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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 9, Lot: 56. Estimate CHF85000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 20 October 2014. 
Sold For CHF155000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Syracuse. c. 485-483 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 24mm, 17.30 g 4), by the Linksmeister. Male charioteer, wearing a long chiton and holding a goad in his right hand and the reins in his left, driving a walking quadriga to right; above, Nike, to right with spread wings, seemingly preparing to alight on the reins to crown the horses. Rev. ΣV-RΑ-ΚΟ-ΣΙΟΝ Head of Arethusa to left, wearing a thin necklace with a pendant and a pearl necklace, and with her hair tied in a krobylos that is bound up and falls over her pearl diadem; around, four dolphins swimming counterclockwise to left. Basel 430 (this coin). Boehringer 48 (same dies). Jameson 1905 = Rizzo pl. XXXIV, 14 (same dies). H. Scharmer, “Die Meister der spätarchaischen Arethusaköpfe,” AntK 10, 1967, pl. 28, 4 (this coin). A spectacular example of this rare coin, very probably the finest example known. Nicely toned, perfectly struck and beautifully centered on a very large flan. Extremely fine.

From the Escalade Collection, Switzerland, acquired from Freeman & Sear in 2009 and from the collection of A. Moretti, Numismatica Ars Classica 13, 8 October 1998, 430.

This is one of the very finest of all the late archaic - early classical coins minted in Syracuse. There is a real nobility to the way the chariot is portrayed on the obverse; the engraver, who Scharmer called the Linksmeister, produced a figure of Nike that is one of most attractive to appear on any coin of the earlier 5th century. As for the left-facing head of Arethusa on the reverse, this too is a masterpiece - it served as a model for many of the later heads found on Syracusan coinage, but was never surpassed. In overall quality this coin is absolutely outstanding.