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    Von Aulock Specimen, One Of Two Known

    PONTIC KINGDOM. Mithradates I-III (ca. 302-185 BC). AV stater (17mm, 8.50 gm, 1h).  Amisus, types of Alexander III of Macedon. Head of Athena right, wearing necklace and crested Corinthian helmet, pushed back on head, decorated with coiled serpent / BAΣIΛEΩΣ MIΘPAΔATOY, Nike standing left, holding laurel wreath in extended right hand and cradling stylis in left arm; Σ / Π  in inner left field near bottom of wing; K in lower inner right field. de Callataÿ 1 (O2/R2). SNG von Aulock 1 (this coin). HGC 7, 318. An extreme rarity -- one of only two specimens known for this ruler, unique with these mintmarks! Struck in high relief. NGC AU ★ 5/5 - 4/5, edge marks.


    Ex Dr. Lawrence A. Adams Collection; Sincona 10 (27 May 2013), lot 107; James & Sneja Velkov Collection (Vinchon, 24 November 1994), lot 51; Hans von Aulock Collection.

    The Pontic Kingdom, which stretched along the southern coast of the Black Sea, had its origins in the Persian period (ca. 550-333 BC), and its ruling dynasty was likely directly related to the Achaemenids. After Alexander's conquests the Satraps of Pontus became embroiled in the Wars of the Diadochi; one of them, named Mithradates, rebelled against Seleucus I and seized control of the coastal lands of northern Cappadocia, which became the Pontic Kingdom. The descendants of Mithradates became steadily more Hellenized but retained Persian trappings. For much of the the later third and early second centuries BC, Pontus is devoid of historical records; consequently we know next to nothing about Mithradates II and III, the third and fourth kings of the dynasty, except that the latter married a Seleucid princess named Laodice and fathered two sons who both later became kings, Pharnaces I (ca. 185-170 BC) and Mithradates IV (ca. 170-150 BC). It is uncertain which of the first three Mithradates struck the first coins of the Pontic series, which were gold staters modeled on those of Alexander the Great (this example being one of two known). Perhaps the most likely candidate is Mithradates III (ca. 220-185 BC), who also struck exceedingly rare silver tetradrachms bearing his portrait. Pontus would steadily improve its position over the following centuries and become powerful enough to challenge Rome for world domination during the reign of Mithradates VI Eupator (120-63 BC). 




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    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    11th Thursday
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