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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
10900168
CNG 109, Lot: 168. Estimate $20000.
Sold for $37500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of LYDIA. Kroisos. Circa 564/53-550/39 BC. AV Stater (16.5mm, 10.76 g). Heavy standard. Sardes mint. Regular issue. Confronted foreparts of lion and bull / Two incuse squares. Berk 2; Le Rider, Naissance, pl. V, 2; Traité I 396; SNG Ashmolean 759; SNG von Aulock 2873–4; BMC 30; Boston MFA 2068–9; Gulbenkian 756. EF, underlying luster, slightly weak strike on bull.


The 'Kroisos' type coinage is one of the most recognizable of all ancient Greek coinage. All of the issues in the bimetallic, gold and silver, series feature the same confronted lion and bull foreparts on the obverse, and two incuse punches (or a single punch in the case of small denominations) on the reverse. It is thought that the series began on a 'heavy' standard, with gold and silver staters of equal weight, around 10.6-10.7 grams, which was later reduced to about 8.17 grams for the gold. More recently, though, studies have shown that coins of both standards circulated together, but that the heavy standard was only used for a relatively short time compared to the light standard, which continued to be used into the Persian period. The Kroiseids have also traditionally been broken down into two stylistic groups, 'realistic' and 'stylized', with hoard evidence suggesting that the former belonged to the time of Kroisos, while the latter were of the time of the Persians.