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Sale 72

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Lot 4073

Pontic Kingdom. Mithradates VI, Eupator, the Great, 120-63 BC. Silver Tetradrachm (16.7g). Minted at Pergamon, dated Bithyno-Pontic Year 212 (85/84 BC), month 11 (August). Diademed head of Mithradates VI right. Reverse: Stag grazing left; star in crescent and monogram at left; date "BIΣ" and monogram at right; month "IA" below, all within a Dionysiac wreath of ivy and fruit. Waddington RGAM 16h; Price N.C. 1968, pl. 1, 6. Soft, appealing gray toning. Well struck on a problem-free flan. Superb Extremely Fine.

The handsome and extensive coinage of Mithradates VI, Eupator of Pontus has long attracted the interest of collectors. This remarkable ruler came to the throne at the age of eleven on the death of his father Mithradates V in 120 BC. He became one of Rome's most implacable enemies and fought a series of campaigns against Sulla, Lucullus, and finally Pompey the Great, who defeated him in 66 BC. His silver tetradrachms are generally large and impressive, some with a realistic portrait, others with idealized features. This superb specimen belongs to the latter category. There are two main varieties of reverse type, one featuring a winged Pegasos and the other a stag, both with their heads lowered as if to drink or graze.

These coins feature a remarkably precise dating system: this specimen bears the numeral BIΣ in the reverse field (= year 212), corresponding to 85/84 BC, of an era commencing in October 297 BC; and in the exergue, the month numeral IA (= 11) fixes the month of issue to August of 85 BC.
Estimated Value $3,000 - 3,500.
The Hunter Collection; Ex Superior Stamp & Coin, June 2, 1992, lot 4417.

Realized $6,038

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