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Research Coins: Printed Auction

Triton XXII, Lot: 451. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $8000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Demetrios I Aniketos. Circa 200-185 BC. AR Tetradrachm (34mm, 16.87 g, 12h). Diademed and draped bust right, wearing elephant skin headdress / BAΣIΛEYΩΣ down right, ΔHMHTPIOY down left, Herakles standing facing, crowning himself, holding club and lion skin; monogram to inner left. Bopearachchi 1C; Bopearachchi & Rahman 122; SNG ANS 187; MIG Type 103d; HGC 12, 63. Choice EF, areas of tone.

From the Menlo Park Collection, purchased from Freeman & Sear, December 1998.

The unusual elephant headdress worn by Demetrios recalls that of Alexander on early tetradrachms of Ptolemaic Egypt. The headgear clearly refers to Alexander’s conquests in northern India. Demetrios campaigned in India while serving a long apprenticeship under his father, Euthydemos I, as recorded on a dedicatory stone recently discovered north of Ai Khanoum in Afghanistan. After succeeding to the throne, he launched an invasion of Northern India that extended Greek control into modern Pakistan. The historian Strabo claims "more tribes were subdued by [Demetrios] than Alexander." He apparently made Taxila in the Punjab his capital, and during his reign the Greco-Baktrian kingdom reached its greatest extent.