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    Description

    Navel of the Earth

    MYSIA. Cyzicus. 5th-4th centuries BC. EL stater (18mm, 16.04 gm). NGC Choice VF 5/5 - 3/5, scuffs. Two eagles confronting, with closed wings, standing on either side of filleted omphalus; below, tunny to right / Quadripartite incuse square. Von Fritze 220. BMFA 1535. SNG Paris 348.  Rare. A couple of light scuffs, otherwise clearly struck in sculptural relief and quite handsome.

    This intriguing stater type relates the legend of the so-called omphalus, or "navel of the earth" located at the shrine of Apollo at Delphi in Greece. The legend states that Zeus released two eagles at opposite sides of the world, one flying east and the other west; the two met at Delphi, the "center of the earth," and the spot was marked with a stone ornamented with a carved "net" with floral motifs. The stone itself was supposedly the same one wrapped in swaddling clothes by Rhea, to deceive Cronus into swallowing it instead of the infant Zeus. An ancient version of the omphalus, perhaps a carved copy of the original, survives in the Omphalos Museum in Delphi. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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