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Lot 58

Estimate: 25'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 20'000 CHF Price realized: 50'000 CHF
PTOLEMAIC KINGDOM OF EGYPT. BERENICE, wife of Ptolemy III, 246-222 BC. Attic Pentekaidekadrachm (15 drachms), Alexandria ?. AR 52.89 g. Diademed and draped bust r. Rev. ΒΕΡΕΝΙΚΗΣ - ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ Cornucopiae, bound with fillet between two laureate piloi. Svoronos, Pt. 988.
Of great rarity, a spectacular issue. Excllent style. Insignificant flan crack.
Professionally restored former planchet fault, otherwise choice uncirculated
Provenance: Auction Tkalec AG, Zurich, 25 October 1996, 104.

Berenice II was a ruling queen of Cyrene by birth, and a queen and co-regent of Egypt by marriage to her cousin Ptolemy III Euergetes, the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt. During husband's absence on an expedition to Syria, she dedicated locks of her hair to Aphrodite for his safe return and victory in the Third Syrian War, and placed the offering in the temple of the goddess at Zephyrium. By some unknown means, the hair offering disappeared when Ptolemy returned to Egypt. Conon of Samos explained the phenomenon in courtly phrase, by saying that it had been carried to the heavens and placed among the stars. The name Coma Berenices or Berenice's hair, applied to a constellation, commemorates this incident.

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