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Electronic Auction 480

Lot nuber 114

KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander III 'the Great'. 336-323 BC. AR Drachm (16mm, 4.28 g, 12h). Sardes mint. Struck under Menander, circa 330/25-324/3 BC.

Electronic Auction 480
Lot: 114.
 Estimated: $ 300

Greek, Silver

Sold For $ 450. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander III 'the Great'. 336-323 BC. AR Drachm (16mm, 4.28 g, 12h). Sardes mint. Struck under Menander, circa 330/25-324/3 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; in left field, head of griffin left. Price 2536; ADM I 25; SNG Saroglos 787. Lightly toned, minor graze and light scratch in field on reverse. Good VF. Very rare first issue of Alexander drachms at Sardes, fewer than fifteen known (see note below).

From the BRN Collection. Ex VAuctions 228 (28 May 2009), lot 8; G. Hirsch 260 (12 February 2009), lot 1622.

This coin is from the earliest issue of Alexandrine silver at Sardes, which was only composed of drachms. Sardes was among the earliest mints in Asia Minor, and was the royal mint for the Persians, striking darics and sigloi down to the time of Alexander's conquest. Newell, Thompson, and Price all assert that Sardes must have been employed by Alexander almost immediately after capturing the mint. The first three issues were of only gold staters, and were issued in substantial quantities. The fourth issue was apparently significant, as it was not only composed of staters, but also halves and quarters, as well as the present drachms. Although the mint became one of the major drachm mints for Alexandrine coins, staters also continued to be issued in large numbers, attesting to the importance of the mint. This particular drachm issue is very rare, with only about seven known prior to the present coin (the first is in the Saroglos collection, another was in the 1964 Asia Minor hoard [currently in the Hersh collection], and five were found in the 1993 Near East hoard). The study of the 1993 Near East hoard by H.A. Troxell and C.A. Hersh (AJN 5-6 [1995]), provides the most recent analysis of the chronology of the emissions of the Alexander drachm mints. While many of the early emissions have been downdated at most mints, the evidence is inconclusive for the earliest issues at Lampsakos and Sardes. Circumstantial evidence suggests they were very limited issues, and may have begun as early as 330 BC. G. Le Rider, however, in an article affirming the findings of Troxell and Hersh ("Alexander in Asia Minor" in Essays Hersh), goes further, and provides an argument that none of the western Asia Minor mints began striking Alexander type coinage, in any denomination, until 325 BC.

Closing Date and Time: 11 November 2020 at 10:37:40 ET.

All winning bids are subject to an 18% buyer’s fee.