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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXII, Lot: 559. Estimate $500.
Sold for $475. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SELEUCIS and PIERIA, Antioch. Claudius. AD 41-54. AR Tetradrachm (25mm, 14.42 g, 12h). TI[BERI]OΣ KΛAVΔ-IO[Σ] KAIΣAP, bare head right / ΣEΒAΣTOΣ ΓEPMA-NIKOΣ, Zeus Nicephorus enthroned left; in left field, ΣΩ above EΛ. Prieur 41 (Antioch’s “secondary mint”); McAlee, Supplement 234 (this coin illustrated); RPC I 4117 (uncertain mint). VF, toned, some porosity, metal flaw on reverse. Extremely rare.

From the Michel Prieur Collection, purchased from John Jencek, July 2008.

This coin belongs to a class of Julio-Claudian “Zeus tetradrachms” that have been variously attributed. Seyrig (Syria 20 [1939], p. 39) was the first to propose Tarsus as the place where they were struck, but RPC (p. 604) rejected this attribution as other Augustan and Tiberian tetradrachms, of different style and of a higher silver content, specifically carry the TAP ethnic on their reverses (see lots XXX-XXX above). It is suggested there that the “Zeus tetradrachms” were perhaps struck at Loadicea in Syria or more likely an uncertain mint in Cilicia. McAlee (p. 128) argues that the attribution to Tarsus should not be dismissed, noting that the mint of Antioch also struck coins of differing style and silver content, while stressing the stylistic similarities between the “Zeus tetradrachms” and bronze coinage of Tarsus.