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    Incredible Archaic Rarity

    THRACO-MACEDONIAN TRIBES. The Edones. King Getas (ca. 480s-460s BC). AR octadrachm (32mm, 28.60 gm). Ca. 476-473 BC. ΝΟ[Μ]-ΙΣ-ΜΑ ΕΔΟΝΕΟΝ ΒΑΣΙΛ-ΕΟΣ ΓΙΤΑ (many letters retrograde and/or inverted), nude herdsman (Hermes?) wearing petasos, standing between and guiding two oxen walking right, the far oxen with head raised, all within heavy dotted border / Cross-spoked wheel within incuse square. Kraay, Archaic and Classical Greek Coinage (Methuen 1976), pl. 26, 483, (British Museum example), same dies. Extremely rare, one of only two or three known specimens, and missing from most public and private collections. Well struck from dies of remarkable Archaic style on a broad, heavy flan. Good Extremely Fine.

    Ex Egger Collection (A. Tkalec AG, 27 October 2011), lot 25.

    This exceedingly rare Archaic issue of the little-known Edones tribe in northern Macedon is remarkable on a number of levels. The Edones lived east of the Strymon River near Mount Pangaion and claimed descent from their founder Edonos, grandson of Ares. While their origins and early history remain shrouded in mystery, we do know they formed alliances with other Thraco-Macedonian tribes to preserve their identity against the encroaching Macedonian Kingdom to the south and Persian Empire to the East. The allies also adopted a regional coinage with a common weight standard and similar designs. This coin also marks the first time the word nomisma, or coin, was utilized in any form. All of these coins were considerably larger and heavier than other Greek and Persian denominations, pointing to the rich silver deposits in the region; in fact these Archaic coins could also be viewed as stamped silver ingots. All known coins of the Edones are in the name of King Getas, whom Kraay suggests is a "slightly younger contemporary of Alexander I of Macedon" (498-454 BC). Kraay also surmises that this exceedingly rare type, with a remarkable obverse inscription translating as "a coin of Getas, King of the Edonians," is the earliest Edones coinage and was struck to pay Persian tribute between 513 and 479 BC. The Decadrachm Hoard's downdating of the Thraco-Macedonian octodrachm issues to after the battle of Plataea and the discovery of contemporary fractions have challenged this hypothesis. It is now believed Getas and other Thraco-Macedonian tribal "kings" struck their coins to assert their independence from the Macedonian Kingdom, which was moving to fill the vacuum in the region caused by the expulsion of the Persians.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2012
    6th-11th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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