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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXI, Lot: 216. Estimate $750.
Sold for $1500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Philip I. AD 244-249. Potin Tetradrachm (23mm, 13.43 g, 12h). Dated RY 4 (AD 246/247). A K M IOV ΦΙΛ IΠΠΟC ЄVCЄB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Nilus seated left on rocks, holding a reed with his right hand and a cornucopia with his left; behind the rock, hippopotamus to right; before Nilus, Euthenia advancing right, holding a wreath in her extended right hand and two grain ears with her left hand; L ∆ (date) in exergue. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 10366; K&G 74.71 (citing the specimen in Auctiones AG Auction 26, lot 470 = Dattari 10366); Emmett 3503.4 (R5 – citing Curtis 1361); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 218 (this coin). VF, dark green to black patina with lighter green highlights. Extremely rare, with possibly only three known specimens: this coin, the Dattari coin, and the Curtis example.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Numismatik Lanz 74 ((20 November 1995), lot 714.

As described above, there are possibly only three known specimens for this extremely rare reverse type of Philip I. It is possible that this coin is also the Col. Curtis coin, but in his book, he describes the reverse as “Nilus seated & Euthenia standing; Nilus to l., holds cornucopia & reed, crocodile by side; Euthenia to r., holds wreath in r. hand; in ex. L ∆ (unpublished type).” The key difference is the “crocodile by side,” which if correct, then it is not the same coin, nor for the sake of accuracy, the same type. It is also possible that Curtis just erred in his description, using the ubiquitous crocodile versus the lesser seen hippopotamus when describing this coin type.