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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 97. Estimate CHF15000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF34000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MESSENIA, Messene. Circa 183-182 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 16.79 g 9). Diademed head of Demeter to right, wearing diadem formed of pearls and wheat ears, and a pearl earring. Rev. ΜΕΣΣΑΝΙΩΝ Zeus Ithomatas standing right, hurling thunderbolt with his right hand and with an eagle with spread wings perching on the wrist of his outstetched left arm; below his left arm, ΣΩΣΙΚΑ above a tripod. BCD Peloponnesos 710 = de Nanteuil 978 = Grandjean 86b (this coin). Very rare. Toned. Good very fine.

From the Spina collection and the BCD Collection, LHS 96, 8 May 2006, 710, ex Bank Leu 36, 7 May 1985, from the collectios of H. Nanteuil and S. Pozzi, Naville I, 4 April 1921, 1885.

This coin was struck during a short-lived revolt of Messene against its forced membership in the Achaian League. Unlike other revolt coinages, which were withdrawn and melted down, the rare Messenian tetradrachms must have continued to circulate since the vast majority known today are quite worn; this is, in fact, one of the finest in existance.