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CNG Feature Auction 121

Lot nuber 107

SICILY, Gela. Circa 490/85-480/75 BC. AR Didrachm (19.5mm, 8.62 g, 7h). Superb EF.

CNG Feature Auction 121
Lot: 107.
 Estimated: $ 10 000

Greek, Silver

Sold For $ 17 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

SICILY, Gela. Circa 490/85-480/75 BC. AR Didrachm (19.5mm, 8.62 g, 7h). Warrior, nude, riding right, preparing to cast javelin held aloft in his right hand / Forepart of man-headed bull right; CE-Λ-A below. Jenkins, Gela, Group Ib, 7 (O4/R4); HGC 2, 362; SNG ANS 4; SNG Lloyd 956; SNG Newham Davis 50 (same dies); Basel 279; Kraay & Hirmer 155 (same rev. die); Rizzo pl. XVII, 6. Attractively toned, few minor hairlines in field. Superb EF. Well centered and struck.

From the Father & Son Collection. Ex Nomos 19 (17 November 2019), lot 44; Baron Lorne Thyssen-Bornemisza & Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan Joint Collection (Numismatica Genevensis SA IX, 14 December 2015), lot 7; Triton XII (6 January 2009), lot 68.

Situated on the Gela river on the southern coast of Sicily, Gela was founded in 688 BC by Cretans and Rhodians. Although the city had a Creto-Rhodian foundation, the name of the river is of local Sikanian origin, meaning very cold, as the water runs from the Heraei mountains to the north. Its coinage is among the earliest in Sicily and began with a prolific series of didrachms. Gela had been known for its adept cavalry, and the obverse type is likely an allusion to that asset of the polis. On the reverse, the rather brutal half-length figure of the man-faced bull swimming right is based on the ‘father of all rivers’, Acheloös, and is clearly identified by the ethnic Gelas as the personification of the river rushing to its mouth, where the city Gela stood. It was defined by Virgil (Aen. 3, 702) as 'immanisque Gela fluvii cognomina dicta' (and Gela called by the nickname of its monstrous stream).

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 121 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 6-8 October 2022. This lot is in Session One, which will begin 6 October 2022 at 9 AM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 22.5% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 25% for all others.

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