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    Description

    Resplendent Rhodes Tetradrachm

    CARIAN ISLANDS. Rhodes. Ca. 385-360 BC. AR tetradrachm (24mm, 14.55 gm, 12h). Head of Helios facing slightly right, hair parted in middle and swept back to either side / Rose with bud on stem to left, [PO]ΔION above, T to left, kerykeion (caduceus) to right, all within incuse square. HGC 6, 1419. SNG Von Aulock 2788. Schefold 507 (same dies). Rare! With a wonderful head of Helios in sculptural high relief, deeply struck and beautifully toned. NGC AU 5/5 - 4/5.

    The city of Rhodes on its eponymous island was a relatively late foundation, formed in 408 BC by the union of Ialussus, Camirus and Lindus. Its strategic position on an island between Europe and Asia Minor assured its prosperity and growing importance as a naval power. In 305 BC, Rhodes allied itself with Ptolemy I of Egypt against Antigonus I and his son, Demetrius, who quickly attacked the city and placed it under a titanic siege. Despite employing the most imposing artillery and siege engines yet seen, Demetrius was forced to give up the siege by the timely arrival of a relief force sent by Ptolemy. The Rhodians sold off the abandoned siege equipment for 300 talents, and used the money to build a gigantic statue of the city's patron god, Apollo-Helios. Designed by the brilliant sculptor Chares of Lindos, the statue was composed of bronze plates attacked to an iron frame and stood 98 feet tall atop a 50-foot base. The head of Helios on the colossus was no doubt inspired by the imagery found on the coins of Rhodes, which since the city's founding had featured facing heads of the solar deity in a range of extraordinary styles, including the beautiful specimen seen here. 




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2016
    8th-13th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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