Classical Numismatic Group > Auction 121Auction date: 6 October 2022
Lot number: 441

Price realized: 700 USD   (Approx. 711 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:


PAMPHYLIA, Aspendos. Circa 380/75-330/25 BC. AR Stater (23.5mm, 10.91 g, 12h). Two wrestlers grappling; FИ between, MENETVΣ EΛVΦA in exergue / Slinger in throwing stance right; EΣTFEΔIIYΣ to left, counterclockwise triskeles to right; all within dotted square border. Tekin Series 4; SNG BN 97-8; SNG von Aulock 4568 (same obv. die); Arslan & Lightfoot 92 (same dies); Izmir 195 (same obv. die). Attractively iridescent tone over lustrous surfaces, some die wear on obverse, some flatness of strike and trace deposits on reverse. EF.

Ex I. Vecchi 2 (12 September 1996), lot 504.

As renderings of athleticism and action, the coins of Aspendos have seldom been matched. Aspendos was a colony of Argos located at the southern coast of Asia Minor on the navigable River Eurymedon, which made it an important emporium and naval base. Its famous wrestler coinage commences circa 410 BC. Wrestling was one of the premier events of Greek sports, practiced at the Olympic Games and at gymnasia throughout the ancient world. Poses of the wrestlers vary greatly. Sometimes, as here, they grasp each other's arms; in other cases one tries to punch or trip the other. This specimen is notable for the tiny inscription below the wrestlers, which seems to spell out two complete names. They could represent mint magistrates; however, one 19th century scholar postulated that they referred to the wrestlers, naming one as Menetos ("Stalwart") and the other as Elypsas ("Slippery").

Estimate: 1000 USD