KINGS of LYDIA. Alyattes II. Circa 610-560 BC. Trite (Electrum, 12mm, 4.74 g), Sardes. Valvel Heads of two lions, with open jaws and staring eye, facing each other with an inscription between them; only the head facing to right is visible on this coin. Rev. Double incuse square. Weidauer 91-92. Very rare and clear. Good very fine.
From an American collection.
The coins of this series were struck from obverse dies that were made for staters, and as a result only part of the design, either a right or left facing lion’s head, is normally visible. Occasionally the tip of the other lion’s nose or his open jaws can be seen (as below, lot 186). In any case, this is one of the first inscribed coins ever issued, and bears the name of Alyattes, king of Lydia. Other early inscribed pieces exist that are apparently struck in the names of high officials.
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