Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 100   |   29 May 2017 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 128

Estimate: 2'500 CHF   |   Starting price: 2'000 CHF Price realized: 2'000 CHF
Kings of Thrace, Lysimachus 323 – 281. Tetradrachm, Pergamon circa 287/6-282, AR 16.63 g. Diademed head of deified Alexander III r., with horn of Ammon, K below neck. Rev. BAΣIΛEΩΣ – ΛYΣIMAXOY Athena enthroned l., holding in r. hand Nike which crowns the king’s name and resting l. elbow on shield; behind, herm in outer left field, archaic xoanon (cult image) in inner l. field, ZΩ monogram in exergue. Thompson, Essays Robinson, 220 var.; Newell, The Pergamene Mint after Philetaerus, pl. I, 1 var.; Müller, Die Münzen des thrakischen König Lysimachos, 287 var.
Struck ona large round flan and with a pleasant old cabinet tone. Of exceptional
artisticquality on both obverse and reverse. Extremely fine

Lysimachos, a close associate of Alexander the Great, received the province of Thrace and northwest Asia Minor upon the latter’s death. Like the other Diadochi, he initially ruled as a satrap but soon assumed the title and role of an independent king. He begun to issue money in his own name in 306 B.C. and, about a decade later, he instituted coin types of his own which, however, clearly advertised his connection with Alexander by displaying the first numismatic portrait of the great conqueror with the horn of Ammon.
Pergamon, one of the mints opened by Lysimachos, struck gold staters and silver tetradrachms bearing the best and most beautiful portraits of Alexander that have come down to us. They show the King with the horn of Ammon, thus emphasizing his divine descent, looking upward with just a touch of pathos, with slightly unruly hair and with the well-known lock over the forehead – an irresistible image of an ideal king and leader.
According to H.A. Cahn (”Frühhellenistiche Münzkunst, Kleine Schriften zur Münzkunde und Archäologie”, Basel 1975, p. 121-126), the engraver of this wonderful type could have been the same talented artist who designed, for the same mint, the dies of the famous portrait of Seleukos I on the silver tetradrachms of Philetairos.

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