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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

 
90020112
Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 112. Estimate CHF7500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF6250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Ionia or Lydia, Uncertain mint. Early 5th century BC. Drachm (Silver, 4.37 g). Wolf, eating bunch of grapes held by his right paw, standing to left on base composed of a horizontal row of pearls between two linear borders. Rev. Quadripartite incuse square. Apparently unpublished and probably unique. A fresh and attractive coin. Nearly extremely fine.


While naturalistic, this depiction is surely taken from some local myth, such as the famous tale of the fox and the grapes by Aesop. The fact that Aesop actually came from the area of Asia Minor where this coin was presumably struck (Aesop is closely connected with both Samos and Lydia), and that he lived from the late 7th through the mid 6th century (possibly circa 620-564), makes it very likely that there is a connection between this coin and the cultural milieu that gave rise to Aesop’s fables.