have insisted on keeping a trace of the nearly formless incuse rectangle or square that appeared on the very earliest electrum cons, despite the advanced design of the reverse die they then used. Thus, they required that a miniature incuse square or rectangle be attached to the neck or the head of whatever animal or god appeared as an incuse type on the reverse.