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Research Coins: Feature Auction


The Third Labor – Herakles and the Cerynean Hind – A Masterpiece

Triton XXI, Lot: 152. Estimate $15000.
Sold for $17000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Antoninus Pius. AD 138-161. Æ Drachm (35mm, 27.94 g, 12h). Labors of Herakles series. Dated RY 4 (AD 140/141). AYT K T AIΛ A∆P • ANTωNINOC • ЄYCЄB •, laureate head right / Herakles and the Cerynean Hind – Herakles standing right, grasping the antlers of the Cerynean Hind with both hands and leaning on its back with his left knee; behind, Herakles’ club upright; L TЄ TAPTOV (date) around. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) 8491 (this coin); K&G –; Emmett 1547.4 (R3); Staffieri, Alexandria In Nummis 151 (this coin). Good VF, lovely dark brown patina with smooth surfaces. Very rare. A masterpiece. Only two far inferior examples have been sold at auction since 2000.

From the Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection, purchased from Dr. Piero Beretta, Milan, October 1976. Ex Dr. Piero Beretta Collection (Milan); Giovanni Dattari Collection, no. 8491.

For his third labor, Herakles was required to capture the Cerynean hind, with its brazen hooves and golden horns, alive and bring it from Oenoe to Mycenae. Herakles chased the stag for one full year before it finally tired, and then he captured it – as shown on the coin type. This type was struck at Alexandria for Pius’ regnal years 4, 5, 6, and 10.