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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 8, Lot: 156. Estimate CHF3750. 
Closing Date: Monday, 21 October 2013. 
Sold For CHF11000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ISLANDS off ATTICA, Aegina. Circa 350-338 BC. Stater (Silver, 21mm, 11.96 g). Α Ι Tortoise seen from above. Rev. Incuse square divided by skew-pattern into 5 compartments; Ν Ι in the upper two and dolphin swimming upwards in the lower left. BMC 190. Millbank pl. 3, 6. SNG Lockett 1998. Well centered and toned. Some minor cleaning scratches on the reverse, otherwise, about extremely fine.

From the B. in B. Collection, ex Sternberg XIX, 18 November 1987, 161 and from the collection of S. Pozzi, Naville I, 4 April 1921, 1639.

It is usually assumed that the later issues of Aegina, from the 5th century on into the 4th, bear a tortoise rather than a sea turtle because of her loss of any pretension of sea power due to her defeat by Athens. This seems rather illogical, however, since states do not usually commemorate their defeat on their own coinage! On the contrary, this change almost certainly has to do with changes in religious ritual.