Kings of Macedonia, Philip II 359 – 336 and posthumous issues. Tetradrachm, Amphipolis, circa 323-315, AR 14.26 g. Laureate head of Zeus r. Rev. Naked horseman r., holding palm in r. hand and reins in l.; laurel branch under horse’s belly and ? under raised foreleg. Le Rider pl. 46 n. 11. SNG ANS 686.
Estimate: 1'250 CHF
Starting price: 1'000 CHF
Price realized: 1'100 CHF
A wonderful portrait of superb style perfectly struck in high relief
and lightly toned. Extremely fine
Ex Gorny & Mosch sale 219, 2014, 120.
Philip’s coinage was probably inaugurated at the start of his reign, as he took possession of the Mount Pangaeos, the location of vast silver deposits. The head of Zeus, a new type for Macedonian coinage, may have been chosen because Zeus was patron of the horse races which Philip particularly loved.
In 348/7 he changed his original reverse type (king on horseback) for the victorious young jokey shown here, almost certainly an allusion to his Olympic horseracing victory, though it might be also assumed that he felt that his original type was too narrowly parochial to symbolize his Panhellenic ambitions.
The issue of Philip’s coins seems to have stopped with Alexander’s accession and then to have been revived about the time of Cassander. The probable reason is that Alexander’s new types, though readily embraced by Greeks and Orientals, never succeeded in displacing Philip among the barbarians of Europe. It was therefore natural that, after Alexander’s death, a northern mint like Amphipolis should reissue Philip’s coinage for the inland trade.