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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

291, Lot: 22. Estimate $150.
Sold for $260. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of THRACE. Lysimachos. As Satrap, 323-305 BC. AR Tetrobol (14mm, 2.35 g, 1h). In the name and types of Philip II of Macedon. Amphipolis mint. Struck under Kassander, circa 315-305 BC. Head of Apollo right, wearing tainia / Rider on horseback right; below, ΛY above forepart of lion right; in exergue, grain ear to right. Thompson 1 = SNG ANS 829 (Philip II) = Price P5A var. (with spearhead in place of grain ear); AMNG III p. 171, 1 var. (trident in place of grain ear; Alexander IV). VF, toned, porosity, slight reverse die shift. Rare and unrecorded in the standard references with this symbol in exergue.

Although these coins have traditionally been attributed to the beginning of Lysimachos' reign as king of Thrace, more recent scholarship has persuasively placed them early in the period of his satrapy. Price, in his study of the coinage of Alexander the Great and Philip III, discounts the prior dating (circa 306/5 BC) and mint attribution (Lysimacheia), and argues for an issue placed at Amphipolis, circa 320-315 BC. During this time, Lysimachos was constantly waging war against the Thracian tribes and likely needed coinage for troop payments. The only source for him, at that time, would be his close friend Kassander, who controlled the mint at Amphipolis. This placement and dating conform well to the current scholarship regarding the minting of Philip II-type 1/5th tetradrachms. For further background, see, e.g.: Price, pp. 130 and 197; AMNG III, p. 171; and H. Lund, Lysimachus: A Study in Early Hellenistic Kingship (Routledge, 1992), p. 57.