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    Fine Style "Star" Jenkins Plate Coin

    SICILY. Siculo-Punic. Ca. 300-289 BC. AR tetradrachm (26mm, 16.94 gm, 6h). NGC AU★ 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style. Quaestors issue. Head of young Heracles right, wearing lion skin headdress, paws tied before neck / 'MHSBM (Punic, read right to left), head and neck of horse left; astragalus in left field, palm tree behind. HGC 2, 295. Jenkins, SNR 57, 366Y (this coin). Struck from magnificent high relief dies. Deep cabinet toning throughout.

    From the Paramount Collection. Ex Numismatica Genevensis, Auction (18 November 2002), lot 27

    The location of the main Carthaginian mint in Sicily, identified by Punic inscription as "The Camp," has long been a matter of conjecture and dispute. Recent research, adopted by Oliver Hoover in his Handbook of Coins of Sicily (CNG 2012), suggests the "Camp" mint to have been Entella - a fortress-like city located in central-west Sicily. Founded by the Trojans in the 500s BC, Entella was conquered by a group of Campanian mercenaries in about 410 BC who quickly sold their services to the Carthaginians (alternatively, the Campanians might have been employed by Carthage before they took the city). The city remained a Punic stronghold through most of the fourth century BC, although the Syracusan tyrant Timoleon briefly drove them out circa 342 BC (a peace treaty dividing Sicily into Greek and Carthaginian spheres of interest in 338 BC returned Entella to Punic control). The Siculo-Punic coinage of Entella seems to have been intended mainly to pay mercenary soldiers who were used to being paid in a Greek standard, as the silver tetradrachms adhere closely to the Attic weight standard. Designs were usually based on the ubiquitous issues of Syracuse (obverse), but with reverses displaying their Carthaginian allegiance (the date palm tree, ΦΟΙΝΙΞ in Greek, is likely a canting pun on the term Phoenician). Horses also feature prominently, likely referring to the outstanding cavalry of the Carthaginians and their Campanian allies.


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2021
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
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