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    Finest Graded Second Democracy Syracuse Tetradrachm

    SICILY. Syracuse (Second Democracy, 466-405 BC). AR tetradrachm (23mm, 17.44 gm, 3h). NGC Choice MS★ 4/5 - 5/5, Fine Style. Ca. 430-420 BC. Male charioteer, wearing long chiton, kentron in right hand, reins in left, driving walking quadriga right; Nike flying above to right, crowning horses / ΣYPAKOΣION, head of Arethusa right, hair in saccos ornamented with a meander pattern and zigzag bands, four dolphins swimming around. Boehringer 642 (V326/R442). BMC 112. SNG ANS 207 (same dies). HGC 2, 1319. Well struck from fresh dies of outstanding style. Exceptional metal quality and eye appeal. Finest example certified by Numismatic Guarantee Corporation.

    Ex Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern (Heritage Auction 3033, ANA Platinum Night, 8 August 2014), lot 23005.

    The 'transitional' era of Greek numismatic art is perfectly exemplified by the dies of this Syracusan tetradrachm, which displays a blend of Archaic and Classical artistic conventions. The obverse image of a charioteer driving his quadriga to right retains some Archaic elements, notably the rather stiff pose of the charioteer and the slow, stately gate of the horses; the reverse head of Arethusa, on the other hand, exhibits the cool classicism of contemporary Athenian art as seen on the famous Parthenon frieze. The added touch of the meander pattern (or "Greek key") adorning the snood-like saccos containing Arethusa's hair shows the precise, mathematical precision of a true master engraver.

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