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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 107. Estimate CHF50000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF52500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PAPHLAGONIA, Sinope. Circa 330-300 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 17.10 g 12). Head of the city goddess of Sinope to right, wearing mural crown. Rev. ΣΙΝΩΠΕΩΝ - Α/Μ/ΑΡ Apollo seated right on omphalos, holding his lyre with his left hand and holding a plektron with his right. SNG von Aulock 6860 (this coin). Very rare. Beautifully toned and attractive. Some minor striking faults on the reverse, otherwise, extremely fine.

From a Swiss private collection and from the collection of H.S. von Aulock.

Sinope was a Black Sea port that goes back to at least Hittite times. In the 7th century BC it was refounded as a Greek colony by Miletos, and became increasingly prosperous. In the early 4th century BC it was part of the Persian Empire; independent after Alexander, it was captured by Pharnakes I of Pontus in 183 and was made the kingdom’s capital (Mithradates VI was born there). Taken by Lucullus in 77 BC, it was made a colony by Julius Caesar in 47: it remained a Roman and then Byzantine city until its capture by the Seljuks in 1214. The city issued enormous numbers of small value silver coins for trade purposes, but large denominations, as this, were very rarely struck.