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Research Coins: Feature Auction


The Iconic Classical Athens Didrachm
Ex Harald Salvesen Collection

Triton XXI, Lot: 419. Estimate $50000.
Sold for $75000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ATTICA, Athens. Circa 475-465 BC. AR Didrachm (19.5mm, 8.42 g, 8h). Head of Athena right, wearing earring, necklace, and crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig to left, AΘE to right; all but one leaf of olive sprig within incuse square, the totality within incuse circle. Starr Group IV, 143 (O123/R135); Seltman 473 (same dies); Svoronos, Monnaies, pl. 9, 16 & 19 (same dies); HGC 4, 1617 corr. (Starr groups); SNG Copenhagen 30 (same dies); Boston MFA 1602; Hunterian 10; Rhousopoulos 1979 (same dies); K. Schefold, Meisterwerke Griechische Kunst (Basel, 1960), 458 (this coin). Near EF, beautifully toned. Well centered on a broad flan. Very rare, fewer than 50 didrachms of this type (Starr Groups II–IV) known, of which only about a dozen remain in private hands.

Ex New York Sale IV (17 January 2002), lot 157 (purchased by Harold Salvesen); private collection in Basel (per Schefold [1960]).