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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 38. Estimate CHF22500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF19000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THRACE, Ainos. Circa 412/1-410/09 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 16.50 g 1). Head of Hermes to right, wearing close-fitting petasos with knob at the top and beads along the edge. Rev. ΑΙΝΙ Goat standing to right; to right, kerykeion; all within incuse square. AMNG II, 288. BMC 5. May, Ainos, Group XXXI, 259. SNG Copenhagen 395. Nicely toned and centered; with a fine classical head of Hermes. A few minor marks, otherwise, extremely fine.

From the Spina collection, ex Nomos I, 6 May 2009, 33.

When we compare this head of Hermes with the roughly contemporary heads of Apollo and the river god Assinos at Naxos, far to the west in Sicily, we see a whole different concept of male beauty and power. This head here shows us an elegant and aristocratic youth, but one with an underlying toughness that could, in fact, be harsh and even cruel if the situation demanded it. If he were a soldier defending his city he would not be an easy opponent. In Sicily, however, the elegance of the heads at Naxos show strength, but also a sense of kindness that seems to be lacking here.