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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
10700352
Triton XXI, Lot: 352. Estimate $30000.
Sold for $24000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. AR Dekadrachm (35.5mm, 42.38 g, 5h). Reverse die signed by Euainetos. Struck circa 405-390 BC. Charioteer, wearing long chiton, holding kentron in extended right hand and reins in left, driving fast quadriga left; above, Nike flying right, crowning charioteer with wreath held in her extended hands; below heavy exergual line, [military harness], shield, greaves, cuirass, and crested Attic helmet, all connected by a horizontal spear; [AΘΛA below] / Head of Arethousa left, wearing wreath of grain ears, triple-pendant earring, and pearl necklace; ΣΥ-ΡΑ-Κ-Ο-ΣΙ[ΩΝ] above, four dolphins swimming around, [EY-AINE below]. Gallatin dies R.III/C.I; HGC 2, 1299; SNG ANS 363 = Pozzi 615 (same obv. die); Dewing 876–8 (same obv. die); Gulbenkian 312 (same dies); Hirsch 591 (same dies); Jameson 828 (same dies); Kraay & Hirmer 104 (same obv. die). Good VF, toned, minor roughness.


Ex Ahlström 53 (20 April 1996), lot 1427 and front cover.

Dionysios assumed power in 405 BC and immediately set out to make Syracuse the greatest and best fortified city in all of Greece. He was defending against the renewed imperialistic expansion of Carthage. Three times he defeated the Carthaginians, bringing further prestige and wealth to Syracuse. During his reign, the Syracuse navy became the most powerful in the Mediterranean, allowing Syracuse to expand her control over much of the southern Italian coast.

Dionysios reintroduced the large and ostentatious silver dekadrachms, a denomination that had not been used in Syracuse since the Demareteion issue decades earlier. Dionysios entrusted two of the greatest local engravers, Kimon and Euainetos, to design these impressive pieces. The regard for these coins in modern times is reflected by the fact that they are considered a must for any first rank collection of Greek coins.