Greek Silver & Bronze


Lot 1811    Session 6 (9.30am Thursday)    Greek Silver & Bronze

Estimate $450

LYDIA, Sardeis, time of King Croesus or later, (c.550-520 B.C.), silver half stater or siglos, (5.030 grams), obv. confronting foreparts of lion, facing right, and bull facing left, rev. two incuse punches of unequal size, side by side, (S.3420 [£450], BMC 41, Traite pl.10, 9, SNG von Aulock 2877, I. Carradice, Coinage of the Persian Empire BAR Inter. Ser. 343, [1987], Pl.10, 3). Fine and rare.

This coin is normally known as an issue by the Lydian king Croesus who throughout the ancient world he was known for his legendary wealth. The lion is the paramount symbol of royality and as such is appropriate for his Lydian kingdom. According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first to strike gold and silver coins, but the numismatic evidence is not easily compatable with this statement. Carradice study suggests that this coin is unlikely to have been minted in the lifetime of king Croesus but is of the type he calls early 'Croeseid' (c.550-520). However Sear assigns them to king Croesus c.560-546 B.C. The issue sees the introduction of the world's first bimetallic coinage, gold and silver pieces based on a stater of pure metal weighing about 10.8 grams. This was the intial phase of relatively short duration as shortly after the gold was reduced in weight to about 8.00 grams for a stater and the silver siglos of just over 5 grams replaced the silver stater. This is an historic and important silver coin from the earliest period of beginnings of coinage in the western world.

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Adjacent lots

  • Lot 1809  

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  • Lot 1810  

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  • Lot 1811   This lot

    LYDIA, Sardeis, time of King Croesus or later, (c.550-520 B.C.), silver half stater or siglos, ...

    Estimate $450

  • Lot 1812  

    LYDIA, Tabala, Macrinus, (A.D. 217-218), AE 19, (8.106 grams), obv. laureated head of Macrinus to ...

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  • Lot 1813  

    LYDIA, Tralles, (c.140-135 B.C.), silver cistophoric tetradrachm, (12.285 grams), obv. cista mystica containing serpent, all ...

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