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Ex Koppersmith Collection


KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander I. 498-454 BC. AR Oktadrachm (30mm, 28.23 g). Struck circa 492-480/79 BC. Horseman, wearing chlamys and petasos, and holding two spears, standing right behind horse advancing right / Quadripartite incuse square. Raymond pl. II, 6; SNG ANS 1; HPM pl. XII, 2 (Bisaltai). Near EF, toned. Rare and impressive.

Ex Daniel Koppersmith Collection (Classical Numismatic Group 94, 18 September 2013), lot 212; Classical Numismatic Group Inventory 900144 (July 2011); Goldberg 63 (31 May 2011), lot 2437.

This coin type had long been ascribed to the Bisaltai, one of the powerful Thraco-Macedonian tribes that struck coinage in the late 6th and early 5th centuries. The weight of the evidence now points to it being the earliest issue of Alexander I, when he was allied with the tribes against the Persians; he presumably struck coins with types that were acceptable to his allies and would, in fact, symbolize their alliance.