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    Description

    Amazingly Complete Aegina

    SARONIC ISLANDS. Aegina. Ca. 480-457 BC. AR stater (21mm, 12.26 gm). NGC Choice AU ★ 5/5 - 4/5. Sea turtle, viewed from above, head turned sideways, with trefoil collar and row of five dots down center of shell / Large "skew pattern" incuse with five sunken compartments. HGC 6, 435. Meadows Group IIIa. Milbank pl. 1, 13. SNG Lockett 1970. A remarkably perfect specimen, well centered and deeply struck on a full, round flan, with all design elements present and detailed, surely among the finest specimens of this important early coinage extant.

    Ex Stacks-Bowers 177 (13 August 2013), lot 11065 (realized $19,000 hammer).

    The city of Aegina located on the Saronic Gulf island of the same name appears to have been the first European city to mint coins of any type, starting circa 550 BC. From earliest times the maritime city placed a sea turtle on the obverse of its coins, with a simple abstract incuse punch on the reverse. These "turtles" soon circulated widely and impressed neighboring Athens enough that it began striking its own silver coins a few decades later. The sea turtle on Aeginetan coins underwent a slow evolution as the decades past, with a brief divergence in the mid-sixth century of depicting a land tortoise with a segmented shell. This specimen represents the final form of the sea turtle circa 480-457 BC, after the Aeginetan navy distinguished itself at the Battle of Salamis: A robust creature with a nicely defined collar and a row of dots running down the otherwise smooth shell. After about 450 BC the obverse type switched permanently to a land tortoise, perhaps reflecting the eclipse of Aegina's naval power by nearby Athens.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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