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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
74000386

Rare Pnytagoras Gold Stater

Sale: Triton X, Lot: 386. Estimate $10000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 8 January 2007. 
Sold For $9500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CYPRUS, Salamis. Pnytagoras. Circa 351-332 BC. AV Stater (8.26 g, 10h). Persic standard. Draped bust of Aphrodite left, hair rolled above forehead and falling in long wavy strands to front and back of shoulder, wearing beaded necklace, triple-drop earring, and turreted crown, PN behind / Draped bust of Aphrodite left, hair in tight ringlets falling before ear and down back of neck, wearing torque (open end at front of her neck), beaded hoop earring, fillet, and crown decorated with semicircular plates; BA behind. Tziambazis 132 = BMC 76; Traité II 1184; Babelon, Perses 627; De Luynes 2950. VF, underlying luster, a few minor field marks. Very rare.



Pnytagoras came to power following the deposition of his half-uncle Evagoras II, who was expelled by his subjects after refusing to support a revolt against the Persians. Following the revolt, the Persians mounted an invasion to retake the island Cyprus and supported Evagoras in his bid to regain his throne in Salamis. Soon, however, unknown accusations were made against Evagoras which prompted the Persians to change their support to Pnytagoras, who subsequently submitted to the Persian king. After the battle of Ipsos, Pnytagoras allied himself with the Macedonians, and his fleet participated in the important siege of Tyre in 332 BC. Following the siege, Alexander rewarded Pnytagoras with the city of Tamassos, which had been a possession of Kition. Pnytagoras died later that same year and was succeeded by his son, Nikokreon. Pnytagoras’ gold staters feature busts of Cypriote Aphrodite in her various forms, as celebrated by her numerous cult centers on the island. Her turreted crown on the obverse of this coin shows her assimilation to Tyche as protecting civic goddess for the whole of Cyprus.