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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Egyptian Androsphinx

Triton XXI, Lot: 79. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $4000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian. AD 117-138. Æ Drachm (36mm, 28.21 g, 12h). Dated RY 18 (AD 133/134). AVT KAIC TPAIAN A∆PIANOC CЄB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Male androsphinx standing left, wearing Atef crown and ritual beard, with the body of a lion and the head of a crocodile emerging from its chest, and its tail is the Uraeus serpent wearing a solar disk; perched on its back, griffin (Nemesis) seated left, its right forepaw resting on a wheel; [L] IH (date) across upper field. Köln 1132; Dattari (Savio) 2004 (this coin); K&G 32.597; RPC III 5912/14 (this coin); Emmett 1056.18; Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 74 (this coin). Good VF, dark brown patina with traces of green. A wonderful type. Only a small number of mostly well-worn pieces have come across the auction block over the last 20 years, with only one with the androsphinx facing left (CNG 94, lot 928).

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Kölner Münzkabinett 67 (12 November 1997), lot 556; Giovanni Dattari Collection, no. 2004.

This type appears to be rarer than indicated in Emmett, where it is given an “R1” rating. The authors of RPC list sixteen examples, of which thirteen are in either museums or university collections.