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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 203. Estimate CHF5000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF20000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SELEUKID KINGS of SYRIA. Antiochos I Soter. 281-261 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 17.09 g 12), Sardes, c. 276-272 BC. Diademed and horned head of the deified Seleukos I to right. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ Apollo, nude but for his laurel wreath, seated on omphalos to left, holding bow with his right hand and resting his left on the omphalos; to left an below, monogram. SC 323 2c. WSM 1367. Very rare, and with a remarkably fine portrait of the elderly Seleukos. Toned and boldly struck. About extremely fine.

From the PGB collection, acquired in 1964.

Antiochos I had been joint ruler with his father Seleukos I since 294 and was primarily responsible for the eastern part of the Empire. After his father’s murder he became sole ruler and spent a decade putting down revolts. He also had to face the Galatians who had begun ravaging Asia Minor in 277. Basing himself in Sardes he began his campaign against them in 276, finally defeating them in either 275 or 269/8. While at Sardes Antiochos inaugurated a special coinage that commemorated his deified father, and, thus, emphasized his own legitimacy and position. These coins bore portraits of great power and individuality, which must have been made by artists who were either familiar with Seleukos’ features, or had official sculptural prototypes (or even a death mask). The present piece is a particularly fine example of those rare issues and is, in fact, one of the best known.