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    Description

    BACTRIA. Early Hellenistic era. Ca. 305-295 BC. AR tetradrachm (25mm, 17.16 gm, 12h). NGC Choice AU ★ 5/5 - 4/5. Attic standard. Head of Athena right, wearing hoop earring and crested Attic helmet embossed with three laurel leaves over brow plate and spiral vine scroll at back of bowl / ΑΘΕ, owl standing right, head facing, olive spring and crescent to left, all within deep incuse square. HGC 12, 1. SNG ANS 1. Apparently the first true "Greco-Bactrian" issue, and decidedly rare, particularly in this spectacular grade!

    Ancient Bactria, a region roughly corresponding to modern Afghanistan, proved to be Alexander the Great's toughest conquest, requiring three years from 331 to 329 BC and vast expenditures in blood and treasure. Once relatively pacified, thousands of Macedonian veterans were settled in the region and encouraged to take local wives. This first attempt at colonization failed and most of these early colonists died in a bloody revolt circa 323 BC. A second mass-settlement under Seleucus I, circa 308-305 BC, proved more enduring. Around this time appear the first Greco-Bactrian coins, silver tetradrachms and fractions modeled on the ubiquitous Athenian "owl" coinage. This first group was a more or less straight knock-off of the Athenian coinage, with no control marks and the reverse design set in an incuse square, as seen in this superlative example. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    20th-23rd Friday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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