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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 209. Estimate CHF2500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF24000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Berenike II, wife of Ptolemy III. Circa 244/3-221 BC. Quarter Drachm (Gold, 1.07 g 12), Alexandria, after c. 241 BC. Diademed, draped and veiled bust of Berenike II to right, wearing pearl necklace. Rev. ΒΕΡΕΝΙΚΗΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ Cornucopiae bound with a fillet; to left and right, six-pointed star. Svoronos 982. Very rare. A lovely piece with a fine portrait. Minor marks and struck from a slightly rusty obverse die, otherwise, good extremely fine.

From the Lighthill collection.

Berenike II was the daughter of Magas of Kyrene and was born in c. 267/6. She first married a son of Demetrios Poliorketes known as Demetrios the Fair who wed her in order to become king of Kyrene. He was, however, through a complicated concatenation of circumstances, actually the uncle of Berenike’s mother Apama II, with whom, as it turned out, he fell in love. Naturally this annoyed Berenike who promptly stabbed him to death while, at the same time, remonstrating with her mother. Berenike then married Ptolemy III in 246 and had a happy marriage (she kept him away from her mother) until his death in 222. She was then murdered by her son Ptolemy IV in 221. This coin was part of a whole series struck in honor of Berenike: it included gold dekadachms, pentadrachm, 2 1/2 drachms, drachms, hemidrachms and quarter drachms (as this one).