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Two Rare Bronzes of Magas

245, Lot: 218. Estimate $100.
Sold for $98. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KYRENAICA, Kyrene. Magas. 277-250. Lot of two bronzes. Diademed head of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis / Forepart of Pegasos right. Svoronos 334; SNG Copenhagen 435. 1) 17mm, 3.33 g, 12h 2) 15mm, 2.90 g, 12h. Both Good Fine, porous brown patinas. Rare.

The Hellenistic world after the death of Alexander was a turbulent place. Generals rose to kingship and kings were routinely deposed and assassinated in the quest for power. In this environment, Magas, son of the Ptolemaic queen Berenike I made his name. His stepfather, Ptolemy I Soter, took kindly to him and placed him in command of an expedition to recover Kyrene from the rebel governor Ophellas. The mission was successful and Magas was installed as governor of the region. Throughout the reign of Ptolemy I he maintained peaceful relations with Egypt. However, upon the succession of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, Magas proclaimed himself king. He ruled Kyrene as an independent monarch until his death in 250 BC, at which point the region once again came under the rule of Egypt.