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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 109. Estimate CHF12500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF10000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

IONIA, Phokaia. Circa 521-478 BC. Hekte (Electrum, 2.52 g), struck circa 490s BC. Facing head of Silenos with wide, open eyes, broad beard and long mustache. Rev. Quadripartite incuse square. Bodenstedt 43, -/θ. ; SNG Copenhagen. A spectacular, toned example of late Archaic miniature art, carefully struck and beautifully centered. Extremely fine.

Given its small size this coin can only be termed a masterpiece. Virtually no other coin bearing a facing head produced during the Archaic period rivals the virtuosity of its engraving - Silenos’ head on this coin has a presence that more than belies its small size. Coins of this type have been long known, but this is surely one of the finest examples extant.