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    Description

    Attractive Entella Issue

    SICULO-PUNIC. Entella. Ca. 350-320 BC. AR tetradrachm (25mm, 17.30 gm, 8h). Wreathed head of Arethusa right, wearing triple-pendant earring and necklace; in right field, thymiaterion / Horse standing right, foreleg raised; to right, Nike flying left above caduceus, crowning horse with wreath; below, Punic HB; in background, palm tree with fruit clusters. Jenkins 97 (O33/R89). HCG 2, 273 (R1). Jameson 910 (same dies). Sharply struck in sound metal from dies of lovely style. NGC Choice AU 4/5 - 4/5.

    From the Northern California Collection.

    After an abortive attempt to seize control of all Sicily in 480 BC, the Carthaginians invaded again in 410 BC and were successful in maintaining a large permanent Punic (a Latin term for Phoenician) presence on the island. Entella, a fortress city in the interior of western Sicily, became one of the main strongholds and has recently been identified as the site for the Carthaginian mint named simply "the camp" on silver tetradrachms struck there starting in 410 BC. The first Siculo-Punic coins from Entella bore an entirely Carthaginian design, depicting a palm tree (phonix, likely a canting pun on Phoenician) on the obverse and the forepart of a horse, sometimes crowned by Nike, on the reverse. As more cities came under their control, the Carthaginians employed Greek die engravers to create new coins modeled on Greco-Sicilian designs, including this superb piece, with an obverse based on contemporary coins of Syracuse coupled with a reverse bearing the Punic horse and palm tree.


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    3rd-4th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
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