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    Description

    Control-Mark Bactrian Issue

    BACTRIA. Early Hellenistic era. Sophytes (?) (ca. 305-295 BC). AR tetradrachm (25mm, 16.73 gm, 5h). NGC AU ★ 5/5 - 4/5. Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over brow guard and a spiral palmette on the bowl; WAT (?) monogram to left / AΘE, owl standing right, head facing, galley prow right in left field.  HGC 12 --, cf. 2 (grape bunch and prow symbols). Cf. Bopearachchi, Sophytes 8 . Cf. SNG ANS 3 (same). MIG Type 13a (same obverse die as illustrated coin). Very rare! An outstanding specimen of this enigmatic coinage, with a well-centered head of Athena.

    The Seleucid-era Greek settlement of Bactria may have been carried out under a general or satrap named Sophytes, whose and possible portrait name appear on a somewhat later series of coins. After the initial issue of Bactrian "owl" coinage (see previous lot), a later group "owl" was struck on a somewhat reduced standard, with monograms and various symbols as control marks, of which this example is one of the finest surviving specimens. These are now provisionally ascribed to Sophytes. All of these early Bactrian pieces are rare, but a number have appeared on the market recently, reputedly from a 1960s-era find that resided for many years in Germany. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 268

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