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CNG Feature Auction 117

Lot nuber 263

SELEUKID EMPIRE. Seleukos I Nikator & Antiochos I Soter. Joint Reign, 294-281 BC. AV Stater (16mm, 7.06 g, 6h). In the types of Alexander III of Macedon. Indian standard. Aï Khanoum mint. Struck circa 284-280 BC.

CNG Feature Auction 117
Lot: 263.
 Estimated: $ 30 000

Greek, Coin-in-Hand Video, Gold

Sold For $ 40 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

SELEUKID EMPIRE. Seleukos I Nikator & Antiochos I Soter. Joint Reign, 294-281 BC. AV Stater (16mm, 7.06 g, 6h). In the types of Alexander III of Macedon. Indian standard. Aï Khanoum mint. Struck circa 284-280 BC. Head of Athena right, wearing hoop earring, necklace, and triple-crested Corinthian helmet adorned with a coiled serpent / ΣEΛEYKOY KAI ANTIOXOY, Nike standing left, holding wreath in extended right hand, cradling stylis in left arm; in left field, Δ-in-circle above horned helmet or head of elephant left(?). Unpublished, but cf. SC 280.3a for a similar silver drachm also struck on the Indian standard. Lightly toned, a few small scrapes and faint doubling on obverse, minor flan flaw on reverse. EF. Unique.

In 294 BC, Seleukos I made his son, Antiochos I, co-ruler. At the time, his domains stretched from Asia Minor to India, and Seleukos had spent most of the preceding decade in the west, at first fighting against Antigonos I Monophthalmos and later consolidating his gains by founding a number of cities throughout the Levant. This concentration on the west resulted in a degradation of Seleukid authority in the east, which culminated in a nationalist revolt in Persis in 295 BC, which became the first province to secede from the empire. It was likely this event that led Seleukos to elevate his son, whose new remit was to govern the eastern territories as his father's viceroy. Over the next fifteen years, Antiochos reestablished Seleukid authority in Persis, and extended to the Upper Satrapies the policy of consolidation that his father implemented in the west.

During the coregency, many of the mints of the east began to strike coins in the name of Antiochos for at least some issues, while Seleukos's name was retained on others. However, at Aï Khanoum there is a multi-denominational series of silver coins struck on the lighter Indian standard that exceptionally depict the names of both kings (SC 279–282). The present stater, also struck on the Indian standard, is the first, and only known, gold stater for this series, and from the mint of Aï Khanoum during the reign of Seleukos I. This Indian weight standard series is still shrouded in mystery. Its specific purpose has been long debated, but likely has to do with the intended area of circulation and recipient of this coinage; it was probably intended for use in trade that was flowing toward India. However, one question that has not been addressed well is: Why was this the only instance of a coinage with the names of both kings? Certainly, Seleukos's name would be instantly recognizable to an Indian recipient, but his name was already on the issues of Aï Khanoum; it is Antiochos's that was added. Perhaps it was necessary from a diplomatic perspective for promoting Antiochos's position, given that this was apparently a coinage specifically intended for trade outside the Empire? In any case, this is the only instance during Antiochos's viceroyalty where this occurred, and it also is an irrefutable statement confirming the relationship of the two kings, not as senior and junior partners, but as co-rulers.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 117 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 19-20 May 2021. This lot is in Session 1, which begins 19 May 2021 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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