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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 51. Estimate CHF6000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF15500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THRACO-MACEDONIAN REGION, Uncertain mint. Circa 480 BC. Drachm (Silver, 4.32 g). Rider, wearing Persian bonnet and holding bow, on horse galloping to right. Rev. Incuse square, diagonally divided. Seemingly unpublished, but cf. Tkalec AG, 28 October 1984, 63 for a very similar obverse, probably by the same engraver. Of the greatest rarity, apparently unique. Toned as found and with slightly crystalized surfaces. Good very fine.

This is an extraordinary coin that is only paralleled by the equally rare piece that is cited above. That shows the same horseman, undoubtedly a Scythian since he wears his characteristic hat and carries a bow, but with a running boar on the reverse. That is clearly a scene of two parts with a hunter and his prey. The present piece just shows the beginning of the scene: perhaps the desire to illustrate the whole ‘story’ impelled the mint authority to authorize the replacement of the usual incuse square with an actual type? In any event, the source of these coins seems to be Macedonia, which makes the use of a ‘Persian’ or eastern horseman, understandable. The Attic standard weight, however, implies that the coin was issued after the Persian defeat in the war with Athens.