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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 19. Estimate CHF65000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF140000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Naxos. Circa 530-510 BC. Drachm (Silver, 5.73 g 12), Chalcidian standard, circa 520. Head of Dionysos to left, with long, pointed beard, ivy wreath in his hair and a necklace of pearls bordered by two plain torcs at the truncation; around, border of dots within two linear circles. Rev. ΝΑΧΙΟΝ Bunch of grapes on stalk with two leaves. Cahn 47 var. (obverse V 33, reverse R 39). Kraay Hirmer 4-5. Rizzo fig. 36,VII 8this coin). Very rare. Of splendid late archaic style and nicely toned. Extremely fine.

From the Spina collection, ex Leu 83, 6 May 2002, 74, Sotheby’s London, 5 July 1995, 18, Bank Leu 36, 7 May 1985, 53 and Bank Leu 30, 28 April 1982, 36; and from the Calatabiano Hoard (IGCH 2061), found near Taormina before 1946.

The somewhat mysterious Calatabiano Hoard contained a goodly number of drachms from Naxos (Rizzo illustrated 15 pieces from Naxos alone), including examples ranging over the entire archaic series. The difference in style and feeling between this piece and the preceding example is enormous: here we have a still archaic but very refined head of Dionysos, while the previous example, struck at the very beginning of the coinage, is still filled with a kind of numinous vigor. It is fascinating to know that both of these coins were found in the same hoard.