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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 73, Lot: 339. Estimate $10000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2006. 
Sold For $16000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

IONIA, Uncertain. Circa 650-600 BC. EL Stater (17.44 g). Samian-Euboeic standard. Plain type. Rough typeless surface / Bipartite incuse square punch. Triton VIII, lot 438 (same punches). VF. Extremely rare, the second known.

This coin is from a subgroup within plain type series of electrum characterized by a small bipartite incuse square punch, rather than the traditional double incuse square punch. The first recorded example from this group was a third stater that appeared in Berk BBS 135 (10 December 2003), lot 4 (referenced to Boston MFA 1749, a coin from the usual double incuse subgroup). Although the plain type series is traditionally attributed to an uncertain mint in Ionia, Berk suggests that this may be an issue from Samos, whose archaic issues often exhibit an incuse bisected by a thick band. Of particular interest is that all known coins of this group are struck with the same reverse punch, suggesting a short multi-denominational issue. In addition to the Berk coin, the other previously known coins are a stater, hemistater, and third stater in Triton VIII (lots 438-440, respectively), and a hemistater in CNG 69 (lot 428).