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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 101. Estimate CHF130000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF110000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ARKADIA, Megalopolis. c. 320s-c. 275. Quarter Stater (Gold, 2.04 g 6). Horned head of Pan to left. Rev. Monogram of AR in outline form; to left, thunderbolt; below, syrinx. Unique and unpublished, but cf. BCD Peloponnesos 1531.2, a silver obol struck from the same obverse die but with the back of the head recut in the die at the mint. Good very fine.

From the Mieza collection, USA, and reportedly once in the collection of Paul Lambros (1819-1887).

This piece was apparently found in teh Peloponnesos sometime during the second half of the 19th century and then went into the collection of the famous Greek antiquary and numismatist, Jean Paul Lambros. His collection was sold by Jacob Hirsch in Munich (Hirsch XIX, 9 November 1910), but a number of coins were held back by the family and subsequently disposed of privately during the 1930s. This is one of those pieces. Precisely why it was issued, and how it fits in with the normal coinage of Megalopolis struck in the name of the Arkadian League, is quite uncertain. Special and very limited issues of gold coins were produced by a number of ancient cities, especially during times of crisis (as with the late 5th century issues of Akragas); unfortunately we do not know enough about the history of Megalopolis to be able to identify an occasion in the late 4th or early 3rd century BC that could have led to the production of this coin. In addition, other ancient gold coins seem to have been made as prestige gifts to be given away in order emphasize the magnificence and wealth of the donor responsible for their production (for example, a wealthy citizen newly elected to a senior magistracy).