Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    ATTICA. Athens. Ca. 510/500-480 BC. AR tetradrachm (21mm, 16.99 gm, 4h). NGC Choice XF 4/5 - 4/5. Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet, the crest box ornamented with chevron pattern / AΘΕ, owl standing right with closed wings, head facing, olive sprig behind, all within incuse square. HGC 12, 590. Svoronos pl. 6. Seltman group L, 338-342. Rare, particularly this well made and preserved. A choice example displaying the full head and crest of Athena.

    The earliest "owl" coinage of Athens coincides with the momentous expulsion of the last tyrants and the city's adoption of the world's first democracy. The quality of this coinage veers sharply between dies of remarkable crudity, comprising most of the coins struck, and a limited number of issues displaying great refinement. The great disparity in artistic quality led Seltman to propose an "imperial" mint in the Attic or Thracian hinterlands, staffed by artists of little or no talent, and a "civic" mint whose engravers displayed the full virtues and vigor of archaic art. In the latter category falls this lovely tetradrachm struck in the last decade of the sixth century BC. The head of Athena exhibits a pleasant profile and her lips are drawn into a tight "archaic smile"; also notable are the arrangement of hair along the brow line, so reminiscent of the marble koroi and reliefs that exemplify the era. The helmet is undecorated and the broad crest is defined just enough to suggest horsehair. The reverse owl is likewise a well-proportioned creature, somewhat slimmer than later incarnations and standing proudly erect.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2018
    6th-11th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 678

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 15 days left to consign to the 2020 April 22 - 27 Central States US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago!

    Learn about consigning with us

    It is with a sense of tremendous gratitude that I wish to convey my sincere appreciation to you for the manner in which you managed the recent sale of my currency collection.
    Thomas Flynn,
    Scottsdale, AZ
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2020 January 15 Classic Silver and Gold Commemoratives US Coins Monthly Online Auction
    2020 January 15 Classic Silver and Gold Commemoratives US Coins Monthly Online Auction
    REALIZED $122,082
    2020 February 9 A Special Collection of Frankfurt Coins World Coins Monthly Online Auction
    2020 February 9 A Special Collection of Frankfurt Coins World Coins Monthly Online Auction
    REALIZED $55,978.00
    2020 January 9 - 13 FUN World Paper Money Signature Auction - Orlando
    2020 January 9 - 13 FUN World Paper Money Signature Auction - Orlando
    REALIZED $1,741,136