Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich

Auction 114 - Part I

Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, Auction 114 - Part I

Greek, Roman and Byzantine Coins

Tu, 07.05.2019, from 11:00 AM CEST
The auction is closed.


Kings of Cappadocia, Ariarathes IX, 101 – 87. Tetradrachm, year 213 (85/84 BC), AR 16.44 g. Diademed head r. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΡΙΑΡΑΘΟΥ / ΕΥΣΕΒΟΥΣ / ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ Pegasus grazing l.; in l. field, star over crescent and in r. field, monogram. All within vine leaf border. Simonetta 1. SNG von Aulock 6299 (this coin). SNG Lockett 3085 (these dies). Jameson 1636 (these dies). De Callataÿ p. 180 D1/R1 (this coin listed).
Extremely rare, only fourteen specimens known of which only seven are in private hands.
A very interesting coin with a prestigious pedigree,
old cabinet tone and good very fine

Ex NFA XXV, 1990, 183; Sotheby's Zurich 27-28 October 1993, 811 and NAC 84, 2015, 684 sales. From the von Aulock collection.The kingdom of Cappadocia had been under the influence of the kings of Pontos since the reign of Ariarates VI (c. 130-116 BC). However, his successor, Ariarathes VII (c. 116-100 BC) soon came to resent the intervention of Mithridates VI of Pontos in the affairs of the kingdom and prepared for war. In c. 100 BC, the Cappadocian and Pontic forces met, but before battle was joined, Mithridates VI invited Ariarathes VII to a meeting to see if the situation could be settled without fighting. Either premeditated or spur of the moment due to the negotiations souring, Mithridates VI wound up expediently resolving their differences by murdering the Cappadocian king at the conference. The Pontic king then generously offered stability to the now headless Cappadocian kingdom by placing his infant son on the throne under the traditional dynastic name, Ariarathes. The child king, conventionally referred to as Ariarathes IX, was an obvious puppet of Mithridates VI and the Cappadocian nobility quickly drove him from power in favor of a son of Ariarathes VI, who is normally described as Ariarathes VIII. In 95 BC, Mithridates VI entered Cappadocia at the head of an army, deposing Ariarathes VIII and restoring his son to the throne. Ariarathes IX was barely back in power when the Roman Senate intervened and forced him to return the throne to Ariarathes VIII. Nevertheless, the son of Mithridates VI was again restored to power on separate occasions in 93 and 92 BC following invasions of Cappadocia by the Pontic king’s son-in-law Tigranes II of Armenia. Unfortunately, as soon as Tigranes and his army returned home Ariarates IX would be deposed again by order of the Senate. Ariarates IX was restored to the throne of Cappadocia for the last time at the outbreak of the First Mithridatic War (89-85 BC). He remained king of Cappadocia over the course of the war, but he was forced to abdicate after his father was defeated in 85 BC. This rare coin does nothing to hide the fact that Ariarates IX was the puppet of his father. The types break with the Cappadocian tradition of depicting the king on the obverse and the image of Athena Nikephoros on the reverse. Here the royal portrait, which looks remarkably like Mithridates VI, is paired with the drinking Pegasus reverse type that Mithridates used for his coinage struck in Pontos and elsewhere in his empire—perhaps most notably Pergamon and Athens. Even the crescent and star badge of the Mithridatid house of Pontos appears as on Mithridates’ other coins. When this coin was struck in 91/0 BC it was clear that war was coming to Asia Minor and Mithridates wanted his war chest ready.

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Price realized 8'500 CHF
Starting price 6'400 CHF
Estimate 8'000 CHF
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