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    Stunning New Style Tetradrachm

    ATTICA. Athens. Ca. 165-42 BC. AR tetradrachm (31mm, 16.61 gm, 11h). 'New Style' issue, 134/3 BC. Timarchos, Nikago(ras), and Kleon, magistrates. Helmeted head of Athena right / A-ΘE, owl standing right on overturned amphora, head facing; TIM-APXOY / NIKAΓO / KΛEΩN (magistrates) across fields; in left field, anchor and star; I on amphora, ME below; all within wreath. Thompson 368a. Anj absolutely stunning example of this important coinage, well-centered on a broad, round flan. NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 4/5.

    From The California Collection. Ex Kim Werner Collection (Heritage 3020, Long Beach, 6 September 2012); Harlan J. Berk BBS 80 (18 January 1994), lot 129. 

    In 165 BC, Athens launched a complete revision of the venerable "owl" design now called the "New Style" coinage. The quasi-archaic Athena and owl employed with little variation for the previous three centuries was given a facelift conforming to Hellenistic conventions, using a broad, round flan in place of the familiar dumpy fabric. The new head of Athena now sported an elaborate, triple-crested helmet and features modeled on the famous Parthenon statue of the virgin warrior goddess by Phidias. Her owl was shown on the reverse in a more frontal pose than before, standing on an overturned amphora. The coinage became more informative and bureaucratic, providing the names of the mint officials, various symbols, and even monthly dates according to the Greek calendar. The whole reverse design was enclosed within a laurel wreath, making this the first of the so-called '"stephanophoric" ("wreath-bearing") coinages. Early "New Style" tetradrachms such as this one are struck in high relief on large flans, and the outstanding style, centering, metal quality, and the lack of any signs of circulation surely rank this piece among the finest surviving examples.

    View all of [The California Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    4th-5th Sunday-Monday
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