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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 72, Lot: 1166. Estimate $300. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 June 2006. 
Sold For $405. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ISLANDS off IONIA, Chios. Autonomous issue. 2nd-mid-3rd century AD. Æ 3 Assaria (30mm, 16.35 g, 4h). Sphinx crouching right, left forepaw raised; at feet, prow of galley right / Apollo, holding phiale and Dionysos, holding cantharus and thyrsus, standing facing, lighted altar between. SNG Copenhagen 1665; SNG von Aulock 2285; SNG Hunterian 1394 corr. (Apollo and Dionysos listed without attributes; same reverse die). Good VF, black-green surfaces, light overall porosity.

The sphinx served as the badge of Chios. Of Egyptian or Mesopotamian origin, the Sphinx, or "strangler" was a winged hybrid monster with the body of a lioness and a female head. She figured prominently in one of the myths connected with Oedipus, and the the aphorism “riddle of the Sphinx” came to define any seemingly unanswerable question. The reverse of lot 1165 depicts a Chian amphora, referring to the area’s importance as a wine-producing region, while the reverse of lot 1166 shows Dionysus, the god of wine, with Apollo who had a close relationship with the Chian royal family.