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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1324. Estimate $3000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $2400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THRACE, Abdera. Circa 500-480 BC. AR Oktadrachm (29.84 gm). Griffin seated left, right paw raised; grape cluster and Ð before / Quadripartite incuse square. May 38 (A32/P36 - this coin listed as specimen a). Toned, good VF. There was a shallow gouge and scratch that extended from 9:00, across the lion's paw, breast and wing that has been expertly repaired, now almost unnoticeable except for a slight color variation. Very rare, only 3 specimens cited by May from 2 die combinations. ($3000)

Ex Frank S. Benson Collection (Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 3-11 February 1909), lot 446 (with the gouge and scratch); Rhoussopoulos Collection (Hirsch Auktion XIII, 15 May 1905), lot 508.

The griffin, a solar hybrid creature and traditionally guardian of the gold of the Hyperboreans of the far north, is in defensive stance warding off attack, this time guarding the silver mines of Abdera. Though 'Abderite' was a byword for stupidity, Abdera boasted a magnificent coinage of the best possible style as well as two famous citizens, Demokritos, the 'laughing philosopher', and Protagoras, the most celebrated of the sophists.