Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 72

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Lot 4040

Macedonia, Mende. Silver Tetradrachm (17.5g) struck ca. 430-423 BC. Bearded Dionysos reclining left, head three-fourths right, holding kantharos in raised right hand, atop ass walking right; below, bunch of grapes on branch. Reverse: MEN - ΔA - I - ON. Grapevine with four clusters of fruit within linear frame; all within square incuse. Die combination not documented in the major references. Noe Group III, cf. 81 (no grape branch on obverse; fifth cluster on reverse), 85 (same reverse die). Delicate natural grey toning deepening within the recesses. Well struck in high relief. Extremely Fine/Very Fine.

Mende was a colony of Eretria and was celebrated for the excellent quality of its wine. The wealth derived from this source helped to finance an extensive series of silver tetradrachms during the third quarter of the fifth century BC. Not surprisingly, the types of this coinage celebrate Dionysos, god of wine, and similar designs were used for the stamps on the wine amphorae. The deity is shown in a relaxed pose, doubtless in a state of intoxication, reclining on the back of an ass and holding a large wine cup or kantharos. The reverse type is also on a viticultural theme and features a vine with bunches of grapes.
Estimated Value $12,000 - 16,000.
The Hunter Collection; Ex Superior Stamp & Coin, June 2 1992, lot 4394.

Realized $12,075

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