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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 424. Estimate $2000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $1750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BITHYNIA, Kings of. Prusias II . 182-149 BC. Æ 38mm (36.29 gm). Head of Hermes right, wearing a petasos / BASILEWS right, PROUSIOU left, terminal figure of Hermes facing, head turned slightly right, holding caduceus in left arm, right hand raised to petasos; monogram right; c/m: cornucopiae in incuse rectangle. SNG Copenhagen -; BMC Pontus -; SNG von Aulock -; Laffaille -; Waddington Recueil, pg. 224, 20. Good VF, dark brown patina with a few spots of green encrustation on the obverse. Exceptional and very rare. ($2000)

Ex Bank Leu Auktion 30 (28 April 1982), lot 157; Frank Sternberg Auktion 7 (24-25 November 1977), lot 107.

Prusias II Kynagus (‘dog-leading or huntsman’) was despised by his fellow Greeks for renouncing his alliance with Perseus of Macedon against Rome and appearing before the Senate in 167/6 dressed as a Roman freedman, addressing his audience as‘saviour gods’. His later unsuccessful attempt to invade Pergamene territory ended in his being stoned to death by his own subjects.

The attributes and symbolism of Mercury on this coin must be seen as apotropaic, but in the end did not help this doomed and pathetic king.