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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 103, Lot: 180. Estimate $300.
Sold for $750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ACHAIA, Patrai. Circa 35 BC. AR Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.30 g, 7h). Damasias, son of Agesilaus, magistrate. Head of Aphrodite right, wearing stephanos / ΔA/MACIAC above Patrai monogram; all within wreath. BCD Peloponnesos 525–8; HGC 5, 57. Near EF, dark iridescent tone, struck from worn dies.

From the estate of Thomas Bentley Cederlind. Ex Spink 223 (26 March 2014), lot 1076.

This coin is from a massive issue that was struck in an apparently hasty manner, as indicated by the relatively crude dies that were often overused. Many of the known examples are poorly struck, another indication of haste. The date of the issue, in the mid-30s BC, suggests that the issue was made in conjunction with Mark Antony’s preparations for his incipient war with Octavian. The head of Aphrodite may also have the features of Cleopatra VII, as many issues in the region at this time used her likeness in an attempt to flatter the wealthy queen (in fact, another issue of Patrai, BCD Peloponnesos 531, was actually struck in the name of Cleopatra).