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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 8, Lot: 36. Estimate CHF35000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 21 October 2013. 
Sold For CHF36000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Akragas. Circa 409-406 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 24mm, 16.96 g 9). Nymph or goddess, with her robes billowing behind her, driving quadriga galloping to right, about to turn; above, Nike flying left to crown the charioteer; in the exergue, crab swimming downwards. Rev. ΑΚΡ-Α-Γ-ΑΝΤΙ-[ΝΩΝ] (retrograde) Two eagles standing right on dead hare lying on a rock; the closer eagle has closed wings and his head raised in triumph, while the further has open wings and his head bent to tear at the hare. Jameson 1889. Kraay / Hirmer 178. Rizzo pl. II, 1 (= de Hirsch 288). Seltman, Engravers 6 (all from the same dies). Very rare. Attractively toned and pleasing. Some minor areas of flatness, otherwise, about extremely fine.

From the B. in B. Collection, ex Bank Leu 38, 1 May 1986, 19.

The final coinages of Akragas before the city’s sack by the Carthaginians in 406 were among the most artistically impressive of all the Sicilian coinage of the 5th century BC. They included beautifully designed and struck tetradrachms (as this) and dekadrachms, as well as small gold coins. While the city was immensely wealthy and must have issued very large numbers of coins during the years 409-406, after the city was captured it was so thoroughly pillaged by the Carthaginians that any remaining coins would have been taken and melted down. The coins taken away by refugees who managed to escape would have been used for sustenance and re-coined into more convenient issues elsewhere (it would be intriguing if the sudden explosion of dekadrachm coinage in Syracuse was enabled by an influx of silver from Akragas). This helps to explain why the late 5th century coinage of Akragas is so rare, and so desirable.