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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 6, Lot: 15. Estimate CHF7500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 7 May 2012. 
Sold For CHF10000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Himera. Circa 409-407 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 17.29 g 3), 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, ΜΑΙ; 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. An unusually attractive, well centered example on a full flan. Extremely fine.

Ex New York Sale I, 3 December 1998, 37.

Whether an artist named Mai... actually existed is uncertain: some people believe that the signature is really a garbled version of the ΕΥΑΙ that appears on the obverses of some issues from Syracuse. However, the care with which this was engraved makes this somewhat unlikely. Shortly after this coin was produced the city was destroyed by the Carthaginians.