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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Attractive Archaic Stater // New Early Issue

Sale: CNG 76, Lot: 504. Estimate $5000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 12 September 2007. 
Sold For $12500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ISLANDS off ATTICA, Aegina. Circa 550-530/25 BC. AR Stater (12.30 g). Proto sea turtle, shell with large pellets down center and no collar / “Union Jack” incuse pattern with eight segments in deep square. Cf. Holloway, Early, class A, 4; H. Cahn, Griechische Münzen archaischer Zeit, 11 (same die and punch). Good VF, lightly toned. Well centered and struck. Extremely rare.

This and the Cahn specimen are apparently two coins from one of the earliest issues of Aegina that is not presently categorized. Their reverse, with a compact, deep incuse with 8-segment, Union Jack pattern has a clear affinity with the incuses of Holloway’s class A proto-tortoises, and must be dated to the same general period of issue. While the obverse of these coins is roughly similar to the class A issue, certain important details are different. The legs are much longer and less-well formed, with the front appendages protruding from the corners of the shell, rather than the top edge, and the lower legs originating near the mid line of the shell, rather than near the tail. Most importantly, though, is the absence of any band/collar at the top edge, which is a salient feature of the class A coins, as well as all later issues. As neither of these coins were found in the context of hoards, their relative placement with regard to class A is unknown.