Baldwin's of St. James's   |   Auction 29   |   19 March 2019 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 1003

Estimate: 12'000 GBP   |   Starting price: 8'000 GBP Online bidding closed
Ancient Coins, Attica, Athens (c. 510-500 BC), silver tetradrachm, head of Athena r., in archaic style, full plume visible, rev. AΘE, owl stg. r., olive leaf to left, crescent to right, wt. 17.1gms. (HGC.4; Seltman Group H), very fine, rare
A very fine example of an early Athenian tetradrachm of superb archaic style. A well-centred strike, with the full plume of Athena’s helmet visible.
This impressive archaic tetradrachm was issued a decade before the first Persian war. Athens provided the Ionian Greeks with assistance in their rebellion against the Persians, but aside from the sack of Sardes, the campaign was unsuccessful. Nonetheless, the Persian King Darius, aiming to punish Athens for their support of the Ionian rebellion, launched an invasion of Greece, landing at Marathon in 490 BC. Only twenty five miles from the city of Athens, the vastly outnumbered Athenian hoplite force crushed the invading Persian army, who turned and fled after suffering horrendous casualties. This silver tetradrachm is one of the earliest Athenian ‘Owl’ tetradrachms produced by the great city, and the coin would become a legend in the world of numismatics.

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