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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 8, Lot: 85. Estimate CHF5500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 21 October 2013. 
Sold For CHF7000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of MACEDON. Philip II. 359-336 BC. Stater (Gold, 18mm, 8.64 g 1), Kolophon, struck under Philip III, BC 323-317, but probably before 319. Laureate head of Apollo to right, but with the features of Alexander III. Rev. ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ ΠΑ below right, tripod. Le Rider pls. 90, 16 and 93, 26. SNG Alpha Bank 260. Thompson Philip p. 58 and pl. VI, 12. Rare and toned. Minor marks, otherwise, extremely fine.

From a northern European collection, ex LHS 103, 2 May 2009, 72 and Bank Leu 20, 25 April 1978, 73.

This issue, struck in Kolophon and in Magnesia from a single obverse die that was used by both mints, was produced during the short reign of Philip III Arrhidaios and is one of the most exciting of all the posthumous staters in the name of Philip II. The head on this coin is clearly that of a real person, not just an ideal head designed to represent Apollo; the features are so distinctive, in fact, that it has been identified as a true portrait of Alexander III. Why this should have happened when and where it did is unknown, but the coin’s beauty and importance has made it one of the most desirable of all the gold staters struck in the name of Philip II. It should be noted that in LHS 103 this coin was dated to c. 290-285, but no explanation was given for such an unexpected date; in fact it was a misprint.