Kings of Macedon. Philip II, 359-336 BC. Stater (Gold, 17 mm, 8.64 g, 11 h), Struck under Philip III, Kolophon, 323-317. Laureate head of Apollo to right, with the features of Alexander III. Rev. ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ Charioteer driving galloping biga to right, holding the reins in his left hand and a goad with his right; below right, tripod. Le Rider pl. 93, 26. SNG Alpha Bank 260. Thompson Philip p. 58 and pl. VI, 12. A wonderful, sharp example, beautifully struck, with a superb "portrait"; surely one of the finest known examples of the type. Good extremely fine.
Ex Nomos 1, 6 May 2009, 49.
This issue, struck in Kolophon and in Magnesia from a single obverse die that was used by both mints, was produced during the short reign of Philip III Arrhidaios and is one of the most exciting of all the posthumous staters in the name of Philip II. The head on this coin is clearly that of a real person, not just an ideal version of Apollo. The features are so distinctive, in fact, that it has been identified as a true portrait of Alexander III. Why this should have happened when and where it did is unknown, but the coin’s beauty and importance has made it one of the most desirable of all the gold staters of Philip.