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Bonhams to sell the Meyer & Ebe Collection of ancient Greek coins on January 6
This small, exquisite collection of coinage of classical antiquity will comprise just over 100 lots. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Bonhams announces the sale of the Meyer & Ebe Collection of Ancient Greek Coins on January 6. This small, exquisite collection of coinage of classical antiquity will comprise just over 100 lots, with coins issued from the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD. Several classic design types will be represented in this unique auction from a number of the most famous parts of ancient Greece, including but not limited to Syracuse, Macedon, Athens, Rhodes, Bithynia, Cappadocia and Syria. Pre-sale estimates for this sale range from the very affordable $150-200, up to loftier prices such as $115,000-125,000.

Paul Song, Director of the Rare Coins and Banknotes Department at Bonhams, states, “Bonhams is delighted to have been entrusted with this lovely collection of Greek Coins from a private collector who has enjoyed searching for and purchasing these coins over the last decade. Different regions of Classical Greece and numerous design types are well represented throughout the collection, and with the recent strength of the ancient Greek coin marketplace, we anticipate a very strong sale.”

One important highlight of the Meyer & Ebe Collection is an exceedingly rare Mysia, Pergamum, Gold Stater ca. 336 BC (pre-sale estimate $115,000-125,000). This example is one of less than a dozen known examples in existence, and is essentially in mint state. The obverse portrait is a stunning image of Alexander III the Great as Herakles, wearing a lion skin. Another beautiful coin is a Bruttium, Rhegium, Tetradrachm, 425-420 BC (pre-sale estimate $30,000-40,000). This example has a bold high relief, iconic image of a lion’s scalp on the obverse. There are also numerous rarities from Ptolemaic Egypt, including a silver Decadrachm struck under Ptolemy III for the deified Arsinoe II, ca. 246-241 BC (pre-sale est. $25,000-28,000) and a gold Octodrachm of Ptolemy II struck in Alexandria, 3rd century BC (pre-sale est. $25,000-30,000).

One of the most famous classical designs is exemplified by a silver Decadrachm from Sicily, Syracuse, 405-380 BC, by the famed Euainetos, with a four horse chariot on one side and the Nymph Arethusa on the other (pre-sale est. $20,000-25,000). Another true highlights is an exquisite silver Tetradrachm of Caria, Rhodes, 408-404 BC, signed by the artist IENO. The design includes a three-quarters facing sun god Helios on the obverse, and on the reverse, a rose representing the city-state of Rhodes. This coin is especially famous and beautifully rendered (pre-sale est. $18,000-22,000).

Song also notes, “The coins of classical antiquity have been valued and collected for over 2500 years, and represent the pinnacle of die engraving and artistry. Bonhams is exceedingly pleased to continue this ancient and learned tradition.”

The Meyer & Ebe Collection of Ancient Greek Coins will be on display in the New York offices of Bonhams before the auction from January 4-6, 2012 and will nearly coincide with the annual New York International Coin Convention, the most important convention of Ancient and World Coins held in the United States.

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