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Triton XXIII – Session One – Greek Coinage Part I

Lot nuber 205

KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander III ‘the Great’. 336-323 BC. AV Stater (17mm, 8.59 g, 12h). Tarsos mint. Struck under Balakros or Menes, circa 332/1-327 BC.


Triton XXIII – Session One – Greek Coinage Part I
Lot: 205.
 Estimated: $ 2 000

Greek, Gold

Sold For $ 6 500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander III ‘the Great’. 336-323 BC. AV Stater (17mm, 8.59 g, 12h). Tarsos mint. Struck under Balakros or Menes, circa 332/1-327 BC. Head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet decorated with griffin, and pearl necklace / AΛEΞANΔP-[OY], Nike standing left, holding wreath in extended right hand and cradling stylis in left arm; kerykeion below right wing. Price 3458 (Sidon, same obv. die as illustration); Newell, Dated 2, obv. die H (Sidon); Adams I 44 (same dies). Underlying luster, a few minor edge marks, light scuff and small flan flaw on obverse. EF. From the earliest series of staters of Alexander. Very rare.

From the Jonathan P. Rosen Collection. Ex Lanz 158 (5 June 2014), lot 94.

This issue was originally given to Sidon by Newell, along with seven other issues of staters (and two distaters) that lacked the mint signature and/or date that is found on nearly all other issues at Sidon. Newell later doubted the attribution, and suggested they may belong to an early mint at Damaskos (cf. G.F. Hill, “Alexander the Great and the Persian lion-gryphon,” JHS 43 [1923], p. 159). While Price retained Newell’s original attribution, he, too, remained skeptical (Price, p. 436). Le Rider, in his recent review of the coinage of Alexander the Great (Alexander the Great: Coinage, Finances, and Policy [Philadelphia, 2007]), recounted the various arguments, but also assimilated more recent research, and convincingly argues that these eight issues of gold actually were the first issues of Alexander type staters at the mint of Tarsos (Le Rider, op. cit., pp. 134–9).

The reattribution to Tarsos has a significant effect on the importance of these staters. It is generally thought that Alexander began issuing his new coinage, staters of Athena/Nike type and tetradrachms of Herakles/Zeus type, shortly after his capture of Tarsos in 333 BC. Recognizing the importance of this mint for Alexander, supported by the state of the evidence at the time, Newell originally attributed a large series of staters to the early period of Alexanders at Tarsos (E.T. Newell, “Tarsos under Alexander,” AJN 52 [1918]). Later research, however, moved nearly all of these issues to a mint in Macedon (cf. Price p. 371, and Troxell, Studies, pp. 99–110). This void of gold coinage is therefore filled with the reattribution of the eight issues from Sidon, resulting in these being not only the first issue of Alexander staters from Tarsos, but the first issues of Alexander's new stater coinage anywhere.

The final winners of all Triton XXIII lots will be determined at the live public sale that will be held on 14-15 January 2020. Triton XXIII – Session One – Greek Coinage Part I will be held Tuesday morning, 14 January 2020 beginning at 9:00 AM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and in person at the public auction, 22.50% for all others.