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Triton XXIII – Session Two – Greek Coinage Part II through Roman Imperial Coinage Part I

Lot nuber 431

CARIA, Knidos. Circa 200-150 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30mm, 16.62 g, 12h).


Triton XXIII – Session Two – Greek Coinage Part II through Roman Imperial Coinage Part I
Lot: 431.
 Estimated: $ 10 000

Greek, Silver

Sold For $ 7 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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CARIA, Knidos. Circa 200-150 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30mm, 16.62 g, 12h). Head of Apollo right, wearing laurel wreath / Artemis Hyakinthotrophos standing facing, head left, holding laurel branch in extended right hand, her left elbow resting on an archaic statue of herself with a sheathed body and wearing a polos; to lower left, forepart of stag standing left, head reverted; KNIΔION to right. Le Rider, Tétradrachme pl. 18, 1 = BN acc. 1974.564 (same dies); HN Online 1607.2 (this coin); Roma XV, 515. Lightly toned, some fine marks, slight doubling on reverse. EF. Extremely rare, one of three known.

From the Jonathan P. Rosen Collection. Ex Triton XIX (5 January 2016), lot 245; Roma XIII (23 March 2017), lot 335; Lanz 158 (5 June 2014), lot 335.

The appearance of the head of Apollo on this extremely rare tetradrachm is not unusual, since that god was one of the principal deities of the area. As tutelary of Doris in Asia – a federation of six (later expanded to seven) Doric-founded cities in Karia – his sanctuary at Triopion near Knidos served as the federation’s religious center. The reverse shows Artemis Hyakinthotrophos, whose cult was introduced into Knidos in 201 BC following her epiphany there during the unsuccessful siege of that city by Philip V of Macedon (IG XII.4). The epithet Hyakinthotrophos (lit. nurse of Hyakinthos), used for Apollo, alludes to the myth of Hyakinthos, a Dorian youth and eromenos of Apollo, whom the god killed accidentally. The pre-Hellenic origin of the name Hykanthos, however, when taken in the context of the myth, may signify a Dorian divinity whose function was taken over by Apollo. The use of Hyakinthotrophos for Artemis, however, is unusual, since she appears nowhere in the traditional myth of Hyakinthos, although the goddess does appear briefly in a Spartan version. Given Apollo’s importance to Knidos, the use of the epithet associates her with Apollo Hyakinthotrophos and places her on a par with the god as one of the chief protectors of the city. Imhoof-Blumer’s argument (KM, p. 228, 3) that the archaïzed figure of Artemis on this issue was an allusion to the ancient Palladion of Troy, a view supported by the similar self-conscious archaïzing of the ethnic, suggests an attempt on the part of the Knidians to connect Artemis Hyakinthotrophos and her festival – the Hyakinthotrophia – with similar festivals in the region.

The final winners of all Triton XXIII lots will be determined at the live public sale that will be held on 14-15 January 2020. Triton XXIII – Session Two – Greek Coinage Part II through Roman Imperial Coinage Part I will be held Tuesday afternoon, 14 January 2020 beginning at 2:00 PM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and in person at the public auction, 22.50% for all others.