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    Description

    Spectacular Acragas Tetradrachm

    SICILY. Acragas. Ca. 440 BC. AR tetradrachm (24mm, 17.26 gm, 11h).  AKRAC-ANTOΣ, sea eagle standing left with wings folded  / Crab, seen from above, scrolled vine tendril below ending in flower buds. Rizzo, pl. 1, 6 (this coin). SNG ANS 982 (same dies). Kraay-Hirmer 172. A simply magnificent specimen, deeply struck from fresh dies and lightly toned. NGC AU? 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style.

    From The California Collection. Ex ROMA Numismatics 4 (30 September 2012), lot 59; Leu 28 (5 May 1981), lot 21.

    Acragas was founded on the southern coast of Sicily by colonists from Gela in about 580 BC and quickly grew into one of the most prosperous and populous Greco-Sicilian cities. In 480 BC, Acragas joined Syracuse in defeating the Carthaginians at the Battle of Himera; while this freed Sicily from Punic domination for a time, Carthage did not forget the humiliation. When Carthage re-invaded Sicily in the later fifth century BC, the general Hamilco placed Acragas under siege in 406 BC. Despite assistance from Syracuse and Sparta, Acragas fell eight months later and was subjected to a thorough sacking, from which it never fully recovered. From its earliest coinage circa 510 BC, Acragas featured an eagle, sacred to Zeus, to whom a large temple was dedicated, backed with an overhead view of a crab, harvested as a delicacy in the region. As the city's wealth and political influence increased, the basic crab design was augmented with a number of other attributes, here an attractive and delicate vine scroll, each side terminating in a flower bud. 




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    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    4th-5th Sunday-Monday
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