Lot

111

Kingdom of Macedon, Alexander III 'the Great' AR Dekadrachm. Babylon, circa 325-323 BC. Head of

In Auction XIV

This auction is live! You need to be registered and approved to bid at this auction.
You have been outbid. For the best chance of winning, increase your maximum bid.
Your bid or registration is pending approval with the auctioneer. Please check your email account for more details.
Unfortunately, your registration has been declined by the auctioneer. You can contact the auctioneer on +44 (0) 20 7121 6518 for more information.
You are the current highest bidder! To be sure to win, log in for the live auction broadcast on or increase your max bid.
Leave a bid now! Your registration has been successful.
Sorry, bidding has ended on this item. We have thousands of new lots everyday, start a new search.
Bidding on this auction has not started. Please register now so you are approved to bid when auction starts.
Bidding has ended
Interested in the price of this lot?
Subscribe to the price guide
London
Kingdom of Macedon, Alexander III 'the Great' AR Dekadrachm. Babylon, circa 325-323 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin headdress / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, holding sceptre, on throne with eagle-tipped finials; AΛEΞANΔPOY to right, monogram below throne, M in right field. Price -, cf. 3600 = Mitchiner, The Early Indo-Greeks and their Antecedents p.11, illustration 4 = NAC 72, 344 = Price, Mnemata, 6 = Coin Hoard 1975 fig. 6, 2 (same obverse die); ACR 8, 198 (same obverse die); cf. Price 3603 (tetradrachm, same arrangement of controls). 40.38g, 34mm, 3h. Extremely Fine; crystallised metal. Perfectly centred, and struck from dies of the most elegant style. One of the very finest of the exceedingly few surviving dekadrachms of Alexander, this is a magnificent treasure for which all words fall short of doing just service. From a private Canadian collection. In all of human history, there have been but very few individuals whose accomplishments are recounted again and again undimmed by time, whose legends have grown only brighter with the passing of the years, and whose names can stir fierce emotion and wonder at a distance of millennia. Alexander is perhaps the greatest of all such paragons of humanity, whose life and exploits are the near-incredible stuff of myth and fable. Silver dekadrachms, be they of Athens, Syracuse, Akragas or Carthage, have ever been amongst the most desired and sought-after of ancient coins by virtue of their impressive size and weight, and the large canvas they presented for the showcasing of the engraver’s art. Though considered ‘rare’, the surviving dekadrachms of Syracuse number in the high hundreds or low thousands, and those of Athens in the dozens. Fewer than twenty dekadrachms of Alexander are known to exist today - figurative grains of sand on a beach amidst the hundreds of thousands of surviving tetradrachms, drachms, staters and other fractions. The extreme rarity of Alexander’s dekadrachms has therefore contributed an aura of unobtainability to the mystery of this most iconic coinage. Missing from most of the world’s major institutional collections, the majority of the examples known today originated from the 1973 ‘Babylon’ Hoard (sometimes also referred to as the Mesopotamia Hoard), and a smaller 1989 find that Martin Price believed to be a part of the original 1973 deposit. The eight coins that are known to have come from these two groups form the backbone of the Dekadrachm corpus. Struck in three emissions from a mint generally considered to be at Babylon, but possibly Susa or Ekbatana, the dekadrachms formed part of a massive conversion of bullion seized from the Persian Royal treasuries at Susa and Persepolis - some 180,000 Attic talents (4,680 metric tons) were liberated from those vaults, converted by decree of the King into ready coinage to meet the expenses of his vast empire and to pay his beloved soldiers. That so few examples of this large denomination survive today is potentially indicative of a special significance or purpose for these coins. It is certainly tempting to think - as many often have - that they represent presentation pieces intended for certain men of rank, and that Alexander, who was well known for his love of giving gifts, may have distributed them personally. In reality though, their low survival rate is probably due to the impracticality of the denomination, since the ubiquitous tetradrachm was the more common and more convenient medium of payment. Regardless of its intended purpose, and though it represents only a small splinter that survives of Alexander’s great vision, today his dekadrachms are one of the most tangible artefacts of his reign, and amongst the greatest prizes of ancient Greek numismatics.
Kingdom of Macedon, Alexander III 'the Great' AR Dekadrachm. Babylon, circa 325-323 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin headdress / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, holding sceptre, on throne with eagle-tipped finials; AΛEΞANΔPOY to right, monogram below throne, M in right field. Price -, cf. 3600 = Mitchiner, The Early Indo-Greeks and their Antecedents p.11, illustration 4 = NAC 72, 344 = Price, Mnemata, 6 = Coin Hoard 1975 fig. 6, 2 (same obverse die); ACR 8, 198 (same obverse die); cf. Price 3603 (tetradrachm, same arrangement of controls). 40.38g, 34mm, 3h. Extremely Fine; crystallised metal. Perfectly centred, and struck from dies of the most elegant style. One of the very finest of the exceedingly few surviving dekadrachms of Alexander, this is a magnificent treasure for which all words fall short of doing just service. From a private Canadian collection. In all of human history, there have been but very few individuals whose accomplishments are recounted again and again undimmed by time, whose legends have grown only brighter with the passing of the years, and whose names can stir fierce emotion and wonder at a distance of millennia. Alexander is perhaps the greatest of all such paragons of humanity, whose life and exploits are the near-incredible stuff of myth and fable. Silver dekadrachms, be they of Athens, Syracuse, Akragas or Carthage, have ever been amongst the most desired and sought-after of ancient coins by virtue of their impressive size and weight, and the large canvas they presented for the showcasing of the engraver’s art. Though considered ‘rare’, the surviving dekadrachms of Syracuse number in the high hundreds or low thousands, and those of Athens in the dozens. Fewer than twenty dekadrachms of Alexander are known to exist today - figurative grains of sand on a beach amidst the hundreds of thousands of surviving tetradrachms, drachms, staters and other fractions. The extreme rarity of Alexander’s dekadrachms has therefore contributed an aura of unobtainability to the mystery of this most iconic coinage. Missing from most of the world’s major institutional collections, the majority of the examples known today originated from the 1973 ‘Babylon’ Hoard (sometimes also referred to as the Mesopotamia Hoard), and a smaller 1989 find that Martin Price believed to be a part of the original 1973 deposit. The eight coins that are known to have come from these two groups form the backbone of the Dekadrachm corpus. Struck in three emissions from a mint generally considered to be at Babylon, but possibly Susa or Ekbatana, the dekadrachms formed part of a massive conversion of bullion seized from the Persian Royal treasuries at Susa and Persepolis - some 180,000 Attic talents (4,680 metric tons) were liberated from those vaults, converted by decree of the King into ready coinage to meet the expenses of his vast empire and to pay his beloved soldiers. That so few examples of this large denomination survive today is potentially indicative of a special significance or purpose for these coins. It is certainly tempting to think - as many often have - that they represent presentation pieces intended for certain men of rank, and that Alexander, who was well known for his love of giving gifts, may have distributed them personally. In reality though, their low survival rate is probably due to the impracticality of the denomination, since the ubiquitous tetradrachm was the more common and more convenient medium of payment. Regardless of its intended purpose, and though it represents only a small splinter that survives of Alexander’s great vision, today his dekadrachms are one of the most tangible artefacts of his reign, and amongst the greatest prizes of ancient Greek numismatics.

Auction XIV

Sale Date(s)
Venue Address
The Alto Room
The Cavendish Hotel London
81 Jermyn Street
London
SW1Y 6JF
United Kingdom

General delivery information available from the auctioneer

Insurance is included in all shipping prices.

Within the UK:
- £8.50 for Royal Mail Special Delivery for purchases valued from £1 - £3,000
- From £25.00 for DHL delivery for purchases valued over £3,001

For international customers:
- £12.50 for orders valued from £1 - £500
- £25.00 for orders valued from £501 - £3,000
- From £50.00 for FedEx delivery for orders valued over £3,001

Important Information

ROMA NUMISMATICS LTD.

AUCTION XIV

21 September 2017

 

 

11:00 Greek Coins

13:30 Roman, Migration Period, Byzantine, World and Islamic Coins

Location: 
The Alto Room
The Cavendish Hotel London
81 Jermyn Street

London

SW1Y 6JF

United Kingdom


Viewing:
At the office of Roma Numismatics
20 Fitzroy Square
London, W1T 6EJ
United Kingdom

From August 21st - September 20th:
Monday – Friday, 09:30 – 17:30

Lots will not be available for viewing during the sale.

­­
Roma Numismatics Limited
20 Fitzroy Square
London
W1T 6EJ
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7121 6518
www.romanumismatics.com
email: info@romanumismatics.com

Terms & Conditions

CONDITIONS OF SALE

The following terms and conditions will apply to this auction:

         I.            All estimates are in POUNDS STERLING. The opening bids will be 80% of the estimate unless there are existing higher bids. There will be a 19% Buyer’s Fee added to the hammer price.

       II.            VAT at 20% (applicable to customers within the UK and EU) is due on the Buyer’s Fee only, not the hammer price.

     III.            The auctioneer guarantees the absolute authenticity of any and all coins sold. There is no expiration to this guarantee. Any coins subsequently found to be not authentic will be exchanged for a full refund of the purchase price.

    IV.            Absentee bids must be submitted and received by 20:00 on the day before the auction at the latest. It is the bidder’s responsibility to ensure that bids have been received by Roma Numismatics.

      V.            All grades and descriptions are the opinion of the cataloguer. Conditions of all lots are as per the photographs displayed on the Roma Numismatics website; condition reports are available upon request. It is not possible to note all marks or defects, and thus customers are encouraged to carefully examine in person all lots that they are interested in bidding on. Bids, once placed, are final and will not be rescinded. If, however, the description is found to be incorrect, the item is returnable within 21 days after the sale. No other returns will be accepted except on the grounds of non-authenticity. All prospective bidders who exercise the opportunity to examine lots in hand shall assume all responsibility for any damage they cause in so doing. The auctioneer shall have sole discretion in determining the value of the damage caused, which shall be promptly paid by the prospective bidder.

    VI.            The auctioneer will have absolute discretion to accept or decline any bid, withdraw lots from sale at any time until such point as the purchaser takes physical possession, re-open any lot, even after the hammer has fallen, in which a bidding error has occurred, and to determine in the event of a dispute, the final winner of a lot or to rescind the sale and put the lot up for sale again.

  VII.            For the protection of mail or absentee bidders, no ‘unlimited’ or ‘buy’ bids will be accepted. When identical bids are received for the same lot, preference will be given to the bid received first. A mail bid will take preference over a floor bid.

  1. Some lots may carry a reserve. The auctioneer reserves the right not to sell an item below the confidential price, or will repurchase the item on behalf of the consignor or for the account of Roma Numismatics Ltd. If a reserve exists the auctioneer reserves the right to bid on any lot on behalf of the consignor up to the amount of the reserve against any floor or mail bidders. The auctioneer also reserves the right to bid on any lot on behalf of Roma Numismatics Ltd.

    IX.            Title remains with the owner until such time as the customer has paid in full.

      X.            Invoices are due immediately upon receipt. Roma Numismatics Ltd. reserves the right to charge interest on unpaid invoices at the rate of 2% per calendar month, except where prior agreement has been made with regards to payment arrangements.

    XI.            A 3.5% surcharge will be applied to payments made via PayPal or credit/debit card. A £10 surcharge will be applied to payments made by bank transfer from outside of the UK. The customer is responsible for paying all bank charges and shipping and insurance costs.

  XII.            A 3% surcharge will be applied to lots won through www.the-saleroom.com. Roma Numismatics is not responsible for any missed lots or bids due to network speed or down-time.

  1. By making a bid the customer agrees to the above terms and conditions and accepts to be bound by them. These conditions shall take effect and be construed in accordance with the provisions of English Law.

 

US COIN IMPORT RESTRICTIONS

Any coins in this sale that fall under US import restrictions but may still be legally imported into the US are accompanied by documentation proving that they were outside of the source country prior to the effective date, or are accompanied by a valid export certificate issued by the country of origin.

Any coins subject to US import restrictions that may not lawfully be imported into the United States of America will be clearly indicated as such with the note: ‘not suitable for US market’.

Roma Numismatics will make every effort to ensure that US import restrictions affect our clients as little as possible, and will carry out all necessary importations and procedures as required on behalf of the client.


PAYMENT METHODS

Invoices to be settled in POUNDS STERLING immediately upon receipt unless previously agreed otherwise.
Bank Transfer:

Barclays Bank, 22 The Borough, Farnham, GU9 7NH, UK | Account Name: Roma Numismatics

IBAN: GB81 BARC 2031 0663 0101 39 | BIC: BARC GB22 | SORT CODE: 20-31-06 | ACC #: 63010139

Cheque (GBP only): Please make payable to Roma Numismatics Limited

PayPal (add 3.5%): sales@romanumismatics.com

Credit/Debit Card (add 3.5%): contact us directly on +44 (0)20 7121 6518

 

See Full Terms And Conditions