**First Time At Auction**
Greece, Ionia, Ephesus, ca. 2nd century BCE. AR drachm (3.2 g). Obverse: Bee Reverse: Stag standing right; palm tree behind. Cp. BMC 121. Size: 0.7" W (1.8 cm)
Ephesus was located on an alluvial plain, giving it a rich agricultural economy, but its most famous attribute was its ancient sanctuary dedicated to a nature goddess whom the Greeks identified with Artemis. This goddess was often depicted as a tree-like body with many breasts flanked by two stags. Her priests were called the King Bee and her virgin priestesses Melissae (Honey Bees). The symbols of her cult became the bee and the stag, depicted here.
Provenance: private Healy collection, Studio City, California, USA, acquired over the last twenty years
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