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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 128. Estimate CHF2750. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF5200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. 323-283. Tetradrachm (Silver, 14.88 g 12), 305-283. Diademed head of Ptolemy I to right, wearing aegis around his neck; within his hair behind his ear, tiny letter Δ Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ Eagle, with closed wings, standing left on thunderbolt; to left, monogram of ΔΑ. Svoronos 190, pl. VII, 19 = BMC 85. Toned and most attractive. Very minor flan crack, otherwise, good extremely fine.

The Ptolemaic currency reform culminated c. 305/300 by Ptolemy I’s replacement of his tetradrachms bearing a portrait of Alexander with those displaying his own head. This was the first true portrait of one of Alexander’s successors and was startlingly realistic. The tiny letter Δ found in his hair behind the ear is the initial of the master-engraver who designed the coin.