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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XVI, Lot: 586. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $5000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. As satrap, 323-305 BC. AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 16.91 g, 12h). Attic standard. In the name of Alexander III of Macedon. Uncertain mint. Struck circa 316-312/1 BC. Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, wearing elephant skin / AΛEΞANΔPOY, Athena Alkidemos, wearing crested helmet and chiton, striding right, preparing to cast spear held in right hand, shield on left arm; to inner right, monogram above eagle standing right. Svoronos 39, pl. II, 18-19 var. (monogram, same obv. die); Zervos Issue 104, dies 767/– var. (unlisted rev. die, monogram retrograde); SNG Copenhagen –; Noeske –; B. Kuschel, “Die neuen Münzbilder de Ptolemaios Soter,” JNG XI (1961), pl. I, 5 var. (monogram, same obv. die). Good VF, toned. Extremely rare issue from an uncertain mint, this variety unpublished.

From the RCM Collection. Ex Leu 91 (10 May 2004), lot 216; Leu 22 (8 May 1979), lot 172.

In his die study, Zervos details a few anomalous issues that diverge, stylistically and in terms of die axis, from the standard issues of Ptolemy from the mint of Alexandreia. This analysis is strengthened by this piece, where the monogram of Svoronos 39 is engraved in retrograde, which would not have taken place at the tightly controlled mint of Alexandreia. Some of these anomalous issues have been securely attributed to mints outside Egypt, such as Sidon and Soloi, so it is likely that this issue belongs to another Ptolemaic possession located abroad.