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Lot# 41Estimate: US$50000 Finest So-Called "Civic Mint" Tetradrachm
Attica, Athens. Tetradrachm
Attica, Athens. c. 520-500 BC. Tetradrachm, 16.97g. (8h). Obv: Helmeted head of Athena right with full crest. Rx: Owl standing right, head front; olive sprig at upper left, ÁÈÅ downwards on right, all in incuse square. Close to Seltman 345 (A-223/P-290). Seltman postulated his “Civic Mint” because he thought that the Athenian mint could never issue coins this beautiful and assumed they were presentation issues. In reality Seltman’s Civic Mint never existed and the coins in question, of which less than a hundred are known of all types, were experimental patterns struck by the Athenians in the process of creating their famous Athena and Owl types. This coin is quite wonderful, not only because of the beautiful, delicate archaic portrait of the goddess Athena, but because of the perfectly centered obverse strike with a full crest of the helmet. Of such an important historical issue this would be a major coin in any fine Athenian or Greek collection. Choice EF.
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