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Nomos 12 22 May 2016
Zunfthaus zur Saffran, Zürich
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Lot 78
Estimate: 900 CHF
CRETE, Knossos. Circa 360-320 BC. Stater (Silver, 24mm, 11.66 g 2). Female head to left, perhaps Persephone, wearing wreath of reeds, triple-pendant earring and a pearl necklace. Rev. ΚΝΟΣ - [ΙΟΝ] (the first, visible, Ν retrograde) Head of a bull facing; all within a square formed by a maeander pattern (’the labyrinth’); above, ΝΑΓ (the Ν retrograde). Ars Classica XII, 1926, 1591 (same obverse die). Le Rider pl. III, 1 (same obverse die). Cf. Svoronos p. 67, 16 and pl. V, 1. Very rare. Considerable traces of overstriking, obverse struck from a worn die, with a somewhat double struck reverse, and with some remaining horn silver. Very fine.

From the Brünn Collection, acquired in Italy prior to World War I.

This is both one of the rarest of all the stater types issued by Knossos and one of the finest in style. The head on the obverse is very clearly based on that found on staters of Lokri Opuntii - they would have been brought back as pay by mercenary troops returning to Crete. Precisely what is happening on the reverse of this coin is highly uncertain and is apparently previously unrecorded. The known type shows us a bull’s head (the Minotaur’s?) between two vertical lines of inscription, all within a maeander pattern border (see BMC pl. V, 1). This one, however, has the top of the maeander border replaced by the unexplained inscription ΝΑΓ; we can be sure that this is part of the type since the reverse is double struck and the letters appear in both strikes: it is not a surviving undertype. What it is, however, is at present a mystery.
Current Status
Online bidding closes: 22 May 2016 03:00:00 CET
Current Date & Time: 26 May 2019 06:20:54 CET
Remaining Time: Closed
Hammer Price: 2600 CHF

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Lot 78
Estimate: 900 CHF
Hammer Price: 2600 CHF
CRETE, Knossos. Circa 360-320 BC. Stater (Silver, 24mm, 11.66 g 2). Female head to left, perhaps Persep ...
Lot 79
Estimate: 425 CHF
Hammer Price: 1000 CHF
CRETE, Kydonia. Circa 320-270 BC. Stater (Silver, 20mm, 11.60 g 7). Head of a maenad to left, wearing a ...
Lot 80
Estimate: 2500 CHF
Hammer Price: 3400 CHF
CRETE, Lyttos. Circa 320-270 BC. Stater (Silver, 25mm, 11.31 g 1). Eagle flying to right, with open win ...