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    Description

    Ferocious Gorgon

    MACEDON. Neapolis. Ca. 500-480 BC. AR stater (20mm, 9.73 gm). NGC Choice XF 5/5 - 3/5, Fine Style, light smoothing. Facing gorgoneion, hair arranged in parallel plaits ending in ringlets, tongue protruding between teeth and two sets of fangs / Quadripartite incuse square, all four quadrants partially filled. SNG ANS 414. Traité I 1740. Small area of scraping in obverse field, otherwise deeply struck from dies of intense style, and pleasingly toned.

    In Greek mythology there were three Gorgons, sisters with faces so horrible that their mere gaze would turn mortals to stone. Two of the sisters, Stheno and Euryale, were immortal; their unfortunate sister Medusa was not, and was of course killed by the hero Perseus, who lopped off her head. According to Ovid, only Medusa had snakes for hair, having been cursed by Athena for copulating with Poseidon in her temple. The ferocious Gorgon depicted here and on many coins of Neapolis in Macedon does not seem to be Medusa, as her hair does not seem to be composed of snakes. Representations of gorgons are common in Greek art as their gaze was thought to ward off evil.


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
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