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Artistic Dies

CNG 109, Lot: 215. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $5500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SELEUKID EMPIRE. Antiochos I Soter. 281-261 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30mm, 16.62 g, 12h). Magnesia ad Sipylum mint. Diademed head right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, Herakles seated left on rock draped with lion skin, placing right hand on club set on ground to left, left hand on rock; two monograms in exergue. SC 318c; WSM 1456, dies A1/P– (unlisted rev. die); HGC 9, 129. Good VF, lightly toned, light surface roughness. Struck from highly artistic dies.

From the MNL Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group 99 (13 May 2015), lot 323; Gorny & Mosch 169 (12 October 2008), lot 137; Classical Numismatic Group 72 (14 June 2006), lot 936; Lanz 125 (28 November 2005), lot 448.

In WSM, Newell notes (p. 273) that the engraver of this splendid obverse die, known to Newell from just a single example, was surely the same artist who engraved a small number of superb portraits at Smyrna (WSM 1493-4). Newell further points out that this is one of the earliest issues of the weary Herakles type, which was introduced toward the close of Antiochos I’s reign. The significance of the design is uncertain but may reflect the personal situation of the aging Antiochos, resting like Herakles after many labors.