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CNG Feature Auction 115

Lot nuber 92

THRACO-MACEDONIAN REGION, Uncertain (Ennea Hodoi?). Circa 500-480 BC. AR Didrachm – Stater (20mm, 7.81 g).

CNG Feature Auction 115
Lot: 92.
 Estimated: $ 750

Greek, Silver

Sold For $ 450. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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THRACO-MACEDONIAN REGION, Uncertain (Ennea Hodoi?). Circa 500-480 BC. AR Didrachm – Stater (20mm, 7.81 g). Bull standing left, head right; below, calf suckling right / Quadripartite incuse square. HPM pl. 18, 14–6; AMNG III/2, –; HGC 3, –; SNG ANS –; Rosen 159 (same dies). Lightly toned, some roughness, test cut on obverse. VF. Very rare.

This charming agrarian type, the cow suckling a calf, has been variously attributed to different Macedonian cities and tribes. There appear to be four distinct groups of this coinage. All four have on their obverse a bull being suckled by a calf, with each standing either left or right. The first group has an obverse with 1-3 pellets above the bull and an ornamented thick ground line, and a reverse with a diagonally-divided incuse square (HPM pl. XVIII, 3-13 and SNG ANS 923-5). The second group has nothing above the bull on the obverse, and two reverse varieties, a perpendicularly divided incuse square (HPM pl. XVIII, 14-16 and Rosen 159) or a large rosette pattern within an incuse circle (HPM pl. XVIII, 17-19 and Rosen 160). Both of these reverse types are certainly from the same mint, as there is an obverse die link (HPM pl. XVIII, 14 and 17). The third group of this coinage has an EN inscribed above the bull and no ground line on the obverse, and a perpendicularly divided incuse square on the reverse (HPM pl. XVIII, 21-4). The fourth group has nothing above the bull and no ground line on the obverse, but has a radiate border. There are two reverse varieties to this group, one with a perpendicularly divided incuse square with two of its quarters further divided diagonally into fourths (HPM pl. XVIII, 20), and the other has the facing head of a gorgoneion (SNG ANS 69).

From the time of Svoronos, group 1 has been given to the Bottiaei, but the reasoning is tenuous. Based on the incuse type, weight standard, and obverse iconography, Svoronos established that these coins must originate in the Chalkidian region. While this conclusion is corroborated by the limited number of finds of these coins, his attribution to the Bottiaei is simply based on the fact that it was the sole remaining location to which he had not assigned any other coins. As for the other groups (2-4), they have usually been attributed to either Aineia (HPM and ANS) or an uncertain mint in the Thraco-Macedonian region (Rosen). As an alternative, E.S.G. Robinson has suggested that the issues inscribed EN (group 3) belong to Ennea Hodoi, the later Amphipolis (cf. SNG Ashmolean 2264 = Kraay ACGC 560). Likewise, the presence of the gorgoneion on group 4 coins may indicate an issue of Neapolis. If Neapolis did issue coins of this type, it may also be responsible for the group 3 coins. It seems that there were two locations called Neapolis, one on the coast and one inland, and the legend EN could be read as "Interior Neapolis", with the E abbreviating some form of Greek ENDON. This theory would place the group 4 coinage at coastal Neapolis and the group 3 coinage at the inland city. At present, while an attribution of all these groups to the Chalkidian region is undisputed, an attribution to any specific tribe or city is uncertain.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 115 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 16-17 September 2020. This lot is in Session 1, which begins 16 September 2020 at 9 AM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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