World Coins

Silver coin of Naxos establishes silver Greek record

A silver tetradrachm of Naxos, Sicily, apparently established a new record price for a silver Greek coin sold at auction, realizing $994,500 with buyer’s fee Jan. 4 in the Prospero Collection auction.

Images courtesy of www.theNewYorkSale.com.

A silver tetradrachm of Naxos, Sicily, in ancient Greece, believed to have been engraved by the “Aitna Master,” was one of the highlights during the Jan. 4 auction of the Prospero Collection by the New York Sale.

The silver tetradrachm of Naxos, “one of the great classics of the ancient Greek series,” according to the auction firm, is in About Extremely Fine condition and realized $994,500 including the 17 percent buyer’s fee, but it was not even the marquee lot selling in the auction.

That distinction is held by the unique circa 350 to 300 B.C. gold stater of Pantikapaion, a city on the Black Sea in ancient Greece. The coin sold for $3.8 million, establishing a new record price for an ancient Greek coin (Coin World, Jan. 23 issue).

The Naxos coin, which established an apparent record price for a silver Greek coin, would have broken the previous record for any Greek coin, except for the sale of the gold stater of Pantikapaion; the previous record for any Greek coin, and any gold Greek coin, was the $902,766 realized in a 2008 auction for a circa 407/6 B.C. gold stater of Athens, one of only four known staters of the emergency issue at the end of the Peloponnesian War.

The Prospero Collection was formed over several decades by a collector with a passion for the arts and a taste for “beautiful and famous ancient Greek coins” according to the partner firms conducting the auction, and was filled with numerous “finest known” and “unique” pieces.

Artistically, the coins in the collection rate among the finest examples of ancient art. Many of the coins are unique or among a few examples known and many have a provenance linking them to historic collections dating from the early 19th century.

“Not since the Nelson Bunker Hunt collection of ancient Greek and Roman coins was sold in five parts by Sotheby’s in the 1990s has the numismatic community seen the sale of such an important collection of ancient coinage,” according to the New York Sale.

All 642 lots were sold in the auction, which was one of three conducted during the New York International Numismatic Convention by the New York Sale consortium. The partner firms for the New York Sale are Baldwin’s Auctions Ltd., Dmitry Markov Coins and Medals, and M & M Numismatics Ltd.

All successful bids are subject to a 17 percent buyer’s fee, which is reflected in the totals here.

The auction catalog is posted for free viewing at the website www.theNewYorkSale.com. A limited edition hardcover copy is available for purchase.

For catalogs or more information, telephone Markov at 908-470-2828 or email him at markov@banet.com, telephone Lucien Birkler at M & M Numismatics at 202-833-3770, or contact Baldwin’s at (011) 44 20 7930 9808 or via email at auctions@baldwin.co.uk.

Some additional highlights:

Greece, Campania, Neapolis, circa 350 to 325 B.C. silver didrachm, 7.64 grams, “one of the finest known examples,” Good Extremely Fine, “toned,” $292,500.

Greece, Calabria, Tarentum, circa 344 to 338 B.C. gold stater, 8.56 grams, “two small insignificant nicks on the obverse and one on the reverse edge,” Extremely Fine, $409,500.

Greece, Calabria, Tarentum, circa 302 B.C. gold stater, 8.58 grams, Good Very Fine, $87,750.

Greece, Bruttium, Terina, circa 460 to 440 B.C. silver stater, 8.1 grams, pedigree to 1902, Good VF, $152,100.

Greece, Sicily, Akragas, circa 413 to 406 B.C. silver didrachm, 8.66 grams, About EF, $222,300.

Greece, Sicily, Katane, circa 415 to 404 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 16.51 grams, signed by the artist Choirion, Very Fine to Good VF, $99,450.

Greece, Sicily, Naxos, circa 520 B.C. silver drachm, 5.68 grams, Chalcidian standard, “only three other examples from these dies,” Nearly EF, $163,800.

Greece, Sicily, Naxos, circa 415 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 16.94 grams, Good VF, $55,575.

Greece, Sicily, Naxos, circa 410 to 405 B.C. tetradrachm, 16.75 grams, “only four examples recorded,” “some light porosity, toned with some light iridescence,” About VF, $117,000.

Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, circa 466 to 465 B.C. silver decadrachm, end of Deinomenid Tyranny and beginning of the Second Democracy, 42.65 grams, by the Demareteion Master, “one of the most spectacular of fifth century Greek coins,” VF, $292,500.

Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, circa 466 to 465 B.C. silver tetradrachm, end of Deinomenid Tyranny and beginning of the Second Democracy, 17.09 grams, by the Demareteion Master, “a few pits towards obverse edge, lightly toned,” VF, $40,950.

Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, Dionysios I, circa 405 to 400 B.C. silver decadrachm, by the artist Kimon, 42.7 grams, “from the very first pair of decadrachm dies,” Nearly EF, $321,750.

Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, Dionysios I, circa 405 to 400 B.C. silver decadrachm, by the artist Kimon, 42.5 grams, About EF, $140,400.

Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, Dionysios I, circa 405 to 400 B.C. silver tetradrachm, signed by Eukleidas, 17.11 grams, Good VF to Nearly EF, $187,200.

Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, Dionysios I, circa 405 to 400 B.C. silver tetradrachm, signed by Kimon, 16.51 grams, “one of the most famous Greek coins,” obverse VF, the reverse “nearly so,” $64,350.

Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, Dionysios I, circa 400 to 390 B.C. silver decadrachm, unsigned but by Euianetos, 43.26 grams, Nearly EF, $140,400.

Greece, Siculo-Punic, circa 360 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 17.28 grams, EF, $292,500.

Greece, Black Sea Region, Kolchis, late fifth to early fourth century B.C. silver didrachm, 9.33 grams, VF, $128,700.

Greece, Black Sea Region, Pantikapaion, circa 340 to 325 B.C. gold stater, 9.1 grams, EF, $3,802,500.

Greece, Macedon, Amphipolis, circa 366 to 365 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 14.21 grams, Good VF, $702,000.

Greece, Macedon, Amphipolis, circa 360 to 359 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 14.11 grams, “only two examples from one set of dies,” Good VF, $81,900.

Greece, Macedon, Amphipolis, circa 355 to 354 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 14.4 grams, “one of four recorded examples from this obverse die and the only example of this reverse die,” “toned,” VF, $111,150.

Greece, Macedon, Argilos, circa 478/7 to 470 B.C. silver stater, 13.48 grams, “unique,” Good VF, $210,600.

Greece, Kingdom of Macedon, Alexander III (the Great), circa 327 B.C. Poros silver decadrachm of 5 shekels, struck at Babylon, 40.08 grams, Good VF, $351,000.

Greece, kingdom of Paeonia, Bastareos, circa 400 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 13.14 grams, “there is no other evidence for the existence of Bastareos apart from these coins,” “perhaps the only example available in private hands,” VF, $222,300.

Greece, Kingdom of Epirus, Pyrrhos, circa 280 to 277 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 16.77 grams, possibly from mint at Lokroi Epizephyrioi, “attractively toned,” EF, $58,500.

Greece, Kingdom of Epirus, Pyrrhos, circa 278 B.C. gold stater, 8.55 grams, struck at Syracuse, Good VF, $210,600.

Greece, Phokis, Delphi, circa 485 to 475 B.C. silver tridrachm, 18.36 grams, fewer “than a dozen known examples,” EF, $380,250.

Greece, Attica, Athens, circa 510 to 490 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 17.22 grams, Nearly EF, $468,000.

Greece, Attica, Athens, circa 467 to 465 B.C. silver decadrachm, 42.56 grams, “only two other examples known from this pair of dies, of the highest numismatic and historical importance and a magnificent example of ancient art,” “a few light marks, otherwise About Extremely Fine,” $409,500.

Greece, Attica, Athens, circa 350 to 325 B.C. gold quarter stater, 2.13 grams, “apparently only one other published example,” VF to Good VF, $263,250.

Greece, Crete, Knossos, circa 440 B.C. silver stater, 11.28 grams, VF, $128,700.

Greece, Crete, Phaistros, circa 350 B.C. silver stater, 11.6 grams, EF, $760,500.

Greece, Crete, Praisos, circa 450 to 400 B.C. silver stater, 11.68 grams, VF, $175,500.

Greece, Mysia, Lampsakos, circa 390 B.C. gold stater, 8.4 grams, “apparently unique,” Nearly EF, $175,500.

Greece, Mysia, Lampsakos, circa 360 B.C. gold stater, 8.42 grams, “apparently unique,” EF, $140,400.

Greece, Caria, Halikarnassos, circa 375 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 13.98 grams, “unique,” “only known tetradrachm of Halikarnassos,” “toned,” Good VF, $76,050.

Greece, Carian Islands, Kos, circa 480 to 475 B.C. silver triple siglos, 16.58 grams, Good VF, $210,600.

Greece, Lycia, unknown dynast of Araxa, circa 380 B.C. silver, 8.37 grams, “apparently the second known example,” “softly struck on obverse, traces of double-striking on reverse, otherwise” Extremely Fine, $117,000.

Greece, Cyprus, Salamis, circa 411 to 374 B.C. silver stater, Evagoras I, 11.12 grams, $152,100.

Greece, Kingdom of Syria, Seleucid Kings, Seleukos I Nikator, circa 281 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 16.7 grams, “one of the finest known examples,” About EF, $351,000.

Greece, Kyrenaika, Barke, circa 360 silver tetradrachm, 13.16 grams, VF, $117,000.

Greece, Kyrenaika, Kyrene, circa 400 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 13.16 grams, “apparently only the second known example,” Good VF, $263,250.

Greece, Kyrenaika, Kyrene, circa 300 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 14.38 grams, Nearly EF, $187,200. ¦


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