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A major target added


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Yesterday an interesting topic was posted, about coins in our collections that we are grateful for. The first example in my mind was a coin that was just received (yesterday also).

I would like to thank @Nerosmyfavorite68 for his topic where he presented his example of a Mazaios stater.
I was aware of these types and admired them, but I was under the impression these are very expensive coins, even in modest condition. I think I saw a few of them in several auctions, but the prices were way out of my league, so even if in my wish list a Mazaios stater was there, I wasn't expecting something one to arrive very soon.
When seeing @Nerosmyfavorite68 example I realized one thing - I wouldn't mind at all having an example with a worn obverse but a good reverse (I consider the reverse the side with the lion and the bull). Obviously, examples with both sides from good dies and little to no wear are remarkable coins



... but this is not a coin I can afford.
I saw an example that was exactly what I wanted a few weeks ago in an upcoming auction. I eagerly waited for the auction and hoped it will remain under the radar and other collectors would not be impressed about the cons: the modest obverse with zero facial details and the test cut. Both these were totally acceptable for me especially since the test cut was carefully applied to make sure the design is not altered, I think.


CILICIA. Tarsos. Mazaios (361-334 BC). Stater. 23 mm, 10.8 g. Obv: Baaltars seated left on throne, head facing, holding lotus-tipped sceptre, grain ear, grape bunch and eagle; 'BLTRZ' Aramaic legend to right. Rev : Lion left attacking bull left; Aramaic legend above 'MZDI' = Mazaios, Aramaic letters below
Casabonne Series 2A, SNG France 338-347 (controls), SNG Levante 101 var

Some details about Mazaios - taken from another auction

Mazaios had been appointed satrap of Cilicia around 361 BC. Later, with the addition of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel to his territories, he became one of the Persian king's most powerful subordinates; during this period he put down a Phoenician revolt, which had the support of both the Pharaoh of Egypt, Nectanebo II, and 4,000 Greek mercenaries. For his services, Darius III promoted him to the overlordship of Mesopotamia and sealed it with the promise of marriage to the king's daughter, Barsine, or Statira. At Gaugamela in 331 BC, Maizaios' extraordinary abilities did little to ward of the advance of Alexander III of Macedon, as the flight of the Persian king signalled the collapse of the Persian army and Macedonian victory. Maizaios withdrew his forces to protect Babylon, and on the assurance that the city would not be plundered, the city was surrendered. Mazaios proved himself indispensible to the new government through his hospitality and sagacity. Alexander III of Macedon appointed him satrap of Babylonia, the first Persian to be so rewarded by the Greeks. He continued to be rewarded with favorable appointments until his death in 328 BC.

I was very happy with getting this coin and it is a serious candidate for my yearly top 10. Or tops as I might create different top 10 on my major areas of collecting. A lot of boxes ticked by this coin.

Please post Mazaios coins; coins you bought after seeing them posted by colleagues; and why not, Tarsos coins, as it is a mint with beautiful reverses (even coins minted after many centuries, I have the large provincial Tarsos coins in mind, issued much later).


Edited by ambr0zie
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Nice addition!

Here's my Mazaios.


Tarsos. Mazaios, Satrap. Circa 361-334 BC. AR Stater.
Baaltars seated left, holding sceptre surmounted by an eagle in right hand,
left arm at side; grain ear, bunch of grapes to left, monogram under throne
/ Lion attacking bull above double row of turreted walls.
SNG Levante 113; SNG France 360
Ex Fenzl


And here are my other two coins from Tarsos.


Cilicia, Tarsos
AR Stater 10.62g, 20mm, 9h.
Circa 440-400 BCE
Horseman (Syennesis?) riding to left, wearing kyrbasia, holding lotus flower in right hand and reins in left, bow in bowcase on saddle; key symbol below horse, eagle(?) standing to left behind / Archer in kneeling-running stance to right, quiver over shoulder, drawing bow; key symbol behind, 'trz' in Aramaic on the lower right; all within dotted border within incuse square
BMC -; SNG von Aulock -; SNG Copenhagen -; SNG Levante -; SNG BnF -, cf. 213 for types = Casabonne Type D2, pl. 2, 10 = MIMAA pl. V, 6 = Traité II, 523
Ex Roma



Cilicia, Tarsos AR Stater.
Balakros, satrap of Cilicia under Alexander III.
Circa 333-323 BC.
Facing bust of Athena, draped, wearing triple-crested helmet and necklace / Baaltars seated to left, holding lotus-tipped sceptre; grain ear and grape bunch to left, B above ivy leaf to right, T below throne.
SNG Levante Suppl. 21; SNG BnF 368; SNG von Aulock 5964.
10.79g, 26mm, 6h.
Ex Roma

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Cilicia. Tarsus. Balakros, as Satrap of Cilicia under Alexander III. Circa 333-323 BC. AR Stater (23mm, 10.75g, xh). Obv: Baaltars seated left, holding lotus-tipped scepter, grain ear and grape bunch to left, ivy leaf above B to right, T under throne. Rev: Facing bust of Athena, draped, wearing triple-crested helmet and necklace. Ref: SNG France 370 var; SNG Levante 121; SNG Levante Supp. 21; SNG von Aulock 5964. Good Very Fine, obverse die break; large test cut with some deformation of flan, lightly toned. Same obverse die as CNG Triton XVIII, Lot 699.


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