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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXII, Lot: 560. Estimate $500.
Sold for $2000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SELEUCIS and PIERIA, Antioch. Claudius. AD 41-54. AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 14.87 g, 12h). TIBERIOΣ KΛAV-ΔIOΣ KAIΣAP, bare head right / ΣEΒAΣTOΣ ΓEP[MA]-NIKOΣ, Zeus Nicephorus enthroned left; EP in left field, ΔI in exergue. Prieur 43A = McAlee 242 = RPC Suppl. S-4119A (this coin). VF, toned, reverse double struck. Extremely rare and apparently unique variant.

From the Michel Prieur Collection. Ex Finarte 1104 (20 March 1997), lot 323.

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.