ATHENS SILVER OWL TETRADRACHM – ARTISTICALLY SUPERB SPECIMEN OF LATE TRANSITIONAL ISSUE STRUCK WHEN THE PARTHENON WAS BEING BUILT – CHOICE XF FINE STYLE NGC GRADED GREEK ATTICA COIN (Inv. 13914)
ATTICA. ATHENS. Ca. 455-440 BC.
Silver Tetradrachm, 17.17 g., 25 mm, late Transitional issue.
Obv. Helmeted head of Athena right.
Rev. ΑΘΕ, owl standing to right, olive sprig and crescent behind, all within incuse square.
Starr post 449 issues, cf. plate XXII, 3′; SNG Copenhagen 32.
NGC graded CHOICE XF, Strike 5/5, Surface 2/5, FINE STYLE, “test cut”, a spectacular coin struck right about the time the Parthenon was being built under the leadership of Pericles. The obverse features an absolutely amazing rendition of Athena, well executed, elegant, with a gentle Archaic smile, executed by an exceptionally talented die engraver; this has earned the coin NGC’s coveted FINE STYLE designation. It should be noted that for Late Transitional Owls auction records show only 4 other pieces with the FINE STYLE designation. In my opinion the exceptional artistic quality of the obverse makes this specimen the best of the group.