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    Description

    Incredible Elephant Quadriga

    SELEUCID KINGDOM. Seleucus I Nicator (312-281 BC). AR tetradrachm (26mm, 17.11 gm, 4h). Seleuceia on the Tigris, ca. 296/5-281 BC. Laureate head of Zeus right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣEΛEYKOY, Athena, brandishing spear overhead in right hand, shield on left arm, in car of quadriga pulled by elephants right. SC 130.45. WSM 1626. HGC 9, 18a. An attractive specimen, well centered, lightly toned and deeply struck in living high relief. Detailed portrait, lustrous fields. Certainly the finest example of this type we have yet offered. NGC Choice AU? 5/5 - 5/5.

    Combat elephants, the "tanks" of ancient warfare, were introduced to the Hellenistic world by the northern Indian king Porus at the Battle of Hydaspes in 326 BC. Although the Macedonians won the battle, the gigantic Indian elephants, carrying fighting towers manned by spearmen and bowmen, made an enormous impression on the Greeks, and pachyderms became an important element in the armies Alexander's successors. Seleucus I Nicator gained an advantage in this ancient arms race by concluding a treaty with the northern Indian ruler Chandragupta, but which he secured 500 trained war elephants for the Seleucid army. The treaty is celebrated on this impressive series of tetradrachms, which depicts a militant Athena be pulled by four elephants equipped with horned headdresses. As awe-inspiring as these animals must have been, their actual performance in battle was frequently underwhelming. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    14th-19th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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