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CNG Feature Auction 115

Lot nuber 55

SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. AR Dekadrachm (31mm, 43.31 g, 5h). Unsigned dies in the style of Kimon. Struck circa 405-400 BC.

CNG Feature Auction 115
Lot: 55.
 Estimated: $ 25 000

Greek, Silver

Sold For $ 22 500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. AR Dekadrachm (31mm, 43.31 g, 5h). Unsigned dies in the style of Kimon. Struck circa 405-400 BC. Charioteer, holding kentron in extended right hand and reins in left, driving fast quadriga left; above, Nike flying right, crowning charioteer with laurel wreath held in her extended hands; below heavy exergual line, a shield, greaves, cuirass, and Attic helmet, all connected by a horizontal spear; [AΘΛA below] / Head of Arethousa left, wearing single-pendant earring and necklace, hair restrained in an ampyx and open-weave sakkos; ΣΥΡΑ ΚΟΣΙΩN behind hair, four swimming dolphins around. Jongkees 8 (dies B/η); Scavino 8 (D2/R7); HGC 2, 1298; SNG Ashmolean 2023 (same dies); SNG Lloyd 517 (same dies); Boston MFA 434 (same dies); Pozzi 611 (same dies). Even gray tone, with light iridescence around the devices, some die rust on obverse, light scuff and die break on reverse. Good VF.

Nothing is known about the personal life of the Syracusan master engraver Kimon, other than the approximate years he was active, circa 415-390 BC. The legacy of his art, however, is extensive and timeless. He worked in all the metals used for coinage – gold, silver and bronze – and left his distinctive signature (usually KI) on dies for denominations large and small. His unique style, the essence of classical beauty, and his attention to detail are apparent on all of his designs, whether a huge silver dekadrachm or a humble bronze fraction. All are masterpieces, but his most famous designs are his facing-head silver tetradrachm and the several dies he produced for the showcase coins of Syracuse, the immense silver dekadrachms struck circa 405-390 BC. The reverse (”actually the “heads” side) of Kimon's dekadrachm design features a highly individualized portrait of Arethousa, nymph of the spring of Ortygia, clearly modeled on a contemporary Greco-Sicilian woman. The head displays little of the idealization typical of his contemporary master engraver, Euainetos, and the details vary considerably from die to die. Her hair is bound in an elaborate jeweled net and a wide hair band, or ampyx, on which is placed the engraver’s initial K; a full signature is located on the dolphin below her neck. Kimon produced only six signed Arethousa dies for the dekadrachm series; another seven dies are in his distinct style, but without signature.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 115 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 16-17 September 2020. This lot is in Session 1, which begins 16 September 2020 at 9 AM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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