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    MYSIA. Cyzicus. Ca. 500-450 BC. EL stater (19mm, 16.16 gm). NGC Choice XF 4/5 - 5/5. Nude youth kneeling left, holding in his right hand a tunny fish by the tail / Quadripartite incuse square. Von Fritze I 112. Boston MFA 1487. SNG France 253. A pleasing specimen of this attractive type with lovely surfaces.

    Cyzicus was an important city on the northwestern coast of Anatolia, well positioned to take advantage of trade across and through the Sea of Marmara. Its coinage was in more or less continuous production from about 550 BC to circa AD 630, a nearly 1,200 year span unmatched by any other ancient mint. The tunny (tuna) fish was the symbol of Cyzicus from mid-6th century BC, when the city began striking electrum staters and fractions that circulated so widely the generic term for a stater became a cyzicenus. The fishing trade was critical to the economy of Cyzicus and it is likely the tunny fish became a form of pre-coinage currency, which carried over to become a mint symbol after the invention of coinage in nearby Lydia. 


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
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