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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 78, Lot: 983. Estimate $150. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2008. 
Sold For $250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

UNCERTAIN EAST. 3rd century BC. AR Drachm (3.77 g, 10h). Imitating Alexander III of Macedon. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Nikephoros seated left; in left field, eagle standing left; monogram below throne. Apparently unpublished. VF, toned, struck from worn obverse die.

The absence of a name, and the crude execution of the obverse die strongly suggest that this is a local imitation of an Alexandrine type drachm. The cupped shape of the reverse die is characteristic of issues struck in the far east during the reign of the Seleukid kings Seleukos I and Antiochos I. Another interesting aspect of this coin is the representation of Zeus Nikephoros, rather than Zeus Aëtophoros on the reverse. This type was introduced to the Alexandrine coinage by Seleukos I circa 305/0 BC, and also supports an eastern origin for this enigmatic piece.