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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 73, Lot: 299. Estimate $300. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2006. 
Sold For $1400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

TROAS, Gergis. Circa 480-450 BC. AR Hemidrachm (2.07 g, 6h). Sphinx seated right / Gorgoneion in circular incuse. SNG Copenhagen -; BMC -; SNG München -; Boston MFA 2324 (unattributed); SNG Fitzwilliam 4614 (unattributed). VF, toned, granular surfaces, irregular flan. Extremely rare, apparently the third known.

In the early-mid fifth century BC, Abydos and Kebren used a very similar reverse type on their coinages, paired with their civic badge on the obverse, an eagle (Abydos) and ram’s head (Kebren). Kebren’s coins of this type typically do not include the city ethnic. Likewise, the present coin employs the city’s badge, a sphinx, on the obverse, a stylistically similar gorgoneion on the reverse, and no ethnic. Interestingly, the existence of now three cities in the Troad striking a common coinage suggests that there may have been a monetary alliance or symmachy in existence among them. While it is possible that this coin was minted by another city, the fabric and overall style are consistent with the early coins of Abydos and Kebren. Furthermore, the present coin appeared on the market alongside the following lot, an early coin of Gergis with a clear ethnic.