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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 48. Estimate CHF25000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF20000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ISLANDS off THRACE, Thasos. Circa 411-340 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 15.05 g 11), struck circa 410-390 BC. Head of Dionysos to left, wearing ivy wreath. Rev. ΘΑΣΙΟΝ Herakles kneeling to right, wearing lion skin over his head and body, drawing bow; to right, amphora; all in linear square within a shallow incuse square. Le Rider, Thasiennes 23 var. Pixodarus 3 (dies A2/P3) = West I, 13A = Jameson 2023 = Gulbenkian 465. Very rare. Of remarkably fine style with a particularly noble head of Dionysos. Lightly toned , about extremely fine.

Ex Nomos FPL I, Winter/Spring 2008, 15 and Gorny & Mosch 125, 13 October 2003, 79.

The head of Dionysos on this coin shows a serenity and power that is particularly noble and majestic, and is quite comparable to the best heads of Zeus that appear on the coinage of Olympia. In fact, if it were not for the ivy wreath he wears, this could be of Zeus himself. There is no hint of the wilder nature of Dionysos here; nor is there a suggestion that his followers include elemental creatures such as satyrs, maenads or silens, or that he himself could drink too deeply, as he appears to have done on some issues from the nearby city of Mende. The style of the portrait appears to be a Classical reworking of a more Archaic original - the way the hair is close to the head, almost like a cap, argues for an earlier prototype, perhaps a cult statue that was slightly modernized in its reproduction on the coin.