Heritage World Coin Auctions > CSNS Signature Sale 3099Auction date: 5 May 2022
Lot number: 30083

Price realized: 8,000 USD   (Approx. 7,594 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

BACTRIAN KINGDOM. Eucratides I the Great (ca. 170-145 BC). AR tetradrachm (31mm, 16.89 gm, 11h). NGC Choice XF 5/5 - 4/5. Dynastic pedigree issue. HΛIOKΛEOYΣ / KAI ΛAOΔIKHΣ, jugate draped busts of Heliocles and Laodice right, seen from front; ΦΛ monogram in left field, bead-and-reel border / BAΣIΛEYΣ MEΓAΣ / EYKPATIΔHΣ, diademed, draped bust of Eucratides I right, seen from front, wearing crested helmet adorned with bull's horn and ear; bead-and-reel border. HGC 12, 133. Bopearachchi 15A. SNG ANS 526-527. Three handsome portraits on dove gray surfaces.

Of the immense Greco-Bactrian kingdom's rulers, we have only a handful of written accounts totaling about 500 words, along with the intriguing and often puzzling glimpses provided by the coinage of the realm. From the latter we can deduce that Eucratides, who reigned for about 25 years starting around 171 BC, arose from obscure origins to become the most powerful of all Greco-Bactrian kings, displacing several other claimants over a span of about 10 years. On this remarkable "pedigree" tetradrachm he pairs a reverse portrait of himself with the epithet Megas ("The Great" -- he was apparently the first Greek ruler of any realm to give the title to himself without waiting for posterity to bestow it), with the dual portraits of his parents, named Heliocles and Laodice, on the obverse. Heliocles is shown as bare-headed -- perhaps he was a powerful magistrate or general. Was Laodice the daughter of a previous Bactrian king, perhaps Euthydemus or Demetrius I? Or, as has also been suggested, a princess of the Seleucid ruling dynasty (the name Laodice being quite common among the women of this house)? Pending the discovery of some parchment or inscription that clarifies his lineage, we cannot but guess. However, this remarkable "pedigree" coinage of Eucratides makes it quite clear that he was proud of his parentage and that they could not have been mere "commoners," as expounded by some.



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Estimate: 5000-7000 USD