SICILY, Syracuse. Hieronymos.
|Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 118. Estimate $6000.
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004.
Sold For $6500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
215-214 BC. AV Hemidrachm - 25 Litrai (2.13 gm). Struck 214 BC. Head of Persephone left, head wreathed in grain ears / BASILEWS IERWNUMOU
, winged thunderbolt, XA
above. Cf. Holloway 53a (O-/R42; unlisted obverse die); SNG ANS -; cf. SNG Lloyd 1564; SNG Copenhagen -; Jameson -; Gulbenkian -; Pozzi -; Weber -; cf. BMC Sicily pg. 220, 636. Superb EF. Extremely rare and a unique variety; the other two specimens known with the control mark XA have a pine-cone symbol on the obverse. Holloway records only nine total specimens for Hieronymos for all gold denominations and control marks. [See color enlargement on plate 3] ($6000)From the James A. Ferrendelli Collection. Ex George & Robert Stevenson Collection (Classical Numismatic Group XXVI, 11 June 1993), lot 41.
Belonging to Hieronymos' second issue of gold, this specimen was probably a presentation piece distributed at the beginning of Hieronymos' move to expel the Romans from their garrisons in Syracuse. With possibly only six specimens of hemidrachms known for his gold coinage, such a small number of surviving examples would seem to indicate either a limited mintage or a subsequent recoinage by later authorities. Due to the extreme rarity of gold from the Fifth (or Syracusan) Democracy with only one undisputed gold hemistater, a limited mintage seems more likely. Hieronymos retained Persephone on the obverse but replaced the biga on the reverse with a winged thunderbolt, perhaps alluding to his Pyrrhic ancestry.