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Triton XXIV

Lot nuber 567

MYSIA, Kyzikos. Circa 550-450 BC. EL Stater (19mm, 16.07 g).

Triton XXIV
Lot: 567.
 Estimated: $ 10 000

Greek, Coin-in-Hand Video, Electrum

Sold For $ 16 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

MYSIA, Kyzikos. Circa 550-450 BC. EL Stater (19mm, 16.07 g). Double-bodied sphinx, with one head facing, wearing ouraios, atop a tunny left / Quadripartite incuse square. Cf. Von Fritze I 128 (unlisted denomination); cf. Greenwell 101 (same); Boston MFA –; SNG BN –; BMC –; Gulbenkian –; Jameson –; Triton XX, lot 224; CNG 105, lot 149. Attractive light toning. Near EF. Well struck for issue. Rare as a stater.

From the Jonathan P. Rosen Collection. Ex Roma X (27 September 2015), lot 493 (hammer £18,000).

The stylistically appealing depiction of a double bodied sphinx is a design choice that is shrouded in mystery as we try to divine why it was depicted on Kyzikene coinage. Greenwell makes use of Cousinery when coming to the conclusion that the style was because it would be otherwise difficult to depict a facing sphinx. Yet, other depictions of double bodied creatures in Athens and Corinth demonstrate that the design was likely done for other reasons. The concept of double bodied monsters is fairly ancient with roots in Sumeria and Persia, but the beginning of the design of the double bodied sphinx in Greek mythology is likely Corinth. Tom Rasmussen, a proponent of this theory, is of the opinion that the design originated in Corinth as a result of Greece Orientalizing and so adopting some eastern artistic depictions. Kyzikos, well known for adapting brilliant artistic styles, likely adopted the design primarily based on its artistic merit.

The final winners of all Triton XXIV lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 19-20 January 2021. This lot is in Session Two, which begins 19 January 2021 at 2 PM 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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