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CNG Feature Auction 114

Lot nuber 334

KINGS of LYDIA. Alyattes. Circa 620/10-564/53 BC. EL Trite – Third Stater (13.5mm, 4.74 g). Sardes mint.


CNG Feature Auction 114
Lot: 334.
 Estimated: $ 3 000

Greek, Electrum

Sold For $ 5 500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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KINGS of LYDIA. Alyattes. Circa 620/10-564/53 BC. EL Trite – Third Stater (13.5mm, 4.74 g). Sardes mint. Confronted heads of roaring lions (only the left visible), “sun” on foreheads; WALWEL (in retrograde Lydian) downward between, read from the right; all on plain background / Two square punches. Weidauer Group XVII, 91–2 and 95 var. (orientation of legend); SNG Ashmolean –; CNG E-315, lot 93 (same dies). Toned. VF. Rare.

From the Jonathan P. Rosen Collection.

The lion head/incuse coinage is among the earliest firmly attributed to the Lydian kingdom. While most of the coins are anepigraphic, a small number of them bear the inscription Walwel or Kukalim in Lydian. Although these names likely equate to Alyattes and Gyges, respectively, hoard studies have shown that these coins were not only contemprary with one another, but also with the anepigraphic issues. Thus, while Walwel may refer to the king, Kukalim most likely refers to another member of the royal family or some other high official.

All trites and hektes with the inscription Walwel or Kukalim are struck from obverse dies that are much larger than the respective denominations require. These dies contain two opposing lion heads with the Lydian inscription between, and the coin blanks were struck off-center, in such a way that only one of the lion heads would be visible with the inscription. On the right edge of the obverse of the present coin, one may see the nose and tip of the jaw of the opposing lion head.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 114 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 13-14 May 2020. This lot is in Session 1, which begins 13 May 2020 at 9 AM ET.

UPDATE: As the CNG staff and many of our clients remain under social distancing and other restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CNG 114 will be held as an internet only auction. The sale will take place as scheduled on 13-14 May 2020.

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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