Ancient Greek Silver Owl Tetradrachm Coin from Athens - 454 BC

Ancient Coins - Ancient Greek Silver Owl Tetradrachm Coin from Athens - 454 BC
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An extremely pleasing example of one of the most iconic and important coin types from the ancient world. A solid silver ancient Greek tetradrachm from Athens, struck circa 454 - 404 BC.

The obverse (image ii) depicts the head of Athena (patron to Athens city state) facing right. She wears a crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and a floral scroll. Her hair is drawn across the forehead in parallel curves and she stares out at the viewer through a large, almond shaped frontal eye. 

The reverse (image i) depicts the emblem of Athens, the little owl. The charming creature standing in an erect posture, head looking directly ahead. Olive sprig and crescent in left field, the legend reading:

AQE - Abbreviated Greek for "Athens".

The Athenian “owl” silver tetradrachm is unquestionably one of the most influential coins of all time. During the fifth century BC, when Athens emerged as the greatest of all Greek cities, owls were the most widely used international coin and helped to spread Greek culture throughout the Mediterranean world.

It was during this period the Athenian Greeks repelled the Persians twice - once at Marathon and again at Salamis - battles that historians have described as changing the trajectory of western civilization. In the years that followed these battles; philosophy, art, architecture, science and literature developed to an astonishing level. It was also at this time that Athens' most famous monument, the Parthenon, was erected atop the Acropolis.

An attractive, well preserved example with a particularly pleasing, well centred reverse, of excellent style.

Diameter: 24.4 mm.

Weight: 17.20 g.


Ex. Belgian private collection.

Preis SKU: 29890
US$ 1,950.00
  • € 1,654.38
  • £ 1,515.54
  • AUD 2,686.71
  • CHF 1,780.35
  • CAD 2,581.41

Wechselkurs: 09/22/20

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