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Research Coins: Printed Auction



Sale: CNG 75, Lot: 148. Estimate $2000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 
Sold For $2500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of MACEDON. Philip V. 221-179 BC. AR Tetradrachm (16.87 g, 12h). Pella or Amphipolis mint. Struck circa 220-211 BC. Diademed head right / Athena Alkidemos advancing left, preparing to cast thunderbolt; monogram to inner left. Mamroth, Philip 1 var. (monograms); AMNG III/2, 2 var. (same); SNG München -; SNG Alpha Bank -. VF, lightly toned. Rare first issue of Philip, unique with this monogram.

From the Richard Winokur Collection.

This tetradrachm is from Philip’s first series of silver coinage, and features the first Macedonian royal portrait since the issues of his great-grandfather Demetrios I Poliorketes in the 290s BC. While the style of portraiture in Macedonian coinage was traditionally sub-par in comparison with those of Asia Minor, these portraits of Philip are among the most beautiful Hellenistic portraits, obviously engraved by master celators. The reverse features Athena Alkidemos, which was the traditional reverse type used on the tetradrachms of his grandfather, Antigonos II Gonatas. This first series of tetradrachms were struck on the Attic standard, and was replaced by a new coinage in 211 BC, with completely novel types, struck on the Macedonian standard. Although this first series is traditionally dated to a period of nine years, it most likely was a very short issue struck during the Social War (220-217 BC) (see EHC, p. 135).

The present specimen adds a new wrinkle to this early coinage. All previously known specimens have the same two monograms and are struck from only three obverse dies. This coin, however, has a new obverse die and monogram, which is composed of the Greek letters zeta and omega. If this monogram is also of the famous Zoilos, who was previously only known on Philip’s last issues (circa 184-179 BC), this may necessitate a reworking of the chronology of Philip’s coinage.