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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

 
90050179
Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 179. Estimate CHF8500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF11000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MYSIA, Parion. Circa 165-143 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 16.95 g 12). Laureate head of Apollo to right. Rev. ΑΠΟΛΩΝΟΣ ΑΚΤΑΙΟΥ / ΠΑΡΙΑΝΩΝ Apollo, laureate and draped to the waist, holding a laurel branch in his right hand and resting his left on a bow propped on the ground behind; on the left, ΔΙ above flaming altar; on the far left, monogram of ΤΕΥ. From the same obverse die as A. Meadows, Parion in R. Ashton et al, Some Greek Coins in the British Museum, NC 158 (1998) pp. 41-46 and p. 42, 1 = pl. 15, 10, and Numismatica Ars Classica 29, 2005, 29 (those two coins share the same reverse die, which differs from the one used for the present coin). Extremely rare, the only known example from this reverse die. An impressive piece, toned and struck on a very broad flan. Good very fine.


From the PGB collection, acquired in the 1970s.

Beginning in the mid 3rd century the diameters of tetradrachms began to get larger and larger - by the mid 2nd century they had become enormous. Their types, especially the heads of the gods or goddesses who adorned their obverses, are found centered on flans that provide very wide borders, thus giving the coins a very decorative quality. The Hellenistic tetradrachm coinage of Parion is extremely rare and consists of two issues, both with standing figures of Apollo on their reverses but with either a head of Apollo or of Demeter on their obverses. Astonishingly enough, the Apollo/Apollo issues first came to light when the example in the Hunt collection (now in the ANS) appeared in 1991; another, from a Spink sale in 1994, came to the British Museum in 1996. A further two varieties appeared more recently (including a second example of the BM Coin in the 2005 NAC sale). The present coin shares the same obverse die as the BM example but is struck with a reverse die that bears the same monograms though differently placed. The fact that all these Parian Apollo tetradrachms are very distinctly different stylistically indicates that they were all struck from dies cut by different engravers, and were, thus, produced at intervals rather than being struck in a single group. The fact that they are, as a class, extremely rare today indicates that not only were their original numbers small, but that they must have gone out of circulation very rapidly and been melted down.