Apollo And His LyreMACEDON. Chalcidian League. Ca. 430-348 BC. AR tetradrachm (26mm, 14.48 gm, 2h). Olynthus, ca. 370-360 BC. Laureate head of Apollo left / Χ-Α-Λ-ΚΙΔ-ΕΩΝ, cithara (lyre) with seven strings. Robinson-Clement 71 (A46/P64). SNG ANS 483. Boldly struck on a broad flan from dies of fine style. NGC Choice AU? 5/5 - 4/5.
From The California Collection.
The Chalcidice is a three-fingered spit of land extending from eastern Macedon into the Aegean Sea. Wary of Athenian imperialism and the rising power of the Macedonian Kingdom, the free cities of the Chalcidice banded together in 432 BC to form a defensive coalition called the Chalcidian League, with its capital at Olynthus. The silver coinage struck at Olynthus was on the Macedonian standard, somewhat lighter than the Attic standard employed by most of Greece, and was legal tender at all cities belonging to the league. The standard design featured a head of Apollo, god of beauty, art and music, with a type of lyre called a cithara on the reverse. The heads of Apollo on these pieces are remarkable for the strength and beauty of their style. Some of the most beautiful dies in the series were produced in the mid-360s BC, of which an outstanding example is seen here. Sadly, the Chalcidian League's coinage came to an abrupt end with the capture and destruction of Olynthus by King Philip II of Macedon in 348 BC.
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