Auction: 344 - The Numismatic Collector's Series Sale at Grand Hyatt, NY INC
Kings of Macedon. Antigonos II Gonatas (277/6-239 BC). AV Stater, struck 276-275 BC. Pella (?) 8.56 gms. Types of Alexander the Great. Head of Athena right wearing helmet adorned with a small coiled serpent, rev. BA?I?E(??) ANTI?oNo(Y), Nike standing left, holding aphlaston and cradling stylis, wreath in field below her left wing. Panagopoulou 1; Mathisen pl. 21, 35 = Seltman, Greek Coins pl. 50, 10 (BM specimen); AMNG III 2 = Mionnet Supp. 2, p. 244, 587 Antigonos I); Hunterian p. 336, 1 (Antigonis I); De Luynes 1689. Extremely rare.
In 276 BC, Antigonos hired some 7,500 Tectosage Gauls under their chieftain Biderius as mercenaries to help in his campaign against Kassender's nephew Antipater Etesias. Polyaenus tells us that this cost Antigonos 30 talents. Mathisen believes that in order to pay this hefty expenditure, Antigonos struck staters in Alexander's name and a very small amount in his own name. This theory, though, is rejected by E. Panagopoulou in her dissertation on the coinage of Antigonos II Gonatas. Pointing to the aphlaston which replaces the normal wreath in Nike's hand, and the wreath in the field, she argues that these coins are related to a naval victory -- likely Gonatas' defeat of the Ptolemaic fleet off Kos which occurred sometime between 261-255 BC, or his victory off Andros in 246/6 BC.
Mathisen and Panagopoulou were only able to locate five specimens of this type, all in museum collections. In recent years, the Prospero specimen (sold in 2004) and the Larry Adams specimen (sold in 2015) have come to light and now this example. NGC Ch AU*.