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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 7, Lot: 59. Estimate CHF5000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2013. 
Sold For CHF5500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander III ‘the Great’. 336-323 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 16.62 g 1), Mesembria, struck in the time of Mithridates VI, c. 90-early 60s BC. Head of Herakles in lion skin headdress to right. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, holding eagle in his right hand and long scepter in his left; to left, monogram of ΠΑΥ above helmet; below throne, monogram of ΠΥ. Price 1106. With a remarkably bold and attractive head on the obverse. Reverse slightly double struck. Good extremely fine.

From the Mieza collection, ex Tkalec 7 May 2006, 41.

The head of Herakles on the obverse of this coin clearly has the features of an idealized Mithridates VI, as can be seen when it is compared to the Pontic king’s own tetradrachms. The need for large amounts of silver and gold coins to pay for mercenaries during the Mithridatic Wars lead to an enormous amount of coinage - in the style of Alexander (silver) and Lysimachos (gold) since this was what the Celtic and Balkan soldiers preferred.