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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Exceptional Plato Tetradrachm

Triton XV, Lot: 1348. Estimate $50000.
Sold for $42000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Plato Epiphanes. Circa 145-140 BC. AR Tetradrachm (32mm, 16.92 g, 12h). Diademed and draped bust right; bead-and-reel border / BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΠΛΑΤΩΝOΣ, Helios standing in facing quadriga, holding long scepter in right hand and reins in left; MT monogram to right. Cf. Bopearachchi 1A; Bopearachchi & Rahman 288 var. (monogram to left); Qunduz 388 var. (same); SNG ANS 627 (same obv. die); MIG Type 198a (same obv. die as first illustrated coin). Good VF, areas of light toning. Good quality metal. Extremely rare and better than the published examples.

Not much is known about Plato Epiphanes apart from his coinage. He may have been a relative of Eukratides I and his portrait shows that he was a middle-aged man at the time. Bopearachchi cites one tetradrachm (Série 2A) with a possible date (MZ = “year 47”) in the exergue. Possibly based on the Indo-Greek era, which began in 186 BC, this possible date would suggest that Plato was ruling in 140 BC and supports the dating proposed by Bopearachchi, who noted that none of Plato’s coins are found at Aï Khanoum, which had been destroyed during the reign of Eukratides I.