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    Lovely Lilybaion, Ex Prospero

    SICULO-PUNIC. Lilybaion ('Ras Melqart'). Ca. 360-330 BC. AR tetradrachm (26mm, 16.78 gm, 6h).  Charioteer, holding a kentron in his right hand and reins in left, driving galloping quadriga to right, Nike flies above to left to crown the charioteer, Punic legend R'SMLQRT in the exergue / Head of Arethusa facing right, wearing a wreath of grain-ears, a triple-pendant earring and necklace, four dolphins around. HGC 2, 741. Jenkins (SNR 50, 1971), 41 (O15/R32). I. Gulbenkian 203 (these dies). SNG Lockett 744. Lovely old cabinet toning. NGC AU 5/5 - 4/5, edge marks.

    From The California Collection. Ex Prospero Collection (New York Sale, 4 January 2012), lot 201. Purchased from Spink & Son, London, 23 August 1984.

    After the destruction of Motya by the Syracusan tyrant Dionysius I, the Carthaginians relocated the surviving population to a new, well-defended fortress on the western corner of Sicily. The Greeks called the city Lilybaion, while the Carthaginians referred to it as Ras Melqart, or the "Cape of Melqart." A second Punic mint (after Entella) was established there producing coins closely modeled on the issues of Syracuse, usually featuring a charging quadriga backed with a female head surrounded by leaping dolphins. Coinage at Lilybaion ended in about 305 BC and was not resumed until the Romans took full control of Sicily a century later. 


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