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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 21. Estimate CHF10000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF8000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Katane. Circa 431-415 BC. Litra (Silver, 0.65 g 6). Head of Silenos to right Rev. KAT-A-NAIΩN Winged thunderbolt flanked by two shields. Boerhringer “Katan...”, Series III, Li 5; Rizzo pl. XIV 19. SNG ANS 1264. SNG Lloyd 911. Very rare. Attractively toned and exceptionally nice. A superb piece free from the usual crystallization found with these small coins, good extremely fine.

Yet another magnificent late 5th century Sicilian fraction designed by a master engraver. The Greeks were often very involved with and very observant of their coinage, far more so than any other people, but especially so in Sicily. They competed to have the finest engravers for their large tetradrachms, but they also insisted on having fractions of superb quality as well. This head of the balding and bearded Silenos has to be viewed as an absolute masterpiece; if it were the size of a stater it would surely be considered one of the greatest coins of later 5th century Sicily.