Drachm of Klazomenai

Drachm of Klazomenai

Drachm of Klazomenai

Period: Ancient Greece

Country: Greece

Denomination: Drachm

Mint: Klazomenai (Iona)

Weight: 4.064g

Quality: choice EF

Auction house: 51 Gallery

Date: 9 June 2017

Starting price: 15.000 euros

Historical context

Klazomenai was a Greek city located in the Western coast of Anatolia, very close to current Izmir. It is considered one of the first cities that issued silver coins. The principal God of the Klazomenai was Apollo, who was considered a standard of ideal beauty and represented as such in the observe of this coin. The reverse of this coin represents a swan, one of the animals sacred to Apollo. Swans may have other relationship to Klazomenai, as the verb “klazein” was used to describe the whirr of a bird’s wings, or the screech or cry of their calls (source). The artistic aspect of this coin is also remarkable. Facing heads are really difficult to depict, while the swan portrait is truly delicate.

Market

Last February, the same auction house hammered the same specimen that is now in the auction was hammered for 21.000 euros. This is clearly the best price reference that can be found for the coin in the auction. We can also see other drachms from Klazomenai that depict Apollo and a swan which had similar prices, such as this specimen, which was hammered for $18.500.

Description from the seller

IONIA, SILVER DRACHM OF CLAZOMENAE, possibly by the Master Theodotos, ca. 360 BC, 4.064g, 12h. Luynes 2585. Rare. Old cabinet tone. Perfectly centered and struck. An outstanding example of this wonderful issue bearing one of the finest facing portraits of all Greek coinage. Insignificant scratch on cheek, otherwise, choice extremely fine. Privately acquired from Tradart; Jean Vinchon 1983 (9-10 December) lot 146; former William H. Woodward (1856-1941) collection, Naville 1930 (15) lot 941

Source

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