|Sale: CNG 69, Lot: 780. Estimate $300.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 8 June 2005.
Sold For $310. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
Circa late 4th-early 3rd century BC. AR Obol (0.51 gm, 5h). Turreted head of Kybele or Tyche right / Eagle standing left, head right, wings displayed. CNG 66, lot 928, otherwise unpublished. Good VF, toned. Extremely rare, apparently the second known example. ($300)
The presence of Kybele-Tyche on a coin this far east and at this time is unprecedented. This particular coin was reportedly unearthed in the region of ancient Baktria; a transfer from the West cannot be ruled out, although no similar coins can be found there either. Stylistically, the eagle is consistent with the Sophytes coinage, as is general fabric of the flan. The appearance of Kybele/Tyche on a Baktrian coin of this period may be explained by the existence of numerous cities founded during Alexander the Great's eastern campaigns. These cities were populated with both soldiers and citizens who had accompanied Alexander; many of them came from Asia Minor, where a number of cities were using similar Kybele/Tyche types at the same time (for example, Mytilene in Lesbos, Plakia in Mysia, and Nagidos in Cilicia). After Alexander's death, many of his new cities, especially those along the Sogdian borderlands, were attacked and razed by the indigenous tribes there. In this context of strife, the appearance of a Western city goddess and protectress would not be surprising.