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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 36. Estimate CHF3000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF7000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of THRACE. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 17.07 g 3), Lysimacheia, struck 297/6-282/1 BC. Diademed head of Alexander the Great to right with horn of Ammon over his ear. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΛΥΣΙΜΑΧΟΥ Athena seated to left on throne, leaning her left elbow on her shield and holding Nike, crowning the king’s name, in her right; behind, transverse spear without point; inner left, lion’s head to left; on throne, monogram. Müller 51. Thompson 16. Bold and impressive with a rather special portrait of distinctive style. Good extremely fine.

From the Patrick H. C. Tan Collection, ex Ttiton VIII, 11 January 2005, 265.

The reverses of the tetradrachm coinage of Lysimachos from Lysimacheia have one rather interesting particularity: Athena’s spear very seldom has a pointed spearhead! Normally she seems to be just holding a long pole, as if she were resting after having competed in the pole vault in some divine version of the Olympics. Or is it possible that the Thracian die cutters thought giving Athena a pointed spear might make her too dangerous?