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    Sculptural Alexander Portrait

    THRACIAN KINGDOM. Lysimachus (305-281 BC). AR tetradrachm (30mm, 17.13 gm, 12h). NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. Pergamum, ca. 287/6-282 BC. Diademed head of dei?ed Alexander right, wearing horn of Ammon, K below neck / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΛΥΣΙΜΑΧOΥ, helmeted Athena seated left, holding Nike in right hand and resting left arm on shield decorated with gorgoneion, spear leaned against seat, cult image in inner left field, N in outer left ?eld, crescent in exergue. Thompson 225. Meydancikkale 2679. Müller 286 (symbol). A simply breathtaking tetradrachm struck in extreme, sculptural high relief from dies of the finest style.

    Alexander the Great's meteoric 13-year career of conquest left the classical world profoundly transformed by the time of his premature death in 323 BC. In the immediate aftermath, Alexander's generals carved up his immense new empire into spheres of influence, although maintaining the fiction of a unified leadership. Territorial disputes soon led to civil wars, with the rival warlords contending for supreme power. Chief among these was Lysimachus, who at various times controlled Thrace, Macedon and much of Asia Minor. For the obverse of his silver his coinage, Lysimachus claimed the mantle of Alexander by choosing the image of the conqueror himself, now shown as a god wearing the ram's horn of the Greco-Egyptian deity Ammon. The image is one of the earliest true portraits to appear on a coin, and one of the finest. The reverse, depicting Athena enthroned, likewise proved extremely influential throughout history, forming the archetype for the figure of Britannia on modern English coins.


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