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    Description

    Rare Early Dynast Portrait

    LYCIAN DYNASTS. Pericles (ca. 380-360 BC). AR stater (23mm, 9.50 gm, 6h). NGC AU 3/5 - 3/5. Antipellus mint, ca. 380-375 BC. Laureate head of Pericles facing slightly left, drapery around neck; to right, dolphin downward / Hoplite, nude but for Corinthian helmet, in fighting stance to right, brandishing sword in right hand, shield on left arm; PERIKLE (in Lycian) and triskeles to left, VEHNTEZE (in Lycian) to right, all within shallow incuse square. Mildenberg, Mithrapata 20 (A14/R15). SNG von Aulock 4251 (same dies); BMFA Supp. 234 (same dies). Obverse roughness, reverse struck from worn die, but possessing an arresting frontal portrait presaging numismatic portraiture of the Hellenistic age.

    Ex Martin A. Armstrong Collection (CNG 102, 18 May 2016), lot 552; acquired from CNG inventory in November 1995.

    True coin portraiture depicting living persons, as opposed to deities, is commonly thought to have started in the Hellenistic era, after the taboo-shattering conquests of Alexander the Great. However, the Lycian dynasts of southern Asia Minor were the pioneers, introducing true portraits of their ruling dynasts, or satraps, is early as the last quarter of the fifth century BC. The later Lycian dynasts in particular produced highly evolved and innovative portraits, including this remarkable three-quarters left facing head of Pericles, showing him thickly bearded with a mass of long, wavy hair. This depiction may have been influenced by the Syracusan master Kimon's facing head of Arethusa, which had a similar treatment of hair; however, the image here is fiercely masculine in contrast with Kimon's lilting femininity. The reverse image of a Greek hoplite is also rendered in high Classical style.


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    April, 2018
    20th-23rd Friday-Monday
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