Richard Beale, Director of Roma Numismatics: “This coin is extremely important for the advancement of our knowledge of ancient Baktria, and represents a very exciting issue in the context of Greek coinage as a whole. We expect it to generate significant interest both at the pre-auction viewing and on the day itself, especially given the buoyant nature of the market for ancient coins at present. This is in part due to the increased awareness of the availability of this ancient art form, and because they are seen as a hedge against turbulence in other markets and are an attractive investment to many that can frequently bring high returns.”
The circumstances of this issue may lie hidden in the turmoil of the years following Alexander’s death and the fracture of his empire. A man such as Sophytes would have stood to gain much in this time of conflict and opportunity, and throughout the period of 316-305 BC there are no surviving records regarding the satrapy of Baktria. It has therefore been suggested that it was in this time when Seleukos, one of Alexander’s generals and successors, was campaigning to regain the lost eastern provinces, that Sophytes seized power and struck his series of gold and silver coinage, and that furthermore it is also possible that Seleukos’ campaign also had as one of its many goals, the removal of this rebel upstart.