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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1171. Estimate $10000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $11000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Gela. Circa 450-440 BC. AR Tetradrachm (17.45 gm). Charioteer driving walking quadriga right, holding kentron in right hand, reins in both; Nike flying above crowning horse's, palmette with tendrils in exergue / CELAS, forepart of man-headed bull right. Jenkins 354.2 (O68/R140 - this coin); SNG ANS 65 (same dies). Toned, good VF, from artistic dies. Very rare die combination, only two specimens cited by Jenkins. ($10,000)

From the William N. Rudman Collection.

Although the city was a Creto-Rhodian foundation of the seventh century BC, the name of the river and later the city is of local Sicanian origin, meaning very cold, as the water is, running from the Heraei mountains to the north. The rather brutal half-length figure of the man-faced bull swimming right is based on the 'father of all rivers', Achelous, and is clearly identified by the ethnic Gelas as the personification of the river rushing to its mouth, where the city Gela stood. It was defined by Virgil (Aen. 3, 702) as 'immanisque Gela fluvii cognomina dicta'.