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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 111. Estimate CHF3750. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF4600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ISLANDS off CARIA, Rhodos. Rhodes. Circa 229-205 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 13.71 g 12), Ameinias. Radiate head of Helios facing, turned slightly to right Rev. ΡΟΔΙΟΝ Rose with bud to right; to left, prow of galley to right; below, ΑΜΕΙΝΙΑΣ. Ashton 212. SNG Copenhagen 759. SNG Keckman 542. SNG von Aulock 2799. Beautifully toned and very sharply struck, a remarkably nice piece. Good extremely fine.

The facing heads of Helios on the silver tetradrachms of Rhodes go through quite a stylistic progression over the slightly more than two centuries of their existence. The earlier heads of the late 5th and 4th centuries are fully in the Classical tradition and range from the noble, serene and, often, eerily powerful to insipid and banal. However, the tradition changes when tetradrachms resume in the later 3rd century. On those coins the Helios heads are truly Hellenistic in a very florid and baroque way, with some of the earliest, like this one, being most impressive.