|Numismatica Ars Classica > Auction 134||Auction date: 21 November 2022|
|Lot number: 250|
Price realized: 65,000 CHF (Approx. 68,320 USD / 65,943 EUR) Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Greek Coins. Kingdom of Bactria, Eucratides I, circa 171 – 145.
Stater, Pushkalavati circa 170-145, AV 8.46 g. Draped bust r., wearing helmet, adorned with bull's horn and ear. Rev. BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛΟΥ / EYKPATIΔOY The Dioscuri on prancing horses r. both holding spears and palm branches; in lower r. field, monogram. Mitchiner 176 var. (unlisted monogram). Bopearachchi 5 var. (unlisted monogram); cf. 7A (drachm). Oikonomedes AJN 7, 1968, Group B. SNG ANS 163 var. (different monogram). cf. NAC sale 96, 2016, 1133 (these dies).
An extremely rare variety of a very rare type. Minor edge marks,
otherwise virtually as struck and almost Fdc
Ex NAC sale 11, 1998, 119. From a Distinguished Swiss collection.
Possibly with Seleucid help (there is some evidence that Eucratides may have had matrilineal ties to the Seleucid royal house), Eucratides I of Baktria overthrew the last of the Euthydemid dynasty which had ruled over Baktria and parts of India for the better part of the previous century. He went on to establish his own dynasty, with his son Eukratides II set to inherit his kingdom, ruling a vast territory which at its greatest extent covered parts of the Indian subcontinent and was greater in size than any other Greek-ruled kingdom of the time. Eucratides' gold coinage exists in two denominations, staters such as the present specimen, and the unique and magnificent twenty-stater multiple that is in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The latter is the largest ancient gold coin known, and shares its types with the stater. The obverse depicts the king wearing a wide-brimmed Macedonian helmet adorned with a bull's ear and horn, symbols mirrored on the Syrian tetradrachms of Seleukos I showing Alexander the Great as the legendary conqueror of the Orient, the god Dionysos. The reverse shows Eucratides' patron deities, the Dioskouroi, twin sons of Zeus and Leda and the brothers of Helen of Troy, riding on horseback with couched lances. Less than twenty of these gold staters are known and they are struck from only a few numbers of dies, which suggests that the issue was small to begin with and served a primarily ceremonial purpose. The occasion for the issue was most probably Eucratides' victory over Demetrios II, who had besieged Eucratides with vastly superior numbers. Despite these great odds, however, Eucratides emerged victorious, and after Demetrios was murdered by his own troops, Eucratides was left as uncontested ruler in Baktria. This stater is one of six known with this monogram below the Dioskouroi on the reverse, and is perhaps the finest of all of Eucratides' known gold coins.
Graded Ch AU Strike 5/5 Surface 3/5 Fine Style edge marks, NGC certification number 6556714-045
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Estimate: 50000 CHF