Unrecorded Macedonian electrum stater set for $180,000 auction


2015-06-26 13:06:54


Unrecorded Macedonian electrum stater set for $180,000 auction

The unrecorded Macedonian electrum stater has no direct comparisons

A Thraco-Macedonian electrum stater that is thought to be a previously unrecorded variety will provide an exciting opportunity for ancient coin collectors, when it sells as part of a New York auction on January 9-10.

unrecorded thraco-macedonian electrum staterThe British Museum's coin may be an earlier example from the Orreskioi

The coin, which would have been used by the Thracian tribes living in Macedonia around 500-450 BC, will be sold with an $180,000 estimate. Its only known comparable is an electrum stater in the British Museum, which is of a similar type but crafted differently.

The British Museum coin, which has been attributed to the Thracian Orreskioi tribe, is "inferior in terms of both style and execution", according to the auction house, displaying a lack of detail when compared to the present lot.

The example at auction does, however, share the defining characteristics of other electrum issues from the Thraco-Macedonian region, with flan cracks following a jagged pattern, and a roughly textured inner surface. The coin also has a number of small fissures on its surface, which can be seen in other examples of the period.

The obverse of the coin is decorated with a centaur which, according to mythology, would have inhabited the woods and mountains of Elis, Arcadia and Thessaly. They were characterised by lustful desire, which is demonstrated by the protesting nymph whom the centaur is carrying on the coin.

Kimon facing head ArethusaKimon shares the title of the greatest Greek engraver with Euainetos, both of which are highly prized by collectors

Also starring is one of the most famous of all Greek coins,Kimon's facing head of Arethusa. A spectacular example of the master engraver's work and one of the most important coins of the late5th century BC, it has been given a $100,000 valuation.

The top coin sale of 2012 - as seen in our coin market 2012 auction review - went to the majestic Pantikapaion gold stater from the Prospero collection, which set a new world record for any ancient Greek coinwhen it soldfor $3.8m. With the second highest sale of the yeargoing to a $2.5m silver decradrachm of Acragas, we can expect good things from ancient Greek coins in 2013.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has recently sold a fantastic silver tetradrachm of Rhodes, but we still have a selection of stunning rare coins for sale.

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