ISLANDS OFF ATTICA, Aegina. Circa 550-530/25 BC. Stater (Silver, 23 mm, 12.24 g). Sea tortoise with thin collar and faint row of dots on its back. Rev. 'Union Jack' pattern reverse with eight segments, some partially filled up. H. Cahn: Griechische Münzen archaischer Zeit. Basel 1947, fig. 11 (same dies). HGC 6, 424 (same dies as illustration). Holloway, Early, class A, 4. Extremely rare. An exceptional example of this very early issue, boldly struck in high relief on a very broad flan and undoubtedly among the finest known. Extremely fine.
From the collection of Regierungsrat Dr. iur. Hans Krähenbühl, privately acquired from Münzen & Medaillen on 27 September 1966 (with a photocopy of the original invoice enclosed).
As the first city in Greece to strike silver coins, Aegina introduced its famed tortoise staters in circa 550 BC. A first-rate naval power at the time, the island dominated interregional trade routes and its coinage quickly became the leading currency in the Aegean in late Archaic times. This is a particularly impressive example from very early in the series, with a tortoise of wonderful simplicity struck in exceptionally high relief.