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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 92. Estimate CHF65000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF54000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ARGOLIS, Argos. Circa 370-350 BC. Stater (Silver, 11.99 g 5). Head of Hera to right, her hair flowing down the back of her neck, wearing stephane ornamented with palmettes, earring and necklace of pearls. Rev. ΑRΓΕΙΩΝ Two dolphins swimming in a circle to left; between them, Corinthian helmet right between Ε-Μ. BCD Peloponnesos 1066 (this coin). BMC -. A. Löbbecke, Griechische Münzen aus meiner Sammlung IV(ZfN 17, 1890), p. 6 and pl. I, 8 = Traité III, 617 (same dies). Extremely rare, the second example known. Some striking flatness but beautifully toned and struck on a broad flan, extremely fine.

From the BCD Collection, Leu Numismatics 96, 8 May 2007, 1066, and ex Bank Leu 7, 9 May 1973, 184 and Monnaies et Médailles X, 22 June 1951, 282.

Argos only produced a very small number of staters, all of which fall within a rather limited period of time, probably circa 370-350 when both Spartan and Theban domination of the Peloponnesos had fallen away. The Argive issues seem to fall into three groups: a small series at the beginning with head left (as BCD 1058), a main series with compact heads of Hera (as BCD 1061-1065), and a later outlying group (as the present piece), which has a large, elegant and ‘pretty’ head of the goddess, which differs in concept from those on the two preceding groups. Reminiscences of this head can be found on later staters from Crete, thus making it likely that some coins of this type found their way to that island in the purses of returning mercenaries.