Alexander III The Great, Macedonian Kingdom, 336 - 323 B.C.
Alexander the Great is arguably the most famous man of antiquity. Born a leader, his genius and charisma led the Macedonian Army across the world creating an empire that covered most of the then-known world, from Greece to India. He was regarded as god and his fame grew even greater after his premature death at thirty-three. His reign marks the beginning of the Hellenistic Age, a time when almost every aspect of human civilization flourished. His coinage is highly complex, struck in cities all over the ancient map and spanning over two hundred years. The representative types are the silver tetradrachms and drachms depicting an idealized portrait of Alexander in the guise of the mythical hero Heracles, and his gold staters depicting Athena.
Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great
Sardes was a treasury of Lysimachus and one of his most active mints. Demetrius Poliorcetes captured the city in 287. Lysimachus regained it in 286, but it appears he did not reopen the mint. All the coins are pre-286 style. Lysimachus permanently lost Sardes when it was captured by Seleukos in 282.
SL90460. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson 86, Müller 407 (Pergamon), Armenak Hoard 806 - 810, NGC Choice VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (2416724-006); fantastic high relief portrait of Alexander, weight 17.02 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 330o, Lydia, Sardes mint, lifetime issue, c. 297 - 287 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, left arm on shield decorated with Gorgoneion, transverse spear against right side, Nike crowning name in right, ΠPE monogram within circle left, ∆K monogram in exergue; $1250.00 (€937.50)
Odessos, Thrace, c. 240 - 180 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
Herakles is most often depicted on coinage wearing the scalp of the Nemean lion over his head. The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by King Eurystheus (his cousin), was to slay the Nemean lion and bring back its skin. Herakles discovered arrows and his club were useless against it because its golden fur was impervious to mortal weapons. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Wise Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.
SH71037. Silver tetradrachm, Price 1174 , Topalov Odesos 59, Prokesch-Osten (1) 266, AMNG I.2 2140, Müller Alexander -, Choice gVF, superbstyle, toned, obverse double struck, weight 16.650 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 0o, Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria) mint, magistrate Eupro..., c. 240 - 180 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, right leg drawn back, monogram under throne, EYΠPO in exergue; $700.00 (€525.00)
Mesembria, Thrace, c. 275 - 225 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
Mesembria, Nesebar Bulgaria today, was a Doric settlement on a Black Sea island just off mainland Thrace. Today it is a seaside resort and a man-made isthmus connects it to the coast. The city struck Alexandrine tetradrachms possibly as early as 275 B.C. It is likely Mesembria issued the very last Alexandrine tetradrachms, possibly even under Roman rule, as late as 65 B.C.
SH71566. Silver tetradrachm, Karayotov p. 83 and pl. VI, 24 (O7/R11); Price 992; Müller 436, EF, superbstyle, nick on reverse right side edge, weight 16.858 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 275 - 225 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus seated left, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, Corinthian helmet right over ΠA monogram in inner left field under arm; $700.00 (€525.00)
Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C.
Without control symbols, attribution is made by comparing the fabric and style to attributed examples. We did not find any examples in our references similar enough to confidently identify the mint or date of this coin.
SH90222. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Price 844, Müller Alexander -, Choice aEF, scratch behind Herakles ear, weight 16.884 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, posthumous, c. 310 - 275 B.C.(?); obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, throne with high back, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, no control symbols; ex Savoca Coins (Munich); rare; $600.00 (€450.00)
Possibly a lifetime issue!
Henri De La Tour (1855-1913) was Librarian of the Department of Medals and Antiques at the Bibliothèque nationale de France and author of dozens of numismatic works. His monumental Atlas des monnaies gauloises, the first major reference for Celtic coins, continues to be a primary reference to this day.
SH71154. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3426. Müller Alexander 1375, Demanhur Hoard 3624 - 3652, SNG München 744, SNG Cop 805, SNG Locket 1454, aEF, bold high relief, superbstyle, toned, slightly off center, scratch on cheek, weight 16.973 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Byblos mint, c. 330 - 320 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, A∆PA monogram left (off flan); ex Hess Divo AG, auction 314, lot 1083, ex De La Tour Collection; $600.00 (€450.00)
Pamphylia (Uncertain City), 220 - 180 B.C., Civic Coinage in the Name and Types of Alexander the Great
Before the Battle of Magnesia, in 190 B.C., Pamphylia was under Seleukid rule; after it was added to the dominions of the kings of Pergamum. Under both kingdoms, the Greek cities of Pamphylia had considerable autonomy and issued their own coinage, including Alexandrine type tetradrachms. On the death of Attalus III in 133 B.C., Pamphylia, with the rest of his kingdom, passed to the Roman Republic.
SH90964. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2982, Maktepini Hoard 719 - 722, SNG Berry 305, SNG Ashmolean 3178, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG München -, SNG Saroglos -, VF, well centered on a broad flan, weight 16.686 g, maximum diameter 33.7 mm, die axis 315o, Pamphylia, uncertain mint, c. 220 - 180 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, throne with high back, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, no control symbols; $580.00 (€435.00)
Seleucid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Babylonia, In the Name of Alexander the Great
Price dates this type 311 - 305 B.C. Houghton dates it 311 - 300 B.C. Houghton notes that Kritt down-dated the chronology due to the complexity of the emissions and that two hoards independently support the revised dating.
SH71155. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 82.5b, Price 3747, Müller Alexander 734, VF, high relief, finestyle, toned, edge bump, weight 16.680 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 90o, Babylon mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, right leg drawn back, MYPT monogram (variant with pellet in P) in wreath left, MI under throne; $580.00 (€435.00)
Seleucid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
Ecbatana was the capital of the Medes, a royal residence of the Achaemenid kings, and the capital of the satrapy of Media. Seleucus annexed Media to his province in 311 B.C., refounded the city of Ecbatana, and opened a mint there.
SH90879. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 202(11)b, Price 3931, Müller Alexander , Newell ESM 475, VF, bold high relief, weight 17.011 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 180o, Ecbatana mint, c. 311 - 295 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus on high back throne left, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; in lower left field: two monograms, over anchor with flukes left, over horse forepart grazing left; ΣΩ below throne; ex Edward J. Waddell; $520.00 (€390.00) ON RESERVE
Phaselis, Lycia, 213 - 212 B.C., Civic Issue in the Name of Alexander the Great, with Seleukid Countermark
Phaselis was under Ptolemaic control from 209 to 197 B.C. Antiochus III took control in 197 and formally took possession of the Egyptian territories in Anatolia through the Peace of Lysimachia in 195. Despite the vicissitudes of the area, Phaselis seems to have retained significant autonomy and struck Alexander type tetradrachms with remarkable continuity from 218 - 185 B.C. The series ended shortly after the conclusion of the Apamea treaty, when Phaselis and the other cities of Lycia were handed over to the Kingdom of Rhodes. From 190 to 160 B.C. it remained under Rhodeian hegemony. After 160 B.C. Phaselis was absorbed into the Lycian confederacy under Roman rule. In the 1st century B.C., the city was taken over by the pirate Zekenites for a period until his defeat by the Romans.
SH71158. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2840, Mektepini Hoard 495, Cohen DCA 315, Müller Alexander -, VF, broad flan, attractive dark toning worn from high-points, slight double strike, weight 16.651 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 0o, Lycia, Phaselis mint, 213 - 212 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; Seleukid countermark: anchor in an oval punch; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, eagle extended in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, C (year 6) over Φ left; countermark: Seleukid anchor in rounded rectangular incuse; scarce; $520.00 (€390.00)
Lifetime style and possibly a lifetime issue!
SH70990. Silver tetradrachm, Price 236, Müller Alexander 1397, Meydancikkale 487- 488, VF, weight 17.170 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 90o, Macedonia, Pella mint, c. 325 - 315 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in lion skin headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg forward, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, ΣI in left field; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 220, part of lot 1985; $490.00 (€367.50)
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