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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXI, Lot: 453. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $8500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MYSIA, Kyzikos. Circa 450-330 BC. EL Stater (15.5mm, 15.93 g). Bearded male, nude but for petasos and cloak tied at neck, crouching left on the back of a sacrificial ram lying left, holding its head up with his left hand, exposing its neck that he prepares to strike with a knife held above in his right hand / Quadripartite incuse square. Von Fritze I 156; Greenwell 71; Boston MFA –; SNG BN –; BMC –; Gulbenkian –; Jameson –; Myrmekion –; Regling, Kunstwerk 623; Rosen –; Weber –; Traité II 2645. VF, toned. Well centered. Very rare.

The identification of the male on the obverse has long been debated. M. F. Lenormant first suggested Phrixos sacrificing the ram with the golden fleece, but Greenwell preferred Odysseus slaying the animal Circe provided him before his descent into Hades, in part due to the figure being bearded, which indicated an older individual, which contrasts with the youthful portraits traditionally given to Phrixos.