Offered by Classical Numismatic Group on January 9 as part of the New York International Numismatic Convention series, it took $525,000 (£410,000), plus 20/22.5% premium.
Dekadrachms stand apart from the typical Athenian coinage not just for their massive size (at around 35mm they are significantly bigger then the tetradrachm) but for their powerful iconography.
To the verso is the head of Athena wearing a crested Attic battle helmet, while to the reverse is the owl, symbol of Athens, depicted full-face with wings spread.
Both motifs are thought to represent growing Athenian military might in the wake of two significant victories over the Persians: the battle of the Eurymedon River in 467BC, where the resulting booty was enormous, and the capture of Thasos and its bountiful mines in 463BC.
It has been suggested that the two events yielded the sizable quantities of silver for the dekadrachm series and provide the historical context for what was clearly a special coin issue.
Examples of the coin appear on the market with some frequency (another was sold by Roma Numismatics for £160,000 in London in April 2018) but the one at CNG boasted a surface quality “far exceeding that of the specimens offered over the past several years”.
Included as part of the Spina collection, it had last sold in the equivalent sale in January 2007 when it took a comparable $500,000.