21 March 2023
MACEDON. Akanthos. Circa 525-470 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 26 mm, 17.05 g). Lion to right, attacking bull, collapsing to left with head raised and looking to the right; below bull, exergual line of pellets between two plain lines and with a floral ornament (an acanthus) below. Rev. Quadripartite incuse square with granulated surfaces. Cf. Desneux 32 (struck from different but very similar obverse die, and possibly from the same reverse die). HGC 3.1, 382. Slightly rough surfaces, more so on the reverse than on the obverse, otherwise, good very fine.
The lion and bull tetradrachms of Akanthos were issued in very large numbers for export to take advantage of the abundant silver in the area. As a result they are found over a wide area in the East, ranging from Egypt to the borders of India (their type was an ancient eastern symbol as well). Since the publication of Desneux's die-study in 1949, "Les tétradrachmes d'Akanthos" in Revue belge de numismatique 95, a large number of new dies have appeared, as well as a few new magistrates. A new corpus of the dies would be beneficial.