Printed Auction 42

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Closed March 1, 2023
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    Rare Epaminondas issue
    A42, Lot 72:

    BOEOTIA. Thebes. Circa 364-362 B.C. AR stater. 12.04 gm. 22.5 mm. Epaminondas, magistrate. Boeotian shield / Amphora; EΠ-AMI across field, rosette above; all within concave circle. HGC 4, 1333. BCD Boiotia 543 (same rev. die). Hepworth, Epaminondas pl. 3, 3 (same rev. die). Hepworth 32 (same rev. die). Good Very Fine; beautifully toned and well centered; tiny edge crack at 11'. Exceptional example of the type. Rare.

    The Zabel Collection. Ex CNG 64 (24 September 2003) lot 184.

    Described by Cicero as "the first man of Greece," and held by the French intellectual Montaigne as "one of the worthiest (men) that ever lived," Epaminondas was the idealist, the liberator of his age, beyond peer in his own time, a famed general, military strategist, and statesman of Thebes who successfully led the Boeotians against the invading Spartans at the battle of Leuktra in 371 B.C., ending their nearly three centuries of military supremacy. Tragically for Thebes, he fought in the phalanx and was killed in 362 B.C. at the battle of Mantineia by a javelin in his chest thrown by Gryllos, son of the historian Xenophon, leaving Thebes without the vital leader it needed to resist Philip II of Macedon, and thereby dramatically changing the course of history.

    The reverse die for this coin initially read EΠ-ΠA, the original form of the magistrate's name. Traces of the original ΠA can be seen beneath AM.

  2. Winning Losing Won Lost Watching Available in aftersale  
    A42, Lot 74:

    UNCERTAIN EASTERN MINT. Imitating Athens. Circa 353-294 B.C. AR tetradrachm. 16.95 gm. 19 mm. Helmeted head of Athena right, with profile eye / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent behind; ΑΘΕ before. For type: Cf. HGC 4, 1599. Cf. Kroll 15. Cf. SNG Copenhagen 64. Very Fine; attractive old toning; well centered and sharply struck; a few light cleaning marks on obverse. Interesting contemporary imitation of fine Eastern style.

    From a carefully sourced mid-20th century collection formed in the American Midwest.

    In ancient times, the Athenian tetradrachm was widely accepted as a trade coin around the Mediterranean and frontier regions to the East, due to its high mintages and the reliable fineness of its silver. Its recurring motif of the head of Athena and the owl were widely imitated by various local authorities. In the 5th and 4th centuries BC, these included Persia, Bactria, Phoenicia, Judaea, Samaria, Egypt, and Arabia, peaking in the 4th century BC. when official production of owls declined after the Peloponnesian War ended in 404 BC. The arrival of Alexander the Great and the spread of his tetradrachms replaced the owls, with the exception of South Arabia, where the obverse evolved from the female form of Athena to the male.

    This is a fine example of an imitative type. Cf. lots 75f. for examples from Egypt and Arabia.

  3. Winning Losing Won Lost Watching Available in aftersale  



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