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Research Coins: Printed Auction


Helmet Decorated with Head of Gorgon

Triton XXII, Lot: 471. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $1800. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BAKTRIA, Indo-Greek Kingdom. Philoxenos Aniketos. Circa 125-110 BC. AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 9.79 g, 12h). BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANIKHTOY ΦΙΛΟΞENOY, diademed heroic bust left, wearing crested helmet covered with pelt of scales and adorned with head of Gorgon and wing, aegis, and brandishing spear in right hand / maharajasa apadihatasa philasinasa in Kharosthi, Philoxenos, in military attire, on horse rearing right on ground line; Σ and monogram to upper left.. Bopearachchi 9C; Bopearachchi & Rahman –; SNG ANS 1198; MIG Type 343c; HGC 12, –; CNG 97, lot 446. Near EF, lightly toned. Extremely rare with the helmet adorned with the Gorgon head and wing.

From the Menlo Park Collection, purchased from Frank Kovacs circa 1998-2002.

Like most Indo-Greek rulers, Philoxenos "The Invincible" is unknown to history aside from his coinage. He struck extremely rare coins on the Attic standard and a much larger bilingual issue on the reduced Indian standard; these are found primarily in the Punjab and Gandhara, where his reign seems to have been centered. The scarcity of his coinage indicates his reign must have been brief. Bopearachchi dates his reign to circa 100-95 BC; HGC 9 dates it somewhat earlier, 125-110 BC. The obverse of this rare issue is clearly modeled on the great "heroic" tetradrachms of Eukratides, with the addition of an elaborate aegis over his lead shoulder.