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HM33245

Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt, Ptolemy I, Silver Tetradrachm, with dies signed by "the Delta Master".

Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt, Ptolemy I Soter (305-282 BC), silver Tetradrachm, with obverse die signed by the "Delta Master" Alexandria, c. 280 BC, diademed head of Ptolemy I to right, wearing aegis around neck, small Δ behind ear, rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ - ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ Eagle with closed wings standing left on thunderbolt, to left, P above monogram of ΠAP in left field, 14.30g, 12h (SNG Copenhagen 70; Svoronos 255). Attractively toned, artistic style, extremely fine.

Provenance:

Ex The New York Sale XXXIV, 6 January 2015, 278

Ex RAJ Collection, Triton XVII, 7 January 2014, 412

Previously privately acquired from F. Shore in 1999.

The die engraver identified this die with a small delta behind the ear and this is sometimes referred to as the work of the "Delta Master". Deltas are known on a variety of Ptolemaic coins and they span quite a long period of time so it's perhaps unlikely that all dies with a delta are the work of one die engraver. Whether the delta is a signature or perhaps represents the office of the mint which issued the coin, the image is very skilful work and this particular die engraver's coin deserves recognition as exceptional Hellenistic portraiture.

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