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    Description

    Siren Or Harpy?

    MYSIA. Cyzicus. Ca. 550-500 BC. EL stater (21mm, 16.07 gm). Half-length bust of a winged female deity (a siren?) left, wearing helmet-like headdress, earring and long-sleeved chiton, holding tunny fish in right hand and flower in left  / Quadripartite incuse square. Von Fritze 75. SNG France 205. Boston MFA 1448. Very rare! NGC Choice XF 5/5 - 5/5.

    The winged female depicted on rare Cyzicene staters is variously described as a harpy, a siren, or an early representation of Persephone (the flower suggesting this interpretation). Harpies  are described as half-bird, half-woman, with an eagle's talons and harsh screeches; they were sent by the gods to torment men who had displeased them. Sirens, the mythical offspring of the river-god Alpheus and several of the Muses, are also described as bird-women, but with beautiful voices that drew sailors to their deaths. An early myth suggests sirens received their wings when Demeter sent them off to search for her daughter Persephone; the flower held by this deity might thus suggest the siren interpretation is correct. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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