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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 8, Lot: 51. Estimate CHF30000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 21 October 2013. 
Sold For CHF40000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Syracuse. Tetradrachm (Silver, 26mm, 17.28 g 9), signed on the obverse and reverse by Euth... and Eum(enos), c. 405 BC. Quadriga galloping to right, driven by a winged male figure holding the reins with both hands; above, Nike flying left to crown the driver; in exergue, Skylla swimming right, holding trident over her left shoulder and pointing, with her right hand, at a fish swimming right before her; above her arm to right, ΕΥΘ. Rev. ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩΝ Head of Demeter or Kore to left, wearing wreath of grain ears, poppies and oak leaves, double curved earring and plain necklace with a lion’s head pendant; below neck, ΕΥΜ; around, four dolphins swimming to left. Basel 460. Gulbenkian 279. Jameson 796. Kraay & Hirmer 103. SNG ANS 273. Tudeer 46. A lovely coin of magnificent style, beautifully struck and attractively toned. Extremely fine.

From an American collection, ex Triton XIII, 5 January 2010, 59, previously in a Belgian collection, ex G. Hirsch Nachf. 166, 16 May 1990, 91.

This is one of the most famous of all the signed tetradrachms of Syracuse. The obverse shows a rushing quadriga driven by a winged male figure, possibly Agon, who has clearly won the race. Below is a marvelous representation of Skylla chasing a fish; this is, perhaps, an allusion to the defeat of the Athenian invasion in 413. The reverse is also special, since the head is not the familiar Arethusa but either Demeter or Kore, as shown by the wreath of grain, poppies, oak leaves and acorns in her hair.