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    Unique Levantine Imitation?

    PHILISTIA. Uncertain Mint. Athenian Imitative Series. Ca. 400-350 BC. AR tetradrachm (23mm, 17.15 gm, 1h). Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet adorned with vine scroll and three laurel leaves; Aramaic letter gamal, beth or lamed on cheek / Owl standing right, head facing, crescent and olive branch behind; AΘE to right; all within incuse square. Gitler & Tal -. HGC 10 -. Cf. SNG ANS 3 (Athens-type tetradrachm with Aramaic shin on cheek).  Cf. CNG 84, 738 (same). Apparently unique and unpublished! Well struck in good metal on a well-shaped flan. Extremely Fine.

    The ubiquitous Athenian owl tetradrachm was widely imitated in the Levant, Arabia and Egypt, with copies ranging from crude to barely distinguishable from "official" issues of Athens. Likewise, many Athenian tetradrachms were countermarked with Aramaic letters or bear graffito with one or more Aramaic letters. This apparently unique imitative type, while a close copy of the original, bears what appears to be an Aramaic letter, likely a gamal, beth or lamed, on Athena's cheek, not countermarked but cut into the original die. Determining exactly which letter is difficult due to regional differences in character forms. The marking is unlikely to be a die break since it has a definite, and apparently deliberate, shape, and does not occur in an area where such breaks are usually seen (originating from a region of engraved detail and not emerging in the middle of a flat, smooth area like Athena's cheek). As such it is highly important and worthy of close study. 


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    Auction Dates
    September, 2015
    17th-22nd Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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