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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     80000215
Type:     Greek
Region:     EPIRUS
City:     Epirus, Kings of
Issuer:     Pyrrhus
Date Ruled:     297-272 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Tetradrachm
Struck / Cast:     struck
Weight:     16.56 g
Die Axis:     12 h
Obverse Legend:     Θ
Obverse Description:     Head of Zeus left, wearing oak wreath; Θ and monogram below
Reverse Legend:     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠYPPOY / A
Reverse Description:     Dione seated left, holding staff in right hand and lifting her veil with her left; A in exergue
Exergue:     A
Mint:     Lokroi Epizephyrioi
Primary Reference:     Babelon, Roi pl. VII, 1 = de Luynes 1898 (same obv. die [same rev. die as pl. VII, 2])
Reference2:     SNG Cop -
Reference3:     BMC 6 = AGC 392 (same dies)
Reference4:     Jameson 1127 (same dies); Gulbenkian 914 var. (same obv. die; no A on rev.); Hirsch 1186 var. (same obv. die; same)
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     EF, attractively toned
Notes:     Sale: Triton XII, Lot: 215 Well struck on a broad flan This beautiful tetradrachm is a majestic example of early Hellenistic artwork, as noted by G.K. Jenkins: "It is at once apparent that in one important respect Pyrrhos' practice is closely akin to that of the Macedonian kings of this time, in that nowhere does his portrait appear. Much as we may regret this, the splendid and exuberant types of Pyrrhos' Lokrian coins go far to compensate for it. The tetradrachm has for the obverse the head of Dodonean Zeus, whose sanctuary lay in Pyrrhos' homeland; this head, crowned with oak leaves and with restless flowing hair and beard, makes a strong contrast with the restrained and classical head of the same god minted for Alexander of Epeiros at Tarentum, and even with the more concentrated style of Antigonos Doson's Poseidon, but the Pyrrhos coin is masterly in its different way. Its exciting and dynamic quality is well matched by the calm majesty of the reverse type, Dione seated on a high-backed throne and swathed in the complex drapery so typical of Hellenistic sculpture.... The impressive style of these coins is quite different from anything we might have expected at an Italian mint at this time, and it may well be that the artist responsible was not a local one, but may have come from mainland Greece or Macedonia." (G.K. Jenkins, Ancient Greek Coins [New York: Putnam, 1972], pp. 247-8.)