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Published by Nicolet-Pierre & Amandry

Triton XXII, Lot: 244. Estimate $10000.
Sold for $16000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

WESTERN ASIA MINOR, Uncertain. Circa 145-140 BC. AR Tetradrachm (31.5mm, 16.60 g, 12h). Stephanophoric type. Head of Demeter right, wearing wreath of grain ears and triple-pendant earring / Two Kabeiroi, nude but for cloak tied at their necks, standing facing, each wearing laurel wreath and holding staff in outer hand; ΘEΩN KABEIPΩN at sides, ΣYPIΩN below, monogram to lower right; all within wreath. Nicolet-Pierre & Amandry dies D7/R9 (Syros; this coin referenced and illustrated); HGC 6, 709 (Syros); Friedlaender & Von Sallet 268. EF, toned. Very rare, and among the finest known of this coinage.

From the Gasvoda Collection. Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 88 (8 October 2015), lot 406; Tkalec (23 October 1992), lot 105; Numismatic & Ancient Art Gallery 7 (11 April 1991), lot 509.

This issue had long been attributed to the island of Syros based on the reverse legend. Recent scholarship, however, has convincingly shown that this attribution is erroneous, as the reverse legend does not contain an ethnic, but names the type: the Divine Syrian Kaberioi. As the issue has long been linked to a rare portrait emission of Eumenes I with the same reverse type, it is clear that it must belong to a mint in the sphere of the kings of Pergamon. Although it is tempting to attribute it to the royal mint at Pergamon, this Attic-standard issue could have been struck at one of several mints under Attalid control. See A. Meadows, “The Closed Currency System of the Attalid Kingdom” in P. Thonemann, Attalid Asia Minor (Oxford, 2013), pp. 184–91 for the most current analysis of this intriguing coinage.