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Superb Agathokles Tetradrachm


SICILY, Syracuse. Agathokles. 317-289 BC. AR Tetradrachm (25.5mm, 17.04 g, 7h). Struck circa 317-310 BC. Head of Arethousa left, wearing wreath of grain ears, triple-pendant earring, and pearl necklace; three dolphins around, NI below neck / Charioteer, holding kentron in right hand, reins in left, driving fast quadriga left; counterclockwise triskeles above, [Σ]YPAKOΣIΩN and monogram in exergue. Ierardi 34 (O6/R24); BAR issue 2; HGC 2, 1348; SNG Lloyd 1479 (same dies). Lightly toned. Superb EF. Well struck from fresh dies of refined style.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 46 (2 April 2008), lot 218; Künker 115 (25 September 2006), lot 94; Gorny & Mosch 138 (7 March 2005), lot 24.

The late 5th century BC dekadrachms of Syracuse were so famous in their time, their designs were widely copied throughout the Greek world. Indeed, the Syracusan tyrant Agathokles, nearly a century later, struck tetradrachms that closely imitated the iconic dekadrachm of the engraver Euainetos. Here, the racing chariot formerly on the obverse has been moved to the reverse, but the rest of the design copies the work of Euainetos nearly line-for-line.