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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     77000214
Type:     Greek
Region:     MYSIA
City:     Pergamon
Metal:     Gold
Denomination:     Stater
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC Circa 350-330
Weight:     8.6 g
Die Axis:     1 h
Obverse Description:     Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin
Reverse Description:     Archaistic Palladion: statue of Pallas Athena standing facing, holding spear aloft in right hand, preparing to strike, on left arm, a shield adorned with a four-point star and fillet hanging below; to lower left, a crested Corinthian helmet right; all within cupped circular incuse
Primary Reference:     SNG France 1557 = De Luynes 2493 = Saida 37
Reference2:     Von Fritze, Pergamon 7 = Saida 36 var. (rev. not incuse)
Reference3:     Gulbenkian 699 var. (same)
Reference4:     Jameson 2580 var. (same); PCG pl. 28, 25 var. (same)
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     EF, underlying luster, light cleaning hairlines, a few nicks in fields
Notes:     Sale: Triton XI, Lot: 214 Very rare. This intriguing series has traditionally been attributed to Pergamon based on silver fractions with the same types accompanied by the city ethnic, ΠEPΓA(M) (SNG France 1558-66). The date of issue, however, is less certain. Although SNG France placed it circa 310-284 BC, this dating ignores the fact that two of these coins were found in the Saida hoard, which was deposited circa 323/20 BC. In an analysis of the hoard, U. Westermark saw a correlation between these staters and those of Philippi in Macedon (an example of which was in the hoard), and accordingly dated them to after 336 BC (echoed by G.K. Jenkins and M. Castro HipÓlito in the Gulbenkian catalog), based on MØrkholm's placement of the Philippi issues during the reign of Alexander (EHC pp. 84-5). MØrkholm's date, however, is based on the single coin of Philippi in the Saida hoard (Saida 34), which was of such high grade that he thought it must have been struck near the date of the hoard's deposit. Nonetheless, the hoard also contained an early issue of Pantikapaion (Saida 35) of similar grade, which is traditionally dated to circa 350 BC (or earlier, see MacDonald 31: 380-370 BC). Further, other numismatists place the Philippi staters earlier, circa 356-345 BC (Bellinger, Philippi p. 37, and N. Waggoner in SNG ANS). What has also been overlooked is that there are apparently two groups in this series, differentiated by the form of the reverse die. One issue has a reverse die that forms a cup-shape circular incuse, while the other forms a flat surface without incuse. These cup-shape incuses were prevalent in Greek coinage from the late 5th century, and are mostly replaced by flat-surface, non-incuse issues by the middle of the 4th century. Considering these factors, an inception date circa 350 BC is acceptable for the series (and also argues for the earlier dating of the Philippi coinage). One final problem is the choice of types for the coinage, which would be unusual while the city was under Persian authority. This argument would support a later date, not long after Alexander's campaigns in Asia Minor, an event which may have given rise to the issue of these staters.