By Jeremy Bostwick – Senior Numismatist & Cataloger, Stack’s Bowers ……
With over 200 lots of ancient coins in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries June 2021 Ancient and World Collectors Choice Online (CCO) Auction, there are numerous exciting highlights.
One particular standout is a silver tetradrachm of the Thracian king Lysimachos, who had served as one of Alexander the Great’s closest generals. Following the death of Alexander in 323 BCE, Lysimachos governed the province of Thrace, eventually centralizing power and crowning himself king in 306. He continued his rule over Thrace and a large portion of Asia Minor for the next quarter-century, producing a coinage that would be nearly as recognizable as the Herakles/Zeus types of his predecessor.
The silver denominations (tetradrachms and drachms) featured not the head of Lysimachos but rather Alexander in deified form – an homage to a fallen leader. On the obverse, Alexander is depicted adorned with a ram’s horn, alluding to the Egyptian deity Amun, whom the Greeks–and later the Romans–incorporated into their mythos attributed to Zeus and Jupiter, respectively. On the reverse is a seated Athena who holds a crowning figure of Nike, all while resting her elbow upon a shield and with a spear cradled behind her. Just like Alexander’s massive output at countless mints, the determination of the striking locale relies heavily upon the various control marks, symbols, and/or monograms, placed around the reverse.
In the case of this magnificent tetradrachm (lot 70037) in our upcoming auction—graded NGC Ch EF, Strike: 5/5, Surface: 4/5, Fine Style—the markings indicate the mint of Magnesia on the Maeander River in modern-day Turkey. Interestingly, it is this river from which the term ‘meander’ emanates, as the river twists and turns with multiple bends throughout.
Look for this rather elegant and problem-free ancient, along with all the other ancients, in our June 22-24 CCO Auction.
To view our upcoming auction schedule and future offerings, please visit StacksBowers.com where you may register and participate in this and other forthcoming sales.
We are always seeking coins, medals, and paper money for future auctions, and are currently accepting submissions for our Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money in August and our fall Hong Kong Auction in September. Additionally, we are always accepting submissions for our Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auctions, the next of which will be in October. If you would like to learn more about consigning, whether a singular item or an entire collection, please contact one of our consignment directors today and we will assist you in achieving the best possible return on your material.