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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 7, Lot: 130. Estimate CHF4750. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2013. 
Sold For CHF4000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

IONIA, Uncertain. Circa 600-550 BC. Hekte (Electrum, 2.31 g). Lily-shaped ornament (”fleur-de-lis”). Rev. Two irregular incuse squares, one slightly larger than the other. Linzalone 1141 (this coin). Weidauer -. Extremely rare, apparently unique. Struck on an uneven flan, otherwise, about extremely fine.

From the collection of J. Linzalone.

This piece, from an uncertain mint in western Asia Minor, stands almost at the beginning of coinage. The design, with two volutes on either side of a triangular shape and with a rounded shape at the bottom, is immediately reminiscent of the fleur-de-lis, so familiar as a badge of French royalty. It does, however, appear to have been used by the Scythians and Babylonians (among other peoples), and its use here certainly has earlier eastern antecedents. Smaller electrum pieces (1/24 staters, or quarters of the present piece) are also known - as Linzalone 1142.