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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 9, Lot: 137. Estimate CHF20000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 20 October 2014. 
Sold For CHF18000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of BITHYNIA. Nikomedes I, c. 280-250 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 29mm, 16.91 g 12), Nikomedia, after c. 264/260. Diademed head of Nikomedes I to right. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΝΙΚΟΜΗΔΟΥ Warrior goddess (perhaps Bendis) seated on boulder to left, wearing short tunic and holding two spears with her upraised right hand and sword in scabbard with her left; leaning against the boulder below her left arm, highly decorated shield; behind, dead tree branch; to left in inner field, monogram of ΙΔ; at far left, Nike striding left. Davis 186 (same obverse die). Mørkholm, EHC, 414 (same obverse die). Waddington 1 and pl. XXIX, 2 (same dies). Of great rarity. With a powerful portrait of an extremely forceful king. Has been cleaned, but with some remaining deposits, some porosity and minor marks, otherwise, good very fine.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 78, 26 May 2014, 277.

For an unimprovable discussion of Nikomedes I, see the erudite note to NAC 78, 277. The king’s head on this coin is absolutely remarkable and recalls the portrait issues from the Baktrian kingdom in its veristic idealism, as well as the near contemporary, but finer, portrait tetradrachms of Seleukos I from Pergamon. That this obverse die was made by a master engraver is quite clear - it should be compared with the die for another piece (CNG 69, 2005, 342); clearly made by a much less gifted worker.