Greek Silver & Bronze


This lot is not illustrated.

Lot 1987       Greek Silver & Bronze

Estimate $12,000
Bid at

THRACO-MACEDONIAN, The Bisalti tribe, (c.470 B.C.), silver octodrachm, (28.47 grams), obv. CIS A G TIKW N, around nude warrior (or herdsman) wearing petasus, standing to right next to his bridled horse and carrying two parallel spears, dotted exergual line, rev. quadripartite incuse square, (S.1318, Sv. Pl.XI, 4, BMC 2 [p.140]). Some light porosity in upper field area, otherwise extremely fine and very rare.

This impressive coin of the Bisalti shows the traditional type of a young man leading a horse wearing a traditional northern hat which is like a petasus worn by the Macedonians and Thessalians. In addition he carries two spears. He has been identified as Rhesus or Ares, but it is uncertain if he actually represents a true mythical figure. Thrace was in the late sixth century part of the Persian Empire and the Bisalti were a strong and somewhat independent force, as they refused to assist the Great King of Persia when his army crossed Thrace to invade mainland Greece in 480 B.C. Later the Bisalti lost their power, probably to Alexander I of Macedon, the new power in the region after the Persian defeat (who also struck octograms which are very similar to the issues of the Bisalti). These heavy coins of the Bisalti have been found in hoards from Egypt and other parts of the Persian Empire. They were not part of the famous Asyut hoard of Egypt which was buried about 475 B.C. and its absence does suggest a somewhat later date for this octogram of the Bisalti. It has been suggested that the Bisalti won control of the silver mines around Lake Prasias and that their coinage was terminated around the time of the foundation of the Athenian colony at Ennea Hodoi and the subsequent disaster at Drabescus in 465-4 B.C. This battle, in which the Athenian colonists were exterminated by the native Thracians, may have enabled Alexander I of Macedon to take possession of the mines for himself.

Estimate / sale price does not include buyer's premium (currently 22% including GST) which is added to hammer price. All bids are executed on the understanding that the Terms & Conditions of sale have been read and accepted. For information on grading and estimates please refer to the Buying at Auction advice.

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Adjacent lots

  • Lot 1985  

    SICULO-PUNIC, Lilybaion mint?, (c.350-325 B.C.), silver tetradrachm, (17.21 grams), obv. female head (Arethusa) wreathed with ...

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  • Lot 1986  

    SICULO-PUNIC, mint of the camp, (c.325-290 B.C.), silver tetradrachm, (17.40 grams), obv. head of young ...

    Estimate $600

  • Lot 1987   This lot

    THRACO-MACEDONIAN, The Bisalti tribe, (c.470 B.C.), silver octodrachm, (28.47 grams), obv. CIS A G TIKW ...

    Estimate $12,000

  • Lot 1988  

    MACEDON, Acanthus, (475-465 B.C.), silver tetradrachm, (16.52 grams), obv. bull kneeling to left, looking back, ...

    Estimate $700

  • Lot 1989  

    MACEDON, Uncertain but probably Philippi, Augustus (27 B.C. - A.D. 14), AE 18, obv. AVG, ...

    Estimate $70