Eion. Circa 460-400 BC. Trihemiobol (Silver, 13 mm, 0.96 g). Goose standing to right, head turned back to left; above, lizard crawling to left, seen from above; below goose, A. Rev. Incuse square. SNG ANS 285-6. Nicely toned and well-centered on a broad flan, an elegant composition. Nearly extremely fine.
From the collection of Skleros Kotopoulos, acquired prior to 2000.Eion, originally an Eretrian colony, was located at the mouth of the river Strymon, and had become a Persian base by the end of the 6th century. Athens attempted to capture the city in 497 but failed; a major Persian fort was built there in 492. It was finally captured by the Athenians, on behalf of the Delian League, in 475. Further up the Strymon, Amphipolis was founded as an Athenian colony in 437, with Eion functioning as the new city's port. While the Spartan Brasidas captured Amphipolis in 424, during the Peloponnesian War, he was unable to take Eion, which was defended by Thucydides. From then on the city lapsed into quiet obscurity. Eion's coinage of goose fractions must have been quite enormous; it probably began soon after its capture by Athens in 475. These coins must have been extremely useful for paying the daily wages of the troops who defended the area, as well as the builders who, later in the century, were involved in the new city of Amphipolis. What is fascinating about this coinage is the artistry that was lavished upon it by the engravers who created the dies that struck it. The soigné way the goose's neck curves back, both to fit the flan and to mirror the shape of the lizard, is particularly elegant.
|Price realized||380 CHF|
|Starting price||120 CHF|