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    Magnificent Panticapaeum Stater

    CIMMERIAN BOSPORUS. Panticapaeum. Ca. 325-310 BC. AV stater (22mm, 9.11 gm, 11h). Head of Satyr (or Pan) left, wreathed with ivy bough / Π - A - N, Griffin, holding spear in its mouth, standing left, head facing, forepaw raised, on grain ear right. MacDonald 63. Anokhin 1027. HGC 7, 21. SNG BM Black Sea 867. Gulbenkian 589. A magnificent piece, deeply struck on a broad flan, with a superbly rendered head. NGC MS? 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style.

    From The Providence Collection. Ex Nomos 6 (8 May 2012), lot 41 (hammer CHF 140,000); Numismatica Genevensis SA VI (30 November 2010), lot 41; Triton XIII (5 January 2010), lot 168 (hammer $95,000).

    Starting out as a Greek trading post on the northern Black Sea coast settled by Milesian pioneers in the 7th century BC, Panticapaeum soon grew into a thriving city and home to the Spartocid kings, dynastic Greek rulers of the Bosporus. The city's fabulous wealth derived from its fertile grain fields and the thriving fishing industry of the northern Black Sea, all leading to a rich trade with the cities of mainland Greece and Asia Minor. This wealth is attested by its gold coins, which are typically larger and weightier than contemporary Greek gold pieces and depict a wild-eyed satyr typically thought to represent the city's its patron god and namesake, Pan. Here, Pan is shown with an expression evoking his role in sowing discord and fear (hence the term "panic") in enemy armies. While thought of as a mythological creature today, the griffin depicted on the reverse was very real to the Greeks of the Thracian hinterland, where it was thought to live. Griffins were said to be highly covetous of gold, a trait carried over into medieval conceptions of the dragon. 


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    13th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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