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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXI, Lot: 217. Estimate $500.
Sold for $600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Philip I. AD 244-249. Potin Tetradrachm (22mm, 12.11 g, 12h). Dated RY 4 (AD 246/247). A K M IOV ΦΙΛΠΠΟC (sic) ЄVCЄB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Radiate and draped bust of Sarapis-Pantheos right, wearing kalathos with a horn to either side, and the horn of Ammon; before, cornucopia of Nilus; over his right shoulder, trident of Poseidon entwined with serpent of Asklepios; L ∆ (date) across field. Köln 2732; Dattari (Savio) 4916; K&G 74.73; Emmett 3510.4; Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 217 (this coin). Good VF, dark brown surfaces with traces of green. Fine style portrait of Sarapis Pantheos.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group XXXI (9 September 1994), lot 1414.

Sarapis was a syncretic god, combining Hellenistic Greek and Egyptian religious beliefs. His name is of Egyptian origin and derives from a synthesis of Ausar (Greek, Osiris), the Egyptian god of the Underworld, and Hapi (Greek, Apis), a manifestation of the god Ptah. Under the Ptolemies, Sarapis became the chief tutelary god and the subject of a royally-sponsored cult, whose emphasis on an afterlife made the worship of Sarapis one of the more popular mystery cults. His immense popularity soon extended to his creation as Sarapis-Pantheos, a hybrid deity incorporating other divine elements. In the case of the present specimen from the Staffieri collection, he is depicted with the radiate crown of Helios, his own kalathos, the ram’s horn of Ammon, the cornucopia of Nilus, and the trident of Poseidon entwined with the serpent of Asklepios.