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    Description

    Triple Signed "Star" Fine Style Kimon Decadrachm

    SICILY. Syracuse. Time of Dionysius I (406-367 BC). AR decadrachm (36mm, 43.40 gm, 6h). NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU★ 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. Obverse and reverse dies triple signed by Kimon, ca. 405-400 BC. Racing quadriga driven left by charioteer, reins in left hand, kentron in right; Nike flying right in field above to crown him, military arms, including aspis (shield), greaves, cuirass, and crested Attic helmet, all joined by horizontal spear, ΑΘΛΑ ("prizes") all below thick exergual line signed KIMΩN on top, dotted border / ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩ, head of Arethusa left, wearing single-pendant earring and pearl necklace, curly hair confined by ampyx and net sphendone, die engraver's signature K on ampyx, four dolphins swimming around, KIMΩN signature on dolphin under neck, dotted border. Jongkees 3. HGC 2, 1298. Gulbenkian 303. Struck from mountainous high relief fine style dies on superb flan with lovely rainbow toning. A breathtaking representation of one of the ancient world's greatest numismatic masterpieces.

    From the Paramount Collection

    Syracuse had been striking its own coins for about a century, when in circa 405 BC it began issuing the stunning series of silver decadrachms by Kimon and Euainetos. These huge, impressive coins were struck in considerable numbers, probably to pay the Greek mercenary soldiers who flooded Sicily to fight the expanding power of Carthage. They stand at the pinnacle of Greek numismatic achievement and served as a paradigm for Hellenistic art in the ages to follow. Kimon's decadrachm design, as exemplified by this impressive piece, features a highly individualized and realistic head of Arethusa, clearly modeled on a real-life Greco-Sicilian woman. Her hair is bound in an elaborate jeweled net and a wide hairband, or ampyx, that carries his abbreviated signature (K). On the obverse, Kimon's four-horse chariot races to the left at breakneck speed while the goddess Nike flies serenely above, reaching out with a laurel wreath to crown the victorious charioteer. Below this scene, in the exergue beneath the ground line, are arrayed the prize trophies - a military cuirass, greaves and a helmet, labeled ΑΘΛΑ ("athla") or prizes, from which the term athlete derives), rendered with exceptional detail here due to the fresh die state.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2021
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 34
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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