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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 23. Estimate CHF60000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF48000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Naxos. Circa 420-403 BC. Didrachm (Silver, 8.45 g 9), circa 410-402. ΝΑΞΙΩΝ Laureate head of Apollo to right, his hair rolled at the back; behind neck, laurel twig with leaf and berry. Rev. Nude and bearded Silenos squatting, facing, his right knee raised, his left on the ground, and his tail coming out to left, turning his head to the left towards the two-handled, stemless drinking cup he holds in his right hand, and holding an upright thyrsos with his left; to right, herm topped with an archaic head; to left, ivy branch. Cahn 110.6 (this coin). SNG ANS 526. Very rare. With a fine, youthful, almost child-like head of Apollo and a very drunk looking Silenos. Minor die break on the obverse and traces of corrosion on the reverse, otherwise, about extremely fine.

From the Spina collection and from “A Distinquished American Collection”, Bank Leu 53, 21 October 1991, 35, ex Numismatic Fine Arts XVIII, 31 March 1987, 41, from the Nanteuil Collection and that of E. Nordheim, Glendining & co. 9 March 1931, 942, ex Ars Clasica XIV, 2 July 1929, 102.

The head of Apollo here has a freshness that is quite unexpected: he has none of the frightening power that appears in his heads from Amphipolis or nearby Leontini, rather, he seems to radiate a youthful kindness. Undoubtedly the increasingly tipsy Silenos on the reverse has no fear of ending up like Marysas!