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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1484. Estimate $5000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $6000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SYRIA, Seleukid Kings. Antiochos I. 280-261 BC. AR Tetradrachm (16.94 gm). Magnesia ad Sipylum mint. Diademed head right / BASILEWS right, ANTIOXOY left, nude Herakles seated left on rock, lion's skin draped over rock, holding club on ground in right hand, left hand at his side; two monograms in exergue. SNG Spaer -; Newell, WSM, 1456 (A1/P-); Houghton, CSE, 625. EF, just a hint of light porosity, perfectly centered, exceptional style. Very rare and the finest known of the type! ($5000)

While attributing this coinage to Magnesia ad Sipylum, Newell notes (WSM pg. 273) that the engraver of this splendid obverse die, known to Newell from just a single example, was surely the same artist who engraved a small number of superb portraits at Smyrna (WSM 1493-4). Newell further points out that this is one of the earliest issues of the weary Herakles type, which was introduced towards the close of Antiochos I’s reign. The significance of the design is uncertain but may reflect the personal situation of the aging Antiochos, resting like Herakles after many labors.