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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 153. Estimate $200. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $140. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of THRACE. Lysimachos, as Satrap. 323-305 BC. AR 1/5th Tetradrachm (2.33 gm). Amphipolis(?) mint. Struck by Kassander, circa 317/5-305 BC. Head of Apollo right, wearing taenia / LU, youth on horseback right; spearhead right and forepart of lion below. Thompson 3; Price 434; SNG Copenhagen 1110 (Macedon, Alexander IV); Müller pl. 1, 1. Toned, near VF, light porosity. Very rare. ($200)

Although these coins have traditionally been attributed to the beginning of Lysimachos' reign as king of Thrace, more recent scholarship has persuasively placed them early in the period of his satrapy. Price, in his study of the coinage of Alexander the Great and Philip III, discounts the prior dating (circa 306/5 BC) and mint attribution (Lysimachia), and argues for an issue placed at Amphipolis, circa 320-315 BC. During this time, Lysimachos was constantly waging war against the Thracian tribes and likely needed coinage for troop payments. The only source for him, at that time, would be his close friend Kassander, who contolled the mint at Amphipolis. This placement and dating conform well to the current scholarship regarding the minting of Philip II-type 1/5th tetradrachms, and is closely corroborated by numismatists and historians alike. For further background information, see, e.g., Price, pp. 130 and 197; AMNG III, pg. 171; and H. Lund, Lysimachus: A Study in Early Hellenistic Kingship, Routledge, 1992, pg. 57.