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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

 
90030118
Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 118. Estimate CHF200000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF290000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ASIA MINOR, Ionia . Uncertain. c. 550. Stater (Electrum, 14.04 g), On the Milesian weight standard. Two rampant lions, heraldically arranged on left and right, standing on their back legs and with their two outer forepaws raised and touching, their two inner forepaws lowered and touching, and their heads reverted; between them, lotos flower. Rev. Incuse square. Coin Hoards II, p. 7 and fig. 1, 5(A Field in Western Thrace = Rosen 149 (this coin). Cf. Babelon I, pp. 71-72, no. 76 = BM Guide pl. I, 13 = K. Regling, Die antike Münze als Kunstwerke (Berlin 1924), pl. I, 7 (very similar but with a different symbol between the lions). Of the greatest rarity, one of only two examples known. About extremely fine.


From the Mieza collection, USA, from the collection of J. Rosen, Monnaies et Médailles 72, 6 October 1987, 71 and ex Bank Leu 13, 29 April 1975, 221.

A wonderful and fascinating coin! The iconography of the opposed lions is very ancient and almost immediately brings the Lion Gate at Mycenae to mind, but there are many other parallels. Where it was minted is uncertain: several commentators have suggested Ionia, especially because it is on the Milesian weight standard, but the lotos blossom has a strong relationship with northern Greece as well (and, of course, this coin was found in Thrace).