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    Description

    Spectacular Naxos Tetradrachm

    Sicily. Naxos. c. 415 BC. Tetradrachm, 16.74g (9h). Obv: Head of Dionysus right, wearing taenia decorated with ivy-tendrils, hair and beard in loose array. Rx: ΝΑΞΙΟΝ Silenus squatting facing, head left, holding cantharos and thyrsos; to left, stem of ivy. Cahn 100 (V66/R82). SNG ANS 524 (same obverse die). SNG Lloyd 1156 (same obverse die). Rizzo pl. XXVIII, 16 (same obverse die). Gulbenkian 232 (same dies). SNG München 761 (same dies). SNG Fitzwilliam 1113 (same dies). Jameson 677 (same dies). Kraay-Hirmer 8-9 (same obverse. die). A splendid example of one of the great classical rarities. Deeply struck in sound metal. Good EF.

    Ex Triton X, 6 January 2009, lot 79.

    According to legend, the wine god Dionysus had a strong attachment to the Cycladic island of Naxos, which provided the earliest settlers of its Sicilian namesake. Dionysus met his wife Ariadne there, and the island was one of his earliest cult centers. The cult of Dionysus features strongly on the coinage of both Cycladic and Sicilian Naxos. This beautiful tetradrachm of c. 415 BC depicts the wine god in an almost melancholy and contemplative manner, with his hair and beard in tousled disarray, as though recently woken after an all-night revel. On the reverse, his compatriot Silenus squats, gazing longingly at his wine cup, his fleshy body rendered with remarkable skill and sensitivity.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    14th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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