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CNG Feature Auction 114

Lot nuber 364

KINGS of CAPPADOCIA. Ariarathes III. Circa 230-220 BC. Æ (19.5mm, 6.14 g, 12h). Uncertain mint (Tyana?).

CNG Feature Auction 114
Lot: 364.
 Estimated: $ 500

Greek, Bronze

Sold For $ 1 600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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KINGS of CAPPADOCIA. Ariarathes III. Circa 230-220 BC. Æ (19.5mm, 6.14 g, 12h). Uncertain mint (Tyana?). Head right, wearing bashlyk / Herm of goddess, holding branch and palm, supported by two sphinxes, seated back-to-back, below; ΔΣ API to left, ANIΣA/ΔΩ in two lines to right. Simonetta 8; Simonetta, Coins –; HGC 7, 801 var. (legends). Dark green patina, minor double strike. VF. Extremely rare, Simonetta notes only two examples, in the BM and Berlin; none in CoinArchives, thus possibly the only example in private hands.

This issue is often mistakenly attributed to Zariadres of Sophene (cf. Nercessian, Coinage 30, and Bedoukian, Coinage 18), who has no known coins (see Kovacs p. 4, and F. Kovacs in Armenian Numismatic Journal XXX.3 [2004], 17 and 19). This issue is very similar to another that has the same types, but different legends. The other issue was struck in Tyana, whose ethnic appears on the coins, so it is possible that this coin was also struck there. Simonetta notes that the ΔΣ preceding Ariarathes’s name on the left side legend possibly stands for a title synonymous with ‘dynast’ or ‘satrap’, implying that it was struck during the early part of his reign, when he was ruling alongside his father, Ariaramnes. This is likely correct, as the ΔΣ is present on other issues (cf., e.g., HGC 7, 800), but never appears on coins that have the royal title, BAΣIΛEΩΣ. The interpretation of the right-side legend, though, remains unclear; perhaps it refers to the goddess depicted on the reverse, whose identity also remains unknown.

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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