Roma Numismatics Ltd
Auction XXVII  22-23 Mar 2023
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Lot 283

Estimate: 50 000 GBP
Price realized: 38 000 GBP
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Mysia, Lampsakos AV Stater. Circa 370-350 BC. Head of Apollo to left, wearing laurel wreath and knotted fillet which hangs down his neck / Forepart of Pegasos to right with curved wing; within incuse square. Gulbenkian 685 = Baldwin, Lampsakos 14b (II/β), pl. I, 28 = Traité II, 2543, pl. CLXXI, 10 = Jameson 1440 = Warren 1010 (same dies); SNG BnF -; BMC -; Boston MFA -. 8.43g, 18mm, 12h.

Good Extremely Fine. Extremely Rare; only one other example of this type present on CoinArchives (struck when the obv. die was quite worn). There are just two examples published in the standard references and none in the major museum collections.

From a private European collection.

Baldwin: Type 14, the Apollo head with fillets, is an unusual type. When only the Munich specimen (PI. I, 27) was known, the head was variously described as Aphrodite (the laurel wreath being supposed to be myrtle, and the fillets a string of pearls woven in the hair), as Demeter, and sometimes as Apollo. The Jameson specimen, pl. I, 28, makes it clear that the head is not feminine and that it is a bandelette of wool terminating in a triple fringe which is woven in the hair.

Lampsakos was the first Greek city to make regular issues of gold coinage which enjoyed an international circulation. Struck on the standard of the Persian daric, Lampsakos' use of the Pegasos protome as its invariable reverse type led to widespread recognition of its gold abroad, such that like the cities of Kyzikos and Phokaia who respectively employed tunny fish and seal badges, it was unnecessary to identify the mint by an inscription upon the coin. Indeed, the esteem in which Lampsakene staters were held was due in significant part to the regularity of their issue. Whereas most civic gold coinages of the Greeks were struck only in times of emergency, Lampsakos appears to have issued 41 series of gold staters over a period of 50 or 60 years, evidently for the purpose of facilitating commerce. Deriving its wealth from the traffic passing between the Aegean and the Black Sea, on account of possessing an excellent harbour in a strategic position guarding the eastern entrance to the Hellespont, Lampsakos appears to have enjoyed significant commercial ties with the northern Black Sea lands, which were likely the primary source of its gold.
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