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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 29. Estimate CHF50000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF42000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. 100 Litrai (Gold, 5.79 g 5), c. 405-400. ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩΝ Head of Arethusa to left, her hair bound up in a sphendone ornamented with two stars, wearing a single-pendant earring and a pearl necklace; globule in field before and behind her neck. Rev. Youthful Herakles kneeling to right on rocky ground line, grappling with the Nemean lion. Bérend 14/6 (this coin). Jameson 814 (this coin). SNG ANS 327-328 (same dies). A lovely coin of beautiful style, unsigned but by Euainetos, nicely centered and toned. Some minor marks, otherwise, extremely fine.

From a Swiss private collection, ex Hess-Leu 28, 5 May 1965, 93, Hess-Leu (3), 27 March 1956, 205 (incorrect weight), Hess(-Leu 1), 14 April 1954, 68 (incorrect weight), and from the collections of R. Jameson, and of the Earl of Ashburnham, SWH, 6 May 1895, 49.

This coin type was issued in vast numbers as a way to pay the armies of mercenaries Dionysios I needed to prop up his imperial policy. As with so many soldiers, most of the warriors who received these coins used them for pleasure and to make themselves happy. And as such, almost all the coins issued were soon melted down (this was especially true for his Celtic troops). Thus, very few are left today.