CYCLADES, Melos. Circa 475-460 BC. Stater (Silver, 20 mm, 14.41 g), Milesian standard. WA-IΛ Oinochoe with handle to right. Rev. Incuse square divided by broad diagonal cross. Sheedy Series III, Group A, 11 (O9/R9). Traité II, pl. LXII, 9 (same dies). Very rare. A beautifully toned and boldly struck example. Light die breaks on the reverse, otherwise, good very fine.
From a European collection, formed before 2005.
The coinage of the small but fertile island of Melos differs significantly from the output of most other Cycladic mints in that it was struck on the Milesian rather than the Aeginetan weight standard. Given the island's geographical location on the western end of the Cyclades, very close to the Peloponnese and far away from Ionia, this is an odd choice and perhaps goes back to old trade relationships of its inhabitants with the Ionian cities.