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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 37. Estimate CHF20000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF25000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Thrace, Abdera. Circa 411/0-386/5 BC . Tetradrachm (Silver, 12.83 g 12), Apollas, circa 367 (this date is according to Chryssanthaki, but it is surely too late). Griffin rearing up to left Rev. ΕΠΙ ΑΠΟΛΛΑΔΟΣ Apollo, nude but for his laurel wreath and a chlamys over his shoulders, walking slowly to left, holding, in his left hand, a laurel branch over his left shoulder, and, in his right, a patera; above left, a small figure of Nike is alighting on his right arm and pouring a libation from an oinochoe into the phiale Apollo holds in his right hand. May, Abdera 349. Extremely rare, the finest example of this rare type known. A splendid coin of superb classical style. Attractively toned, extremely fine.

From the Z collecttion, Switzerland..

This superb coin bears a type that is very reminiscent of the Apollo found on the archaic staters of Kaulonia; but here, rather than a daimon running on Apollo’s outstretched arm we have Nike alighting on it. Nike is, in fact, bearing a small pitcher filled with wine, which she helpfully pours out into the phiale held in Apollo’s hand. Once filled, Apollo will pour it out as a libation; perhaps to himself!

As with many ancient cities, Abdera used a constant type as its city badge (in this case the griffin) while allowing the magistrate in charge of the issue to choose whatever he wished as the sign of his issue: here we see a late Archaic, early Classical statue of Apollo, surely chosen because of the magistrate’s own name: Apollas.