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    Ex Triton V, Garrett Collection

    SELEUCID KINGDOM. Alexander II Zabinas (128-122 BC). AR tetradrachm (28mm, 16.75 gm, 12h). NGC AU ★ 5/5 - 5/5. Antioch. Diademed head right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞANΔPOV , Zeus seated left, holding Nike and scepter; monogram to outer left, Σ below throne. SC 2219.5b. HGC 9, 1149d. An uncommonly beautiful specimen, well struck on a round flan, with lovely old cabinet toning and a weighty pedigree back to 1925.

    Ex Triton V (15 January 2002, lot 1505; John W. Garrett Collection, Part II (Numismatic Fine Arts/Bank Leu, 16-18 October 1984), lot 300; Petrowicz Collection (Naville X, 15 June 1925), lot 1368. 

    Although possessing no royal blood, Alexander II Zabinas successfully usurped the Seleucid throne with the aid of the Egyptian king Ptolemy VIII Physcon. Probably the son of an Egyptian merchant, he claimed at different times to be the son of Alexander I Balas (150-145 BC) or the adoptive son of the last really capable Seleucid ruler, Antiochus VII Sidetes, who died on campaign against the Parthians in 129 BC. After Sidetes' death, his brother Demetrius II briefly resumed the Seleucid throne after more than a decade spent in Parthian captivity, but quickly became embroiled in an Egyptian civil war between Ptolemy VIII and his sister, Cleopatra II. For a couple of years, Alexander ruled the environs of Antioch, where he was beloved for his generosity with Ptolemy VIII's money. His coin portraits depicting with a sweet, almost girlish face quite distinct from that of other Seleucid rulers. However, most of the Seleucid empire backed a regime headed by the ferocious dowager queen Cleopatra Thea and her son Antiochus VIII Grypus ("hook-nosed"). An end to the Egyptian civil war in 125 BC caused Ptolemy VIII to cut off his support to Alexander, and in 123 BC the people of Antioch revolted and ejected him from the city. He was soon captured by a band of robbers and handed over to Cleopatra Thea, who summarily executed him early in 122 BC.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    20th-23rd Friday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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