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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     840859
     [UNVERIFIED]
Type:     Greek
Region:     EPIRUS
City:     Epirus, Kings of
Issuer:     Pyrrhus
Date Ruled:     297-272 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Tetradrachm
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC circa 278
Diameter:     27 mm
Weight:     16.50 g
Die Axis:     3 h
Obverse Description:     Head of Zeus left, wearing oak wreath
Reverse Legend:     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠYPPOY
Reverse Description:     Dione seated slightly left on throne, holding transverse scepter
Mint:     Locri Brutii
Primary Reference:     Babelon, Roi pl. VII, 3 (same obv. die)
Reference2:     de Luynes 1898 var. (letters below neck and in exergue)
Reference3:     SNG Cop -
Reference4:     SNG Lockett 1650 (same obv. die); BMC 6-7 var. (letters below neck and in exergue); Jameson 1127 var. (letters below neck); Gulbenkian 913 var. (no letter in exergue); Hirsch 1186 var. (letters below neck); Boston MFA 944 (same dies)
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Source:     http://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=138554
Grade:     Near EF.
Notes:     Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 33 (5 April 2006), lot 141; Santamaria (7 October 1959), lot 52.This beautiful tetradrachm is a majestic example of early Hellenistic artwork, as noted by G.K. Jenkins: "It is at once apparent that in one important respect Pyrrhos' practice is closely akin to that of the Macedonian kings of this time, in that nowhere does his portrait appear. Much as we may regret this, the splendid and exuberant types of Pyrrhos' Lokrian coins go far to compensate for it. The tetradrachm has for the obverse the head of Dodonean Zeus, whose sanctuary lay in Pyrrhos' homeland; this head, crowned with oak leaves and with restless flowing hair and beard, makes a strong contrast with the restrained and classical head of the same god minted for Alexander of Epeiros at Tarentum, and even with the more concentrated style of Antigonos Doson's Poseidon, but the Pyrrhos coin is masterly in its different way. Its exciting and dynamic quality is well matched by the calm majesty of the reverse type, Dione seated on a high-backed throne and swathed in the complex drapery so typical of Hellenistic sculpture.... The impressive style of these coins is quite different from anything we might have expected at an Italian mint at this time, and it may well be that the artist responsible was not a local one, but may have come from mainland Greece or Macedonia." (G.K. Jenkins, Ancient Greek Coins [New York: Putnam, 1972], pp. 247-8.)