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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 73, Lot: 121. Estimate $5000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2006. 
Sold For $12000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MACEDON, Sermyle. Circa 500-470 BC. AR Tetradrachm (17.07 g). SERMVLIAN (S is of 3-bar form), helmeted warrior riding right, preparing to cast a spear; four pellets around / Quadripartite incuse square. Unpublished. Good VF, a few small marks, minor porosity.. Possibly unique.

This exceptional coin introduces a new type to Sermyle’s coinage. Typically the tetradrachms from Sermyle have on their obverse a bare-headed or nude warrior on horseback. Some of these have a single, large pellet in the field. This warrior on this coin wears a crested Attic helmet, and there are four pellets around him. While this type is not known on issues of Sermyle, particular didrachms of the Ichnai have a similar warrior with two pellets (SNG Ashmolean 2266 and SNG Lockett 1322). As discussed by Raymond in her work on the regal Macedonian series, and concurred by later numismatists (e.g. C. Lorber. “The Goats of ‘Aigai’” in pour Denyse) it is known that the tribes and cities in the Thraco-Macedonian region often struck an “alliance” coinage that had concurrent symbols and attributes for their types. As such, it is possible that the present coin and these particular Ichnai coins were part of one of these alliance issues, and the pellets denoted their denomination.