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    Full Bead Border

    BACTRIAN KINGDOM. Eucratides I the Great (ca. 170-145 BC). AV stater (20mm, 8.47 gm, 11h). NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 4/5. Diademed and draped bust of Eucratides right, wearing crested and broad-brimmed Bactrian helmet adorned with bull's horn and ear; all within dotted border / BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛΟΥ-EYKPATIΔOY, the Dioscuri mounted right on rearing horses, holding palm fronds over shoulders and couched spears; ΔΙΦ monogram in lower right field. Bopearachchi 5 var. (unlisted monogram); cf. 7A (drachm). Al. N. Oikonomedes, The Gold Coinage of the Indo-Greek King Eukratides I (171-155 B.C.), North American Journal of Numismatics 7.6 (1968), Group B. SNG ANS 163 var. (different monogram). MIG Type 176 var. (unlisted monogram).

    Alexander the Great's conquests eventually carried him all the way to the Indian subcontinent and established a Greek presence there that persisted for nearly four centuries. The region was first controlled by Alexander's general Seleucus and his descendants. By 240 BC, the regions encompassing modern Afghanistan and northern India had broken from Seleucid rule and became independent under their own line of kings, which were showcased in a series of coin portraits of astonishing power and realism. Greatest of these was Eucratides, ca. 171-145 BC, whose vast realm was larger than any other Greek-ruled kingdom of the time. Eucratides struck silver coins in great numbers and many survive today. His gold coins, however, are exceedingly rare. This magnificent piece depicts Eucratides as a general wearing a broad-brimmed helmet, greatly resembling a modern-day British explorer in a pith helmet. The portrait, rendered in sculptural high relief, is nearly photographic in its realism and exemplifies the virtuosity achieved by the artisans of this far-flung Greek enclave.




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    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    15th Thursday
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