Ancient Greek Pantikapaion Satyr Head Gold Stater Coin
The Ancient Greek Pantikapaion Satyr Head Gold Stater coin is a highly rare and important ancient Greek coin.
The gold coin features the head of bearded satyr facing, inclined slightly to the left, with long dishevelled hair and horse’s ears on the obverse. The reverse of the coin depicts a winged griffin standing to the left holding a spear in its jaws, above a large grain-ear. Its horned head is facing, and its right forepaw is raised.
The coin originates from the Greek Colony of Pantikapaion, in the Black Sea Region, and dates from circa 350-300 B.C.
The coin has been described as one of “the most spectacular numismatic objects to survive from the classical world… one of the greatest pinnacles of ancient Greek numismatic art.”
Bunker Hunt Collection
The coin was part of the renowned Bunker Hunt collection, amassed by the brothers Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt during the late 1970s. Nelson Bunker Hunt was a former oil company executive and billionaire who built an extensive collection of Ancient Greek and Roman coins, along with other antiquities such as statues, bronzes and vases.
The brothers were declared bankrupt in the 1980s after attempting to corner the world’s silver market. They were charged with manipulating the price of silver in February 1985 by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and forced to sell their collection of ancient art in a series of court-ordered auctions in 1990 and 1991.
The Gold Stater was sold during a Sotheby’s auction in July 1990, and purchased along with a number of other coins by the former Swiss private bank Bank Leu AG. It was then sold once more in 1991, to the anonymous owner of the celebrated Prospero Collection.
The collection consisted of over six hundred coins from the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Greek periods, built up over a thirty year period from the 1960s up until the 1990s.
The Prospero Collection was sold during a number of sales in New York through the numismatic auction house Baldwin’s in early January 2012.
On January 5, 2012 the coin was sold as part of the celebrated Prospero Collection by the numismatic auction house Baldwin’s.
The auction, which took place in New York, brought the highest results of any sale in the company’s history with a total of more than $25 million.
The Stater was the highest-priced lot of the event, selling for a World Record hammer price of $3,250,000 (excluding buyer’s premium). As of January 2012 it is the most expensive Ancient Greek coin ever sold at auction.