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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

380, Lot: 262. Estimate $200.
Sold for $650. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PAMPHYLIA, Aspendos. Circa 212/11-184/3 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30.5mm, 17.03 g, 12h). In the name and types of Alexander III of Macedon. Contemporary imitation. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; in left field, retrograde AΣ above MA monogram. Price 2913, referencing Propontis hoard 100 = ANS inv. 1951.35.57 (same dies); DCA 312. Good VF, lightly toned, slightly off center area of flat strike on reverse. Extremely rare, only the ANS piece published.

From the collection of Will Gordon. Ex Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 95 (4 August 2004), lot 10.

Price speculates that the MA monogram on this issue may be intended to represent the date 31 (Greek form ΛA). At the same time, he also considers that it may be a barbarous issue, imitating the types of Aspendos. Certainly, the style is somewhat divergent from the standard Alexanders of Aspendos, and it is unlikely that an official issue would have a retrograde ethnic. Such retrograde legends are attested on issues from other cities, but none of the large quantity of published pieces from Aspendos from other years exhibits this. Perhaps the most conclusive evidence is in the as-yet unpublished Seleucus III hoard, which is securely dated to c. 225 BC. Some numismatists who have seen the hoard remark that a coin from this issue was present, so a date of year 31 at Aspendos would be impossible.