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Lot 58

Estimate: 10'000 USD   |   Starting price: 6'000 USD Price realized: 12'200 USD
Seleukid Kingdom. Seleukos I Nikator. 312-281 B.C. AR tetradrachm. Susa, ca. 305/4-295 B.C.
Seleukid Kingdom. Seleukos I Nikator. 312-281 B.C. AR tetradrachm (27 mm, 16.86 g, 9 h). Susa, ca. 305/4-295 B.C. Head of hero (Alexander or Seleukos?) right, wearing helmet covered with panther's skin and adorned with the ear and horns of a bull / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣEΛEYKOY, Nike standing right, crowning with wreath trophy before her; in lower left field, H; between Nike and base of trophy, AX. SC 173.12; HGC 9, 20. Good metal, well centered and excellent details. toned. Superb extremely fine.

It is readily apparent that the reverse design of this coin showing Nike placing a wreath upon a trophy she has erected commemorates Seleukos' recent victories in the Upper Satrapies and his assumption of the royal title in 305 B.C. What is less certain is the identification of the head on the obverse. Hadley argues for an assimilation of Alexander the Great with Dionysos, while Hoover sees a portrait of Seleukos himself, with the divine attributes of Dionysos. For full discussion, see R. A. Hadley, "Seleucus, Dionysus, or Alexander?" NC 1974, pp. 9-13, and Oliver D. Hoover, "The identity of the helmeted head on the 'Victory' coinage of Susa," SNR 81, 2002, pp. 51-60.

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