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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 120. Estimate CHF15000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF17000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SELEUKID KINGS of SYRIA. Antiochos I Soter. 281-261 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 17.1X g 12), Smyrna. Diademed head of Antiochos I to right Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ Apollo seated left on omphalos, holding three arrows in his right hand and resting his left on a bow leaning against the omphalos behind him; to right, monogram of ΘΕ; in exergue, monogram of ΑΤΡ. SC 311.2. WSM 1494. A superb coin with a wonderful, idealized portrait of unusually fine style, struck in high relief. Beautifully centered and one of the finest known coins of this ruler. Good extremely fine.

Antiochos I Soter was eldest son of Seleukos I and Apama, granddaughter of Pharnabazos. He was a consolidator and managed to keep almost all of the vast empire founded by his father together, despite revolts and the declarations of independence by the local rulers of Bithynia and Pontus. He founded many cities and sent out colonists throughout his realm. The portrait on this coin, engraved by an artist of great talent in the old Ionian city of Smyrna, shows Antiochos I as an elegant, powerful, and relatively youthful man - an idealized king - despite the fact that by the time it was struck he had to be at least forty-five years old. This type has long been sought after - the inferior piece from the Houghton Collection (NFA XVIII, 1987, lot 289) sold for the then astounding price of $21,000.