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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Ex Carfrae Collection

Triton XXI, Lot: 333. Estimate $10000.
Sold for $13000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Entella. Punic issues. Circa 407-398 BC. AR Tetradrachm (24mm, 17.63 g, 9h). Forepart of horse advancing right; above, Nike flying right, crowning horse with open wreath held in both hands; barley grain to right, QRTḤDŠT (“Carthage” in Punic) below / Palm tree with two date clusters, MḤNT (“In the Camp” in Punic) across lower field. Jenkins, Punic 14 (O3’/R14 – this coin referenced); CNP 646 (this coin referenced); HGC 2, 258; de Luynes 1430 (same dies); Montagu 807 (same dies). EF, attractive old collection tone, slightly off center.

From the J. L. Gomer Collection. Ex Shirley Hanbery Collection (Goldberg 96, 14 February 2017), lot 1535; CNG Inventory 1951 (1990); Münzen und Medaillen AG 43 (12 November 1970), lot 12; Robert Carfrae Collection (Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 23 May 1894), lot 350 (purchased by Rollin & Feuardent).

In the final decade of the fifth century BC, the Carthaginians launched a series of invasions of Sicily, conquering much of the western half of the island and bringing devastation to many formerly flourishing Greek communities. The Punic presence lasted for a century and a half, until Rome's victory in the First Punic War obliged the Carthaginians to withdraw. During their time of occupation, the Carthaginians struck an extensive coinage in Sicily for the purpose of financing their military operations and the maintenance of garrisons. The obverse and reverse types of the series are mostly influenced by Sicilian prototypes, particularly those of Syracuse, except for the later series with the head of Herakles on the obverse, which was obviously influenced by the well-recognized coinage of Alexander the Great. While a few of the series are struck at cities with established mints, such as Motya and Panormos, these are often viewed as minor or campaign mints that operated for a short duration. The location of the primary Punic mint (or mints) on Sicily, responsible for the large issues studied by G.K. Jenkins (‘Carthage’ series I-V), has been the subject of great debate. Most recently, I. Lee surveyed the existing literature and took a fresh look at the full spectrum of evidence, persuasively concluding that this mint was located at Entella (“Entella: The Silver Coinage of the Campanian Mercenaries and the First Carthaginian Mint 410-409 BC” in NC 160 [2000], pp. 1-66).