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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
640357
Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 357. Estimate $300. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $270. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ASIA MINOR. Uncertain mint. Imitation of Athens. After 449 BC. AR Tetradrachm (16.69 gm). Helmeted head of Athena right / Owl standing right. Svoronos, Athènes pl. 111, 3; Diebolt & Nicolet-Pierre, "Recherches sur le métal de tétradrachmes à types athéniens," SNR 56, pl. 24, 16. VF, reverse double struck. Unusual. ($300)

This tetradrachm illustrates the influence the Athenian "owl" had on eastern coinage. From Egypt to Babylon and from Syria to Arabia the Athenian tetradrachm was either countermarked or imitated for local use. The imitations varied increasingly from the prototype over time, and eventually purely local types were produced. These issues were generally replaced by the issues of Alexander after the 4th century BC, but traces of Athenian influence appear in Arabian coinage into the Roman period.