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    Description

    Fine Style Kimon Decadrachm

    SICILY. Syracuse. Unsigned dies by Kimon, ca. 405-400 BC. AR decadrachm (34mm, 43.09 gm, 9h). NGC (photo-certificate) Choice XF 4/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. 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, dotted border / ΣΥΡΑΚ-ΟΣΙΩ, head of Arethusa left, wearing single-pendant earring and pearl necklace, curly hair confined by ampyx and net sphendone; four dolphins swimming around, dotted border. Jongkees 12. HGC 2, 1298. Gulbenkian 309. Deep cabinet toning with overall blue and violet hues. Nicely centered on excellent metal flan. A wonderful example of this extremely popular issue.

    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. 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.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    6th-7th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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