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    Fine Style "Star" Gelon Tetradrachm

    SICILY. Syracuse. Deinomenid Tyranny (ca. 485-466 BC). AR tetradrachm (26mm, 17.28 gm, 11h). NGC AU★ 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. Time of Gelon I, 485-480 BC. Charioteer driving quadriga walking right, kentron in right hand, reins in both; Nike flying right above to crown horses, all on double exergual line, dotted border / ΣYR-A?O-ΣI-ON, head of Arethusa right, wearing taenia, pendant earring and two necklaces, hair in long straight beaded rows; four dolphins swimming clockwise around. HGC 2, 1304. Boehringer Series IV, 46. SNG ANS 10. Superbly struck and centered on lustrous flan - truly exceptional in hand.

    From the Paramount Collection. Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 13 (8 October 1998), lot 428

    Originally settled by Corinthian colonists in circa 730 BC, Syracuse grew rapidly to dominate all Sicily and become one of the foremost cities in the Greek world. Its coinage commenced in the late sixth century BC with Attic-weight silver tetradrachms depicting a walking quadriga, and a reverse design featuring a tetraskelion incuse punch that soon featured a small female head within a central circle. By circa 590 BC, the incuse punch had disappeared and the female head, now much larger and clearly a representation of the spring nymph Arethusa, was surrounded by dolphins, likely an allegorical reference to Sicily itself. The earliest numismatic depictions of the nymph Arethusa display fully Archaic conventions, including a frontal eye, a rather stern countenance, and hair shown in parallel waves, the back pulled up and passed through a pearl hair band, emerging as a "splash" at the back of the head. This attractive die, created circa 480 BC, gives Arethusa a softer, more contoured appearance that was clearly the work of an artist of great skill and sensitivity.




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