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Lot 22

Estimate: 25'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 20'000 CHF Price realized: 30'000 CHF
Afrique - Egypte
Ptolémée VI (180-146)
Octodrachme d’or - Alexandrie
Exemplaire d’une qualité remarquable.
Exemplaire de la vente Leu 38 du 13 mai 1986, N°172
27.79g - Svoronos 1498 - Boston 2293
Pratiquement FDC - CHOICE AU *

This example belongs to the so-called “K-type”, which was issued during the reigns of Ptolemy VI to VIII (180-116 BC). Despite its attractive style, the coin seems to show a frozen type in honour of Arsinoe II (who had died in 270 BC). The K could signify that it presents a disguised portrait of Kleopatra II – their sister and wife, or on the contrary it could be a real sign that the type was frozen – as the original coins of Ptolemy II-III used several letters (not just K) to differentiate their dies. The K could also be a date (K = 20 in Greek numerals), which could then be an anniversary of Kleopatra II’s wedding in 172 BC. Rather than a great rarity, as the Kena hoard (buried c. 144 BC and found near Luxor in 1923) contained as many as 43 octodrachms of Ptolemy VI, this coin is desirable for its quality as its condition is absolutely superb.

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