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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 10, Lot: 47. Estimate CHF11250. 
Closing Date: Sunday, 17 May 2015. 
Sold For CHF9500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

IONIA, Magnesia ad Maeandrum. Archepolis, c. 459 BC. Trihemiobol (Silver, 8mm, 1.03 g 10). [ ]- Diademed head of Zeus to right, with pointed beard. Rev. Head of an eagle to left, shown horizontally across a lozenge-shaped incuse square bordered by dots. Hauck & Aufh�user 19, 21 March 2006, 119. Noll� & Wenninger p. 58, fig a. Extremely rare. Toned and with a remarkably fine portrait of Zeus (possibly a disguised portrait of Archeopolis, or even Themistokles). Flan crack and minor wear, otherwise, nearly extremely fine.

Ex Numismatica Genevensis 6, 30 November 2010, 89.

This coin is a memento of a particularly interesting period of Athenian 5th century history. Themistokles was one of the great Athenian heroes: he had always supported Athenian naval power, and it was his demand that Athens build a great fleet in 483 that led to the Athenian victory over the Persians at Salamis. His political enemies engineered his ostracism from Athens in 471 and he subsequently fled to Asia Minor where he was made governor of Magnesia by Artaxerxes I, the king of Persia. After his death it seems that his family continued to hold power in Ionia, and it appears that this very rare coin was struck by Archepolis, who was one of Themistokles� sons. The family was given a stipend by the Magnesians: some 600 years later Plutarch reports meeting a descendant of Themistokles in Athens, who still received an income from Magnesia.