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Feature Auction
CNG Feature Auction 117

Lot nuber 351

BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Plato Epiphanes. Circa 145-140 BC. AR Tetradrachm (32.5mm, 16.92 g, 12h).


CNG Feature Auction 117
Lot: 351.

Closing Date: May 20 2021 11:00 ET

Oriental Greek, Silver

Estimate: $ 7 500

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BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Plato Epiphanes. Circa 145-140 BC. AR Tetradrachm (32.5mm, 16.92 g, 12h). Diademed and draped bust right; bead-and-reel border / BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΠΛΑΤΩΝOΣ, Helios standing in facing quadriga, holding long scepter in right hand and reins in left; MT monogram to left. Cf. Bopearachchi 1A; Bopearachchi & Rahman 288; Qunduz 388; SNG ANS 628; MIG Type 198a (second example illustrated); HGC 12, 165; Triton II, lot 612 (same obv. die). Toned, hairline die breaks and some die wear on obverse, slightly double struck. Near EF. Very rare.

Not much is known about Plato Epiphanes apart from his coinage. He was likely a son of Eukratides I, along with Eukratides II and Heliokles I, posssibly the eldest, as his portrait apparently shows him to be a middle-aged man at the time of his accession. Bopearachchi cites one tetradrachm (Série 2A) with a possible date (MZ = “year 47”) in the exergue. Possibly based on the Indo-Greek era, which began in 186 BC, this possible date would suggest that Plato was ruling in 140 BC and supports the dating proposed by Bopearachchi, who noted that none of Plato’s coins are found at Aï Khanoum, which had been destroyed during the reign of Eukratides I. Frank Holt notes that Eukratides I is known to have been killed by one of his sons, who supposedly desecrated his father’s corpse by driving repeatedly over it with a chariot. Based on the highly unusual reverse of Plato’s rare coins, which depict Helios in a facing quadriga, Holt suggested that Plato might be the parricide and his coin reverses a sly allusion to his deed.

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 2, which begins 19 May 2021 at 2 PM 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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