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    Description

    Lovely Gela Tetradrachm

    SICILY. Gela. Ca. 413-405 BC. AR tetradrachm (26mm, 17.13 gm, 11h). NGC XF 4/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. ΓEΛΩIΩN, Victory driving fast quadriga to right on exergual line, kentron in right hand, reins in left; eagle flying right above with serpent in talons / ΓEΛAΣ (retrograde), forepart of man-faced bull (river god Gelas) swimming right, with long beard; horizontal grain ear above. Pozzi 446 var. de Luynes 963. Lockett 659. BMC 57. A choice example with a bold river god in exceptional style.

    Ex Robert Käppeli (1900-2000) Collection; Frank Sternberg, Auction XX (1988), lot 217; Robert Paul Pflieger (1896-1955) Collection (Jean Vinchon, 13 April 1985), lot 86; Hess-Leu, Auction 19 (1962), lot 61.

    Gela was located on the southern coast of Sicily and took its name from the nearby River Gelas, whose river god appears (as a rather benevolent-looking man-faced bull) on the city's coinage from the early fifth century BC. It was founded in 688 BC by Dorian Greeks from islands of Crete and Rhodes, and by the mid sixth century BC had grown so populous that it sent out colonists to found the city of Acragas. From about 498 BC, Gela was run by a succession of strong men or "tyrants" (the word did not have the same negative connotation as it has today), including Gelon I, who also seized control of Syracuse in 485 BC and established the Deinomenid Tyranny. For several decades, the same family ruled both cities until the tyrants were ejected circa 466 BC and the citizens established independent democracies. Like Acragas, Gela was besieged and sacked by the Carthaginians in 405 BC and never quite recovered its former prominence.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2019
    6th-7th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 502

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