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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 10, Lot: 31. Estimate CHF4000. 
Closing Date: Sunday, 17 May 2015. 
Sold For CHF3300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of PAEONIA. Patraos, c. 335-315 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 27mm, 12.69 g 11). Laureate head of Apollo to right. Rev. - Paeonian horseman, wearing crested helmet and full armor, galloping right and spearing fallen Persian cavalryman (wearing kybasia and robeslat kausia, and holding a round shield); below horse�s tail, thunderbolt; to right, bunch of grapes. AMNG Pl. XXXVII, 17 (same dies). Cf. Paeonian Hoard 100 ff. (same obverse die). An exceptional and rare variant, struck on a very broad flan. Extremely fine.

Acquired from Tradart in the 1980s, ex Leu 25, 23 April 1980, 120 .

This coin is an unusually fine and attractive example of a very extensive coinage; it stands out from the normal issues by its elegant and well-proportioned head of Apollo (vaguely reminiscent of those from Olynthos) and the quite extraordinary reverse scene. All the coins of this general series show a cavalryman riding down an enemy, but the enemy is not always the same: in some cases he wears Greek armor and a helmet, and in others a flat cap. It has often been assumed that this fallen enemy is Macedonian and, thus, is a reflection of the long struggles that took place between Paeonia and Macedonia. However, at the time this coin was struck Paeonia was allied and subject to Alexander - Patraos� brother Ariston (father of the later king Audoleon) even commanded a troop of Paeonian cavalry in Alexander�s army. In fact, this coin is believed by many to show the moment when Ariston speared the Persian commander Satropates through the throat in a skirmish prior to the battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC (apparently modern day Tel Gomel near Mosul): the fallen warrior�s costume is definitely Persian. For this theory see P. Freeman, Alexander the Great (New York, 2011), p. 173.