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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Remarkable Discovery Coin

Triton XXII, Lot: 330. Estimate $1000.
Sold for $1400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SELEUKID EMPIRE. Antiochos VII Euergetes (Sidetes). 138-129 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30mm, 16.14 g, 11h). Posthumous issue struck under Ariarathes VII Philometor of Cappadocia. Uncertain mint in Cappadocia. Diademed head of Antiochos VII right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY ΦIΛOMHTOPOΣ, Athena Nikephoros standing left; two monograms to inner left. Unpublished. VF, thin find patina. Unique.

In the early 2000s, A. Houghton and C. Lorber determined that large series of tetradrachms that had previously been listed as issues of Antiochos VII Euergetes were actually posthumous issues in his name, struck under Ariarathes VII Philometor in Cappadocia. Further research by E. Krengel and Lorber expanded the series to encompass the Cappadocian kings from Ariarathes VI to Ariobarzanes I. All of these posthumous Antiochos VII issues were of the same types as the present coin, except that the reverses had their types enclosed within a wreath, and featured the name and epithet of either of the two kings. The present coin is unprecedented in that the reverse omits the wreath and, perhaps most importantly, has paired the name of Antiochos with the epithet of Ariarathes. Placing this issue is difficult, as the obverse die is not connected to the other posthumous Antiochos VII issues, nor do these monograms appear together on either king’s coinage (in fact, the upper monogram was not used by either, and the lower monogram only appears on a couple issues of Antiochos at Tarsos). One is tempted to speculate that this may represent an issue of another king, otherwise unknown, called Antiochos Philometoros, but this is unlikely, particularly given the certainty that the obverse portrait is that of Antiochos VII, and that king’s sons named Antiochos never used the epithet Philometor. A truly remarkable discovery!