Finest Quality Ancient Greek, Roman & Byzantine Coins
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March 18 - 27, 2011
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Macedon, Amphipolis. 356/5 BC.
Tetradrachm (Silver, 13.78 g 12). Laureate head of Apollo, three-quarter facing to right.
[ΑΜΦ-I]ΠΟ-ΛΙΤ-ΩΝ Raised square frame surrounding a race torch with flames burning to left; at its base to right, ear of barley; all within a shallow incuse square. Lorber 47c and pl. XXV, 47b (this coin - the photographs of the coins described in the text as 47b and 47c are switched on Lorber’s plates; i.e., text 47b = pl. 47c and text 47c = pl. 47b). Very rare and with a superb head of Apollo of great power. Attractively toned but with somewhat porous metal,
, about extremely fine.
From the collections of B. Feirstein, I, Numismatica Ars Classica 39, 16 May 2007, 22 and Dr. J. H. Judd, Bank Leu 15, 4 May 1976, 175.
This remarkable coin, which was expertly cleaned after its first appearance in the Judd sale a generation ago, bears a remarkably powerful head of Apollo, free from both the overly feminizing traits he can sometimes have, and the hard masculinity that characterizes a number of his other portraits. The fact that this coin was issued solely to be used to pay state bills or in trade makes the quality of the engraving all the more admirable. Only the Greeks could have dreamt of making an object of daily use so artistically perfect. This is especially true because facing heads are very difficult to make successfully: others from Amphipolis and elsewhere can be positively thug-like!
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