Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 94   |   6 October 2016
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Lot 50





Estimate: 2'500 CHF   |   Starting price: 2'000 CHF Price realized: 5'000 CHF
The Roman Empire
Octavian, as Augustus 27 BC – 14 AD
Cistophoric tetradrachm, Ephesus 24-20 BC, AR 12.00 g. IMP – CAE – SAR Bare head r. Rev. AVGVSTVS Garlanded altar decorated with two confronting hinds. C 33. BMC 694. Sutherland Group VI, O 126 – R 372a. RIC 482. CBN 926. RPC 2215.
Lovely old cabinet tone and about extremely fine / good very fine
Privately purchased from Freeman & Sear.

Continuing with the cistophori series this piece, from Ephesus, also comes up with some regularity. What is important about this particular specimen is the portrait style. Although the head is somewhat severe the portrait is still very realistic. I believe a master engraver was sent to Ephesus to assist with the engraving of these new coins as part of the ”Romanization” of the eastern empire. The Greek celators, who clearly had not been used to engraving portraits, quickly showed their lack of talent and the portrait styles of Ephesus are totally lacking in artistic merit. This piece has a particularly attractive portrait and this coin is rare as such. The reverse relates to Artemis, Goddess of Ephesus, who among her many attributes was ”goddess of the hunt” and hence the image of the facing deer on this coin. MSG.

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