IONIA. Miletos. Circa 350-334 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 23 mm, 15.40 g, 12 h), Lenaios, magistrate. Laureate head of Apollo to left. Rev. ΛHNAIOΣ Lion standing left, head turned back to right towards star above; in field to left, monogram of MI. Deppert-Lippitz 80 (V9/R-). Rare. A wonderful coin, perfectly struck from fresh dies of superb artistry. Two tiny edge bumps on the obverse, otherwise, good extremely fine.
From the Kleinkunst Collection.
The beautiful late Classical tetradrachms from Miletos were struck in the years leading up to the wars of Alexander the Great, in which the great city was captured early on in 334 BC after a short siege. Unfortunately, we do not know what prompted their emission, but the overall output of silver coins must have been considerable, as at least a dozen magistrates are recorded in all denominations. The tetradrachms, naturally, are rare today, but their stylistic perfection gives testimony to the high artistic skills that had developed in 4th century Ionia. The types refer to the principal deity of Miletos, Apollon Didymeios, whose sanctuary lay 16 km south of the city and whose sacred animal, the lion, is shown on the reverse. It is worth noting that the lion, who turns his head backwards, already appears on the Archaic coinage of the city and would continue to serve as a coat of arms well into the Roman time. Of particular interest is the shape of the star, or sun, above the lion on this coin: it is formed of eight rays, which radiate from a stellate pattern that is reminiscent of the complex geometrical incusa found on the Archaic coinage of the city. Obviously, the sun was closely connected to the worship of Apollo, whose principal epithet, in his role as god of light, was Phoibos ('the luminescent/bright one').
|Price realized||11'000 CHF|
|Starting price||6'000 CHF|