AR Tetradrachm 24mm. 17.50g. Uncertain Mint c. 325-300 B.C.
Head of Athena r., wearing round earring and crested helmet.
Owl standing r., head facing, wings closed; olive sprig and crescent to l.; AQE downward on r.; all within incuse square.
SNG ANS 1; Bopearachchi Sophytes Series 1A; Mitchiner 13a
EF. Very rare. Lightly toned with strong lustre in devices. A few flan voids around edge, but none disturb the design. Flatly struck areas on reverse. Imitative intermediate style 'Athenian owl' tetradrachm struck in Bactria, most likely by Greek colonists after Alexander's conquest of Central Asia, and probably in the time shortly after Alexander's death. Associated with the time of Bactrian satrap Sophytes (325-300 B.C.), but not attributed to him. From the 1960s Andragoras-Sophytes Group, which was present in Germany in 1975, then exported to the United States.
The widespread nature of Athens' owl tetradrachms meant that they had become the monetary standard of the time. This led to many imitative styles being struck in other regions outside of Greece, including portions of the Persian empire. This coin was struck in Bactria, likely following the death of Alexander, and though fine in execution and of the Athenian weight standard, it shows noteable differences in style from the official Athenian issues.