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Exceptional Mint State Early Greek Athenian Silver Tetradrachm


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1323161
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This exceptional piece is an early Greek Athenian silver tetradrachm that dates circa 500-490 B.C., and is classified in "Group L" by Seltman. This coin is approximately 25mm wide, weighs 16.61 gms, and is in mint state condition (FDC/FDC). This coin has a very light gray patina with some minute spotty dark black deposits, and has a beautiful natural "as found" patina. This exceptional coin has the helmeted head of Athena facing right seen on the obverse, and the reverse has a facing standing owl, with an olive sprig behind, and the Greek lettering (A-TH-E) before. The standing owl was also the "civic badge" of Athens, and was widely recognized in the ancient Greek world. This coin also has perfect centering, in addition to, extremely high relief which are factors that make this coin one of the top examples that have been seen on the market. This coin was also likely minted shortly before the battle of Marathon, circa 490 B.C., and was likely used to help expand the Athenian forces that opposed the invading Persian military juggernaut. The helmeted Athena is also a masterpiece of Greek Archaic art, with the slightly smiling face of Athena and the large almond-shaped eyes which are hallmarks of the Archaic Period. The bust of Athena also has a sculptural quality and design that is not often seen on prior or subsequent Athenian issues. This piece also displays a full crest and neckline that is not often seen as well, as this piece has perfect centering and was minted on a large and full flan. Overall, this coin is one of the finest specimens known for the type due to the reasons noted above, along with the fact that this piece has exceptional artistic style which also contributes to this coin's beauty and eye appeal. References: Svoronos, Pl. 6, No. 11. and Seltman, Pl. XV, A214/P275. Ex: Private German collection circa 1990's. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: