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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 335. Estimate $20000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004. 
Sold For $26000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CYPRUS, Salamis. Evagoras II. 361-351 BC. AV Stater (8.21 gm). Persic standard. Lion standing left on ground line; eagle perched left on its back, wings closed, looking back / EUA, Archer standing right, quiver on shoulder, holding notched arrow and about to draw bow. Unique and unpublished. Cf. BMC Cyprus pl. XXIV, 11 = Traité pl. CXXVIII, 5 (same obverse die but with a star added to the left of the eagle, and completely different reverse with bust of Aphrodite). Near EF, a few minor marks, well centered. [See color enlargement on plate 4] ($20,000)

Evagoras II, the namesake of his illustrious grandfather Evagoras I, succeeded his father Nikokles upon the latter’s assassination in 361 BC. Evagoras reigned for ten years but was expelled by his subjects in 351 BC after refusing to support a revolt against the Persians. He found refuge in Caria and was appointed satrap by the Persian king Artaxerxes III. In 350 BC, under instructions from Artaxerxes, the Carian satrap Hidrieus and Evagoras invaded Cyprus to reinstall Evagoras as King. The expedition failed and Artaxerxes then appointed Evagoras as king of Sidon. He apparently abused this appointment and was forced to flee to Cyprus, where he was captured and executed circa 346 BC.

A total of five gold staters of Evagoras II were previously known, of three different varieties, and with the following designs:

Obverse: Lion standing left on ground line; eagle perched on its back, wings closed, looking back; star to left; sometimes BA.
Reverse: EUA, bust of Aphrodite facing right or left.

The five previously known staters are as follows:

1. Florence = BMC pl. XXIV, 11 = Traité pl. CXXVIII, 5.
2. Münzen und Medaillen 66 (22-23 October 1984), lot 277.
3. Leu 30 (28 April 1982), lot 199 = Hess-Leu (12 April 1962), lot 339 = Kraay & Hirmer, pl. 165, 679.
4. Glasgow = Hunterian II, 563, 2, pl. 61, 14.
5. Munich = BMC pl. XXIV, 10.

The present stater is struck from the same obverse die as nos. 1 and 2 above, but before the star was added in the field. The reverse of the present piece is a previously unknown design for Evagoras, depicting an archer about to draw his bow, instead of the bust of Aphrodite.