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    Earliest Inscribed Lydian Piece?

    LYDIAN KINGDOM. Ardys II-Alyattes (ca. 630-564 BC). EL sixth stater or hecte (10mm, 2.29 gm). NGC Choice VF 5/5 - 4/5. Head of boar left with long tusks, Lydian inscription D-E-S (?) before / Two unequal incuse squares with rough interiors side-by side, slightly offset. J. Spier, Studies Price (1998), 331. Weidaur --. SNG Kayhan --. Rosen --. Extremely rare! Likely one of the earliest, if not the earliest, inscribed Lydian coins.

    Jeffrey Spiers's article in Studies Price (1998) posits that the earliest inscribed Lydian coins pre-date the reign of Alyattes (or Walwet), circa 610-561 BC, who was previously believed to be the earliest king named on any coin. These earlier issues include the extremely rare series with a boar head left, of which perhaps three or four specimens are known to exist. A fragmentary Lydian inscription appears before the boar's snout; however no surviving specimen has enough of the inscription visible to be fully readable. The present piece has a least three letters visible, albeit somewhat worn, which appear to be the Lydian D-E-S, perhaps a partial version of the name Ardys (Ardys II reigned ca. 678-629 BC). Certainly this intriguing hecte bears further study by experts in ancient Near-Eastern epigraphy!


    Auction Info

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