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Portrait of Seleukos I

191, Lot: 15. Estimate $1500.
Sold for $2250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of PERGAMON. Philetairos. 282-263 BC. AR Tetradrachm (28mm, 16.44 g, 12h). Struck circa 269/8-263 BC. Diademed head of Seleukos I right / Athena enthroned left, holding shield and spear, left elbow resting on sphinx; ivy leaf to left, bow to right. SC 309.5a; SNG France 1599; SNG von Aulock 7451. VF, rough reverse. Attractive Hellenistic portrait. Rare.

Lysimachos entrusted the Pergamene treasury to the eunuch Philetairos, but Philetairos changed his allegiance to Seleukos shortly before the battle of Korupedion in 281 BC, when Seleukos defeated and killed Lysimachos. Seleukos was assassinated the following year, but Philetairos continued to acknowledge Selekid suzerainty, as reflected by this coinage struck in the reign of Antiochos I. Houghton & Lorber (SC), citing Le Rider and Newell, assign this coinage to the aftermath of Antiochos' victory over the Galatians, circa 269/8 BC.