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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 108. Estimate CHF30000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF24000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ISLANDS off IONIA, Samos. Circa 408/4-380/66 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 15.29 g 6), circa 390. Lion’s mask facing Rev. ΗΓΗΣΙΑΝΑΞ / ΣΑ Forepart of an ox to right, wearing an ornamental collar and with dotted truncation; to left olive branch; below right, monogram within circle. Barron 118a (this coin). De Hirsch 1531. KF 222 (this coin). A superb example, attractively toned and very well struck. Extremely fine.

From the Spina collection, ex Leu 91, 10 May 2004, 163 and from the collections of D. Féret, Vinchon, 24 November 1994, 252, C. Gillet, Kunstfreund, Bank Leu/Münzen und Medaillen, 28 May 1974, 222, and H. Otto, Hess 207, 1 December 1931, 578, and ex Naville X, 15 June 1925, 698.

The types on the coins of Samos relate to the cult of Hera, whose great temple on the island was one of the most famous in the ancient world. The lion’s mask is that of a skin that served to adorn the cult statue of Hera; on the reverse is one of the two perfectly white oxen that drew the sacred cart carrying the goddess’s statue during her festival.