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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 89. Estimate CHF20000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF22000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ATTICA, Athens. Circa 467-465 BC. Drachm (Silver, 4.30 g 10). Head of Athena to right, wearing crested Attic helmet adorned with three olive leaves over the visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl. Rev. ΑΘΕ Owl standing to right, head facing; behind, olive spray. SNG Munich 42-43. Starr Group II C, 89. Svoronos Pls. 8, 38 and 9, 30. Rare, especially in this condition. Nicely toned and struck in high relief. Extremely fine.

From the Z collection, Switzerland.

The early drachms from the Starr groups, c. 479-454, are surely the most beautiful drachms ever produced by the Athenian mint. The heads of Athena can be little masterpieces - like this one, which is close to the heads on the famous dekadrachms - and the owls are particularly lively looking. One problem is that they circulated for quite a long time and now tend to be usually found no better than very fine in condition. As such, this lovely piece, in extremely fine and in high relief, is nothing short of exceptional.