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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

 
90020027
Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 27. Estimate CHF22500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF30000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Syracuse. Second Democracy. 466-405 BC. Dilitron (Gold, 1.86 g 11), signed by the engraver Im..., struck circa 406. ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩΝ Head of Athena to left, wearing crested Attic helmet ornamented with a coiled serpent and a palmette; below neck, engraver’s initials; to left, fillet bearing the name of the Syrakusans. Rev. Facing head of the Medusa, with tongue outstretched, at the center of an aegis ornamented with coiling snakes. C. Boehringer, “Zu Finanzpolitik und Münzprägung des Dionysios von Syrakus,” Essays Thompson, pl. 38, 12. Extremely rare, the best of three known examples. A lovely coin of superb style. Traces of die rust on the obverse, otherwise, good extremely fine.


This lovely gold coin was struck just at the end of the 5th century, when all Sicily was going through the crisis caused by the Carthaginian invasion. Akragas had probably already fallen when this coin was struck and Dionysios I was just coming to power in Syracuse - he soon authorized a much more extensive coinage of gold for military use. The dies for this coin were engraved by the artist Im..., (or perhaps Mi...) who also signed a tetradrachm die (Tudeer 67: for the beautiful but worn example in the British Museum, see Kraay /Hirmer 113).