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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

356, Lot: 119. Estimate $100.
Sold for $95. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MYSIA, Kyzikos(?). Circa 280-250 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30mm, 16.41 g, 12h). Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, with horn of Ammon / Athena Nikephoros seated left, left arm resting on shield, spear in background; TEK monogram to inner left. Müller 528; Meydancikkale 2713; Mektepini 163. VF, toned, rough surfaces.

Seyrig (in Mektepini) placed this issue at Kyzikos, and all later attributions of this issue, including its staters (cf. Dewing 1356) have relied upon his placement. Although Dewing notes that Seyrig’s attribution was based on the high number of Kyzikene coins in the hoard, this is unlikely, as the hoard contained coins from across Asia Minor, and the Lysimachus type tetradrachms were well represented from many different mints. Moreover, in addition to subsidiary monograms and symbols, the Lysimachos type tetradrachms of Kyzikos typically have a long torch that was a badge of the city. This issue has no torch or other symbol signifying the city, and no die links are known between the torch issues and this monogram-only issue. Nonetheless, Seyrig did place this variety before the torch issues, likely based on the much higher degree of wear evident on the representative coin, and the fact that the torch issues appear to have a later style and fabric. If that placement is correct, it it possible that this issue was among the first at Kyzikos, before the civic badge was applied to the dies. The Meydancikkale coin also suggests this, as it, too, shows moderate wear, and the hoard is dated to the 240s BC, and none of the torch issues were found in that hoard. The history of Kyzikos during the Diadoch period is relatively unknown. Although no coins of Lysimachos’ lifetime have been attributed there, it is possible that this issue may have been a lifetime issue. It is also possible that this issue was authorized by Philetairos of Pergamon, under whose influence Kyzikos passed after the death of Lysimachos, and who also reintroduced Alexander type coins at Pergamon in the 280s.