Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 100   |   29 May 2017 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 150

Estimate: 30'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 24'000 CHF Price realized: 48'000 CHF
Lampsacus. Stater, circa 350, AV 7.90 g. Laureate head of Zeus l., with lotus-tipped sceptre on far shoulder. Rev. Forepart of Pegasus r.; all within shallow and partially incuse square. Baldwin, Lampsakos 29 and pl. II, 33. Boston 1595. SNG France 1137 (these dies). Kraay-Hirmer pl. 202, 729.
Rare. A portrait of superb style struck in high relief and an exquisite
light reddish tone. Good extremely fine

Privately purchased from Spink & Son in the late 70’s.
The staters of Lampsacus are among the most appealing of all ancient gold coinages; not only is their artistry of a very high standard, but there is a considerable variety in obverse types, all of which are paired with the standard reverse depicting the forepart of a winged horse. This particular coin, struck at the end of the Classical period, bears the head of Zeus, the supreme deity of the Greeks. In her masterful study of 1924, Brett documents 41 issues of staters for a period of 50 or 60 years, leading us to conclude that the gold coinage of Lampsacus was as exciting in ancient times as it is today. We may generalise by saying that Greek gold coins fall into two broad categories: imperial and civic. The former, when well managed, was struck consistently and in large quantities. The civic coinages tended to be struck only periodically in response to crises, and this is the case even at some of the most prolific mints, such as Syracuse and Tarentum. However, Lampsacus seems to have issued a regular gold coinage, just as it had done in earlier times using electrum. Comparisons between Lampsacus, Cyzicus, Mytilene and Phocaea can readily be made except that the latter three mints continued to issue electrum long after the Archaic age had closed.

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