An extremely rare stater showing two fighting stallions
Lot 49
THRACO-MACEDONIAN REGION. Uncertain. Circa 5th century BC. Stater (Silver, 22 mm, 10.50 g, 6 h). Mare grazing to left; below, her foal grazing to right. Rev. Two stallions fighting with each other; between them, astragalos; all within incuse square. Gorny & Mosch 224 (2014), 267 = Gorny & Mosch 211 (2013), 416 (same dies, as 'Cilicia or the Levante'). Rosen -. SNG Paris -. SNG von Aulock -. Traité -. Tzamalis -. Of the highest rarity, apparently the second known example. A very interesting issue related to the breeding of horses. Minor flan fault on the obverse edge and the reverse struck slightly off center, otherwise, good very fine.

From a European collection, formed before 2005.

Exactly where this enigmatic coin was issued remains unclear. When the first example appeared in 2013, it was assigned to a 'Münzstätte in Kilikien oder der Levante' ('mint in Cilicia or the Levant'), and the reverse symbol was interpreted as an Aramaic letter. The latter is certainly incorrect, and this cataloguer prefers to place the coins in a Thraco-Macedonian context for iconographical reasons. The obverse, which shows a mare grazing with her foal, is reminiscent of the coinage of Larissa in Thessaly, but also of various other types that show cows suckling calves. The reverse, on the other hand, bears a unique depiction of two fighting stallions, with a symbol in between that must be an astragalos.

Clearly, these coins were struck by a community heavily involved in horse breeding, much like the city of Maroneia, where a springing horse became the coat of arms of the polis. In antiquity, the breeding of horses was almost always associated with warfare, and some regions, such as Thessaly, were particularly renowned for their cavalry. Thus, the community striking these coins was presumably belligerent, and employed a strong cavalry force in times of war.
7500 CHF
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6000 CHF
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10000 CHF
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