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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 114. Estimate CHF6000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF9000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Himera. Circa 409-407 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 17.46 g 12), Signed by the artist ΜΑΙ... on the obverse. The Nymph Himera driving a galloping quadriga to right; above to right, Nike flying left, holding a wreath and a tablet inscribed with the first letters of the artist’s name; in exergue, hippocamp swimming left. Rev. (traces of retrograde ΙΜΕΡΑΙΟΝ) The Nymph Himera, wearing a long chiton and peplos, standing left, holding a phiale in her right hand and raising her left; to left, horned altar; to right, satyr standing right, showering in a fountain with a lion’s head spout . Basel 306. Guttmann & Schwabacher 20. Kraay / Hirmer 71. Toned, attractive and about as struck. Good extremely fine.

From a European collection, bought in the 1980s.

There has been some debate over the meaning of the ‘signature’ on the obverse. It would seem refer to an artist named Mai... who is only known from this die. However, some have suggested that the letters on the tablet are simply a copy of those that appear on the contemporary Syracusan issues that have Nike holding a tablet bearing the name of Euainetos. The idea is attractive but the letters are so clear that it seems unlikely. In any case, soon after this coin was struck the city was utterly destroyed by the Carthaginians.