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Triton XXIII – Session One – Greek Coinage Part I

Lot nuber 320

MYSIA, Pergamon. Mid-late 330s BC. AV Stater (17.5mm, 8.60 g, 1h).


Triton XXIII – Session One – Greek Coinage Part I
Lot: 320.
 Estimated: $ 30 000

Greek, Gold

Sold For $ 60 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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MYSIA, Pergamon. Mid-late 330s BC. AV Stater (17.5mm, 8.60 g, 1h). Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Archaistic Palladion: statue of Pallas Athena standing facing, holding spear aloft in right hand, preparing to strike, on left arm, a shield adorned with a four-point star and fillet hanging below; to lower left, a crested Corinthian helmet right; all within concave circular incuse. Callataÿ, Statères 2 (D2/R3); Von Fritze, Pergamon 7 var. (rev. not incuse); SNG BN 1557 = De Luynes 2493; Adams I 75 (same dies); Gulbenkian 699 = Jameson 2580 var. (same); GPCG pl. 28, 25 var. (same). Fully lustrous, two minor die breaks on obverse (typical for die). Superb EF. Rare.

From the Jonathan P. Rosen Collection.

Although lacking a legend, this series has been attributed to Pergamon, based on similar silver fractions, which also contain the city ethnic, ΠEPΓA(M) (SNG BN 1558-66). On the other hand, the date of this issue is less certain. SNG BN placed it circa 310-284 BC, though ignoring that two examples of this type were found in the Saïda hoard (IGCH 1508 = CH VIII 190), which Westermark dated to circa 323/20 BC. She also saw a correlation between these staters and those of Philippi in Macedon (an example of which was in the hoard), and accordingly dated them to after 336 BC (echoed by G.K. Jenkins and M. Castro Hipólito in the Gulbenkian catalog), based on Mørkholm's placement of the Philippi issues during the reign of Alexander (EHC pp. 84-5). Mørkholm's dating, however, was based on the single coin of Philippi in the Saïda hoard (Saïda 34), which was of such high grade that he thought it must have been struck near the date of the hoard's deposit. Other numismatists, however, have placed these Philippi staters earlier, circa 356-345 BC (Bellinger, Philippi p. 37, and N. Waggoner in SNG ANS). The hoard also contained ten of the twelve known examples of an extremely rare gold issue of Kios. Significantly, this issue of Kios and the fact that the Pergamene staters have a close stylistic affinity with the coinages of Philip II and Alexander III – offer a potential clue toward identifying when and why they were struck.

More recently, F. de Callataÿ has revisited the issue by examining the examples of this issue that have appeared on the market over the last decade (F. de Callataÿ. “Les statères de Pergame et les réquisitions d’Alexandre le Grand: l’apport d’un nouveau trésor (‘Statères de Pergame 2004’)” in RN 169 [2012]). Exhibiting no traces of circulation wear, these coins are closer to the full Attic weight than the two more worn specimens in the Saïda hoard, suggesting an earlier date for this issue than circa 323/20 BC. Callataÿ also demonstrated (along with the two specimens in the Saïda hoard) that in total five obverse and seven reverse dies by two engravers were used in striking this issue, all of which are die-linked. The obverse dies share a close stylistic similarity to early Alexandrine issues of Miletos (cf. Leu 81, lot 182) and Abydos (cf. CNG 70, lot 92), as well as earlier staters of Philippi (cf. Triton IX, lot 724). Likewise, the control marks that appear on these Pergamene coins (Corinthian helmet, rose, and eagle [or cock]), are symbols typically found on coins from early in the reign of Alexander III. The apparently brief but intense minting of these Pergamene staters, with their links to Macedonian types struck early in the reign of Alexander III, suggests that these coins were struck from funds requisitioned locally for the Macedonian troops in Asia Minor of Alexander himself in 334 BC (cf. Diod. Sic. 17.19-21; cf. Plut. Vit. Alex. 16.1-8; cf. Arr. Anab. 1.14-16).

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.