Printed Auction 40

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Closed March 3, 2021
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  1. Winning Losing Won Lost Watching Available in aftersale  
    Rarest Memphis mint
    A40, Lot 32:

    KINGS OF MACEDON. Alexander III 'the Great.' 336-323 B.C. AR tetradrachm. 17.24 gm. 27 mm. Memphis mint. Struck under Ptolemy I Soter, circa 323/2 B.C. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left; to left, ram's head right wearing crown of Isis (Khnum); AΔ monogram below throne. CPE 4. Price 3964. Zervos Issue 3. Extremely Fine / Good Very Fine; beautiful old toning; slight die shift on obverse; slight scuff in lion's mane at 9'. Fine style dies, sharply struck on a large flan. Rare (this is the rarest of the Memphis mint issues).

    From an American collection formed in the late 1940's and early 1950's.

    The crowned ram's head on this famous issue is traditionally associated with Khnum, the god of the source of the Nile, but recent scholarship argues that it may depict Amun, the source of Egyptian kingship and the god with whom Alexander was particularly associated (Lorber, CPE). This issue has been traditionally cataloged as a lifetime issue, c. 332-323 B.C., as in Price 3964, however the latest (2018) Lorber volume (CPE) settles on 323/2 B.C. Lorber notes that the symbol represents the accession of Philip III, hence supporting the position that this is, albeit barely, not a lifetime issue.

    The tetradrachms of Alexander from the mint of Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, are arguably the most dramatically beautiful of all the coins struck in his name. The die engravers harnessed majestic power by utilizing high relief and unusual sculptural quality, making these coins stylistically among the finest silver coins of Alexander ever made.

  2. Winning Losing Won Lost Watching Available in aftersale  
    Mythological Labyrinth on Crete
    A40, Lot 60:

    CRETE. Knossos. Circa 330-300 B.C. AR stater. 10.16 gm. 24 mm. Female head (Ariadne?) facing left, wearing pendant earring, hair rolled and bound with corn wreath / Labyrinth of maeander pattern with K at center and four small incuse squares, one at each corner, all within shallow incuse circle. Le Rider, Crétoises pl. VI, 23-24, and pl. VII, 1. Svoronos, Numismatique 40, pl. V, 16 (same obverse die?) and 41, pl. V, 17 (same reverse die). SNG Copenhagen -. BMC -. Very Fine; pleasing deep cabinet toning; attractive high relief bust; a few small edge splits, minor marks, and flat strike areas. Very Rare.

    According to myth, King Minos of Crete ordered the construction of a labyrinth to imprison his wife's monster son, half man-half bull, the Minotaur. At the time, Athens was subject to Crete and forced by Minos to send seven youths and seven maidens to be fed to the Minotaur each year. The Athenian hero Theseus, aided by Minos's daughter Ariadne, slayed the Minotaur with a sword and found his way out of the maze with a ball of twine he had unravelled. Archaeologists have found remains that could have been part of this inescapable maze. In any event, the Labyrinth has long been the iconic symbol of Crete.

    Coins of Crete featuring the mythic labyrinth are extremely rare and much sought after.

  3. Winning Losing Won Lost Watching Available in aftersale  
    Rare "bare breast" variety
    A40, Lot 73:

    PTOLEMAIC KINGS OF EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. As satrap (323-305 B.C.) or king (305-282 B.C.) AR tetradrachm. 15.68 gm. 28 mm. In the name of Alexander III 'the Great' of Macedon. First reduced standard. Uncertain mint 3, probably Memphis. Struck circa 306-303 B.C. Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, wearing elephant skin headdress, aegis around neck / Athena Alkidemos advancing right, left breast bare, holding shield and spear; monograms to left and right; eagle standing on thunderbolt to right, ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ to left. CPE 89. Svoronos 139. Good Extremely Fine; lovely cabinet toning; exquisite style; perfectly centered; fresh surfaces; banker's mark in field at 9' on reverse. Rare "bare breast" variety.

    Purchased from Edward J. Waddell (tag included).

    Ptolemy I Soter "(Savior"), son of the Macedonian nobleman Lagus, was a friend and intimate of Alexander III the Great from boyhood and accompanied him on his conquests in 333-323 B.C. Upon Alexander's death in 323 B.C. Ptolemy was granted the prized satrapy of Egypt, richest of the Persian provinces. Ptolemy's early coinage carries Alexander's image and name, as seen on this remarkable tetradrachm, which depicts the great conqueror wearing an elaborate elephant-skin headdress in honor of his victories in India. Ptolemy declared his own kingship in 306 B.C. and was the only one of the Diadochi ("successors") to die peacefully, in his bed. His dynasty ruled Egypt until the fall of Cleopatra VII in 30 B.C.

  4. Winning Losing Won Lost Watching Available in aftersale  
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