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    Description

    Dies Of Superb Style

    SICILY. Selinus. Ca. 460-440 BC. AR didrachm (24mm, 8.37 gm, 9h).  Σ-Ε-ΛΙ-NO-TI-ON, Heracles, naked, to right, raising left leg and pressing knee against Cretan bull and grasping its horn with left hand, brandishing club in left hand / HYΨ-AΣ, river-god Hypsas, nude, standing left, holding branch and patera, pouring libation over altar around which a serpent twines; to right, heron walking right; above, celery leaf. HGC 2, 1224 (R2). SNG ANS 701. Very rare! Attractively toned and one of the finest specimens extant. NGC XF? 5/5 - 4/5.

    From The California Collection. Ex LHS 100 (23 April 2007), lot 173; R. Maly Collection (Hess-Leu 19, 12 April 1962) lot 82. 

    Located on the southwestern coast of Sicily, Selinus was one of the earliest Sicilian cities to embrace the invention of coinage. Its first coins, struck on the Corinthian standard circa 540 BC, bore a selinon (celery) leaf as a canting pun on the city name. By the mid fifth century BC, Selinus had switched to the Attic standard and was producing coins of great artistry. The obverse of this rare didrachm depicts Heracles subduing the Cretan bull, an image of athletic vigor and dynamism. The reverse portrays the river god Hypsas, not as the usual man-faced bull, but as an idealized youth sacrificing over a shrine.


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