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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 70, Lot: 417. Estimate $2000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2005. 
Sold For $3350. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PERSIA. Alexandrine Empire. Circa 331-288/7 BC. AV Double Daric (16.65 g). Babylon mint. Struck circa 315-300/298 BC. Persian king or hero in kneeling/running stance right, holding transverse spear and bow; behind, monogram above satrapal cap / Patterned incuse punch. Nicolet-Pierre 11; BMC Arabia 5; cf. SNG Copenhagen 259. VF. Rare. ($2000)

In 331 BC Alexander led his army into the heart of the Achaemenid Empire in Babylonia. The metropolis of Babylon was surrendered by its satrap, Mazaios, whom Alexander rewarded with the local governorship. Alexander made Babylon his royal seat, and there established one of his most important mints, from which a large quantity of regular ‘Alexandrine’ or 'imperial' coinages were struck, including the impressive dekadrachms of circa 327/6 BC. In addition to the ‘imperial' coinages, Babylon also produced a substantial group of local coinages, some of which initially bore the name of Mazaios but continued without the name of a satrap after his death in 328 B.C. Gold in this local coinage was struck in the form of double-darics and darics modeled after the familiar darics of the pre-Alexandrine Persian world. The obverse was borrowed directly from the old Persian darics, though sometimes control marks appear in the fields. The reverse retained the general form of an oblong incuse, but was decorated with geometric patterns generally in the form of wavy stripes.