Featured Akragas Tetradrachm.....Not Quite the Holy Grail of Ancients but.....

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by 1934 Wreath Crown, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    I’m not a knowledgeable ancients collector as many on this site already know but from time to time I cross over to the dark side and I think I was just lucky today. My intended bid was outbid by a lonnngg way and then I checked.....I had inadvertently added another digit to my bid amount making it a 6 figure sum....stupid...YES!!!


    I'm so grateful all the other bidders had their wits about them and had not put in ridiculously high bids otherwise I'd certainly be in a spot of bother. My excuse was that it was 6AM here and unfortunately due to a minor crisis, I had only managed to get 3 hours sleep at night :yawn::yawn:. End result.....I got the coin.....

    I had done some brief research prior to bidding, of course, and I'm aware these coins are highly sought after, not found easily or plentiful. So if I have to sell some bullion or even some lesser tetradrachms or denarii, I think this is something worth keeping for many years.

    I realise it is not the famed decadrachm but I found this as a write-up on an identical tet:

    'Seltman, in his article 'The Engravers of the Akragantine Decadrachms' (NC 1948), places the issue of this superb tetradrachm in 411 BC, immediately prior to the issuance of the famous decadrachms of the same city, widely regarded as among the most beautiful coins ever produced. Interestingly, while he attributes the decadrachm dies to the engravers Myron (obverse) and Polykrates (reverse), who had also engraved a run of tetradrachm dies after c. 413 BC, Seltman assigns the dies for this tetradrachm issue to a 'lesser engraver' he rather derisively calls 'the Trier'. We believe Seltman's eye at least partially fails him here: While the two eagles on the reverse certainly lack the elegance found on the decadrachms, the obverse chariot, with its lively rearing horses, the foremost looking back at the charioteer, is clearly a precursor to the magnificent 'flying chariot' on the decadrachms, and is likely the work of the same hand. The arrangement of the horses' heads on this tetradrachm die exactly mirrors that of the decadrachm dies, and the way in which the fore-hooves of the horses seem to lift off the ground line, as though the horse team and chariot are taking flight, again shows a strong affinity to the decadrachm. Finally, the presence of an upside-down crab as a control mark on both denominations strongly points to the same engraver being responsible for all the dies in question'

    Akragas was a wealthy and powerful Greek state on the southern coast of Sicily, second only to Syracuse in importance. The city was famous for its lavish building projects, proudly displaying its wealth in the form of numerous massive temples, many of which still stand today.

    Seller's photos and description:

    Sicily, Akragas c. 413-406 BC AR Tetradrachm (16.98 gms) (NGC XF 4/5 and 5/5 Fine Style)
    Female charioteer driving fast quadriga right, her robes billowing behind her, Nike above flying left to crown driver, splayed downwards crab in exergue; Reverse: Two eagles feeding on downed hare on rocks, near one with its head raised and one down.

    Well centered on compact planchet leaving some of the borders and legends off flan. Very nice detail with no doubling otherwise and strong luster in fields. A fantastic example of this very rare and dramatic type.

    Akragas Tet Obv.jpg
    Akragas Tet Rev.jpg

    I know it's not the Holy Grail of Ancient coins but it's not too shabby either, I feel;)
     
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  3. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Ah, so you were the bidder who nabbed that coin. Nice one :).

    OMG!
    ...

    Seeing such high-end coins in on GC was shocking! Definitely not the norm. Prices were extremely strong for most lots but I picked up a surprisingly stupendous bargain on a fantastic coin. Bidding in the final seconds is difficult if you have multiple targets because the closings are every 4 seconds :eek:.
     
    ominus1 and 1934 Wreath Crown like this.
  4. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    Congratulations on adding a great coin - I was your underbidder :) I was surprised it went as high as it did as I assumed the sale had fallen somewhat under the radar but at least it went to a real collector!
     
  5. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    Unbelievable collection of Ancients for GC. Usually they deal with the lower end stuff in Ancients.

    I know.....I could have ended up with egg on my face if someone else had put in a very high bid just to be certain of securing the coin :p

    I really don't see the logic of a 4 second interval I had targeted several coins but as you said, people were bidding crazy prices. I usually list my initial likes, then eliminate the ones I find are too expensive and only concentrate on a handful in the end.

    I've got a couple more and will post them later...….just pleased with this one for now:happy:
     
    Orfew likes this.
  6. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    Thanks. You know I suspected you might have been there @AncientJoe;). Some coins went crazy high but others got ignored at the end I thought.

    Did you pick up one of the nice ones last night??
     
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  7. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    Unfortunately no, although not for lack of trying! I was as after the Akragas, Olympia stater, Alexander octodrachm, and Olynthus tetradrachm and either underbid or was already out on all of them.
     
  8. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    Perhaps we can change the title of the thread to...."Our Crazy Night at GC" and post all our successes here :D
     
  9. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    What is the link to GC ? Thanks.
     
  10. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I'm itching to post mine but generally don't post wins until they arrive. Plus, I buy so few coins these days that I really need to maximize my enjoyment of each and for me that means a lot of research and a (hopefully) interesting writeup.

    I won two coins last night. One of them will get the red carpet writeup, perhaps a video like I did for my Melita coins. The other, while nice, is rather common but I'll still wait, look for something interesting or perhaps not commonly know to say about the coin, and take my own pictures (after breaking both out of their plastic, of course) :D.
     
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  11. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

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  12. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    Wow, great coin that's out of my budget by about 10x! I wasn't even familiar with this earlier type. The only Akragas tet I know of is the eagle/crab variety.
     
  13. pprp

    pprp Well-Known Member

    Guess you're talking about the "Dr. Spencer Paterson Collection of Ancient Coins". Can't even find the results in their homepage nor sixbid/numisbids.
    That's a good example why you need to give clear instruction to your inheritors or your coins will end up in such venues. Having said that, I am sure that the usual suspects (larissa/clio) got most of these coins.
     
  14. pprp

    pprp Well-Known Member

    I am surprised why you didn't get it when it hammered in GM for half the price and with the 1930 provenance noted :dead:
     
  15. pprp

    pprp Well-Known Member

    Congrats; just tell them to disinfect it before they post it to you because I can see someone's drooling - Edited - on the slab at 2'oclock :woot:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2019
  16. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    There was a (much, much) nicer example up for sale two weeks later in Roma VII which I opted to go for instead and unfortunately underbid. The Roma coin was also recently resold and I underbid it again as well... I shall evidently be a perennial underbidder on the type!
     
    Paul M. likes this.
  17. pprp

    pprp Well-Known Member

    Damn I know that feeling; there's a leontini tet type which I must be cursed to never get while on the contrary I got quite effortlessly 3 examples of my favorite coin.
     
  18. Svarog

    Svarog Well-Known Member

    What is your favorite coin, care to share?
     
  19. savitale

    savitale Member

    I put up what I thought were some solid bids, but got completely shut out. I really wanted this one, but alas it was not to be.

    Chalcidian.jpg
     
    Puckles, Paul M., spirityoda and 2 others like this.
  20. Svarog

    Svarog Well-Known Member

    Haah, me too
     
  21. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    I underbid that one as well - thought my bid would be enough... alas...

    I already have a nice example of the type but I've always wanted this exact coin ever since having it bought out from under me by someone with a quicker trigger finger in an HJB Buy Bid Sale in 2014.
     
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