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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Attractive Starr Group V.B

Triton XXII, Lot: 212. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $4250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ATTICA, Athens. Circa 465/2-454 BC. AR Tetradrachm (22.5mm, 17.19 g, 9h). Head of Athena right, with frontal eye, wearing earring, necklace with pendants, and crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl / Owl standing right, head facing, spread tail feathers; olive sprig and crescent to left, AΘE to right; all within incuse square. Starr Group V.B, Series 4, 198 (O170/R187); Svoronos, Monnaies, pl. 10, 1–10; HGC 4, 1596; Boston MFA 1066 = Warren 821; Dewing –; Gulbenkian 517; Kraay & Hirmer 360–1; Pozzi 1544 (same dies); Rhousopoulos 1973. EF, toned.

On Starr’s Group V tetradrachms, Athena’s helmet decoration remains similar in form to his Group IV, but the arrangement of the hair is notably different. The wave has been abandoned, with the hair now falling over the forehead in one long swoop. On the reverse, the lettering is still quite small (although we begin to see a gradual enlargement on some dies). The owl’s tail remains flared, but the treatment of the legs has become more standardized. While earlier groups often rendered the owl with one leg drawn back, the legs on Group V tetradrachms are consistently parallel and a bit more rigid in their execution.