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Triton XXIII – Session One – Greek Coinage Part I

Lot nuber 323

TROAS, Abydos. Late 6th-early 5th centuries BC. EL Stater (18.5mm, 14.13 g). Lydo-Milesian standard.


Triton XXIII – Session One – Greek Coinage Part I
Lot: 323.
 Estimated: $ 20 000

Greek, Electrum

Sold For $ 42 500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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TROAS, Abydos. Late 6th-early 5th centuries BC. EL Stater (18.5mm, 14.13 g). Lydo-Milesian standard. Eagle standing left, head right, on dotted ground line; to left, dolphin downward; floral symbol to right / Incuse square, roughly bisected by a thick line, with each section containing irregular marks. S. Marchand, “Electrum Coinage of the Ionian Revolt: the Complete Series of Abydos” in M.C. Caltabiano, ed., XV International Numismatic Congress, Taoromina 2015, Proceedings, I (Rome, 2017), A5 = SNG München 1 = Baldwin, Electrum, pl. II, 4 = Traité I 350 = Head, HN, p. 538 = B. V. Head, “Metrological Notes on Ancient Electrum Coins” in NC 1875, p. 265, pl. VII, 7 (same obv. die); otherwise unpublished. Minor die rust. Near EF. Extremely rare, one of two known, and the only one not in a public collection.

From the Jonathan P. Rosen Collection. Ex Roma XII (29 September 2016), lot 233.

Although Marchand placed this issue among those attributed to the Ionian Revolt, there are differences from the others, such as the form of the incuse and the addition of subsidiary symbols, that makes such an attribution unlikely. The cataloger of the Roma sale preferred to place this issue before the others, which is most likely, but not certain. Marchand warned that the posture of the eagle, with its head reverted, was unlike all other issues attributed to Abydos, but if this coinage was the first issued by the city, which would be likely, such a change in style after this coinage would not be unreasonable. Moreover, Marchand did not note that the dolphin was used as a subsidiary symbol on many issues of Abydos, often in the exact placement as here (see, e.g., SNG von Aulock 1440 and Gorny & Mosch 211, lot 306), as well as on the Alexander types issued there (see, e.g., Price 1524). Thus, this issue may very well serve as the key link between the eagle type electrum and the later silver and gold coinage of Abydos.

The final winners of all Triton XXIII lots will be determined at the live public sale that will be held on 14-15 January 2020. Triton XXIII – Session One – Greek Coinage Part I will be held Tuesday morning, 14 January 2020 beginning at 9:00 AM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and in person at the public auction, 22.50% for all others.