Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Octodrachm seized in Switzerland

There are reports in the Greek press that a silver octodrachm has been seized by Swiss authorities ("Το δρόμο για την Ελλάδα παίρνει το αρχαίο οκτάδραχμο", Makedonia October 13, 2009). The coin was minted during the reign of Mosses, king of the Basaltae, and dates to around 480 BCE.

It appears that the octodrachm was auctioned in Zurich last week and fetched 116,500 Swiss francs (approximately 77,000 euros). The press report suggests that a photograph of the coin was taken two years prior to the sale. (Such photographic evidence lies behind other investigations.) The Hellenic Ministry of Culture tried to intervene before the sale but without success. However, with the help of Interpol, the coin was seized on Friday October 9 before it had been collected by the person who made the "winning" bid.

The auction house is not named in the report though it also has an office in London.


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2 comments:

David Gill said...

The same story can be found here.

Marc Fehlmann said...

The coin can be seen here:

http://www.icollector.com/Greek-coins-Kings-of-the-Bisaltae-Mosses-Octodrachm_i8604239

and the relevant information about the auction house as well.Would be interesting to see the image that the Greeks used to identify the piece.

Best

Marc

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