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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 17. Estimate CHF22500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF22000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Messana. 412-408 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 17.43 g 12). Charioteer, holding reins and goad, driving a biga of mules trotting to left; above, Nike flying right to crown the charioteer. Rev. ΜΕΣΣΑΝΙΟΝ Hare springing to right; below, ketos to left. BMFA 296, Caltabiano 599, Rizzo pl. XXVII, 1 and SNG Lockett 833 (all from the same dies). A very well preserved example of this coin, perfectly struck. Good extremely fine.

From the SF Collection, USA.

This is a remarkably perfect coin, surely one of the finest coins of Messana known. The ketos, a potent sea monster, was supposedly the daughter of Gaia and Pontos and the mother of a vast brood of equally monstrous children, the Phrokydes (including the Gorgons and Skylla. However, the Greeks also used the term ketos to refer to sea monsters in general, and the creature here may just represent one of the beasts thought to swim in the seas off Sicily. The ketos also appears on the coins of Syracuse, as below, lot 27.