Search in Feature Auction

CNG Bidding Platform


Products and Services

Use Old Home Page

Feature Auction
CNG Feature Auction 121

Lot nuber 116

SICILY, Messana. 425-421 BC. AR Tetradrachm (25mm, 17.33 g, 12h). In NGC encapsulation 4284629-001, graded Ch AU★, Strike: 5/5, Surface: 5/5, Fine Style.

CNG Feature Auction 121
Lot: 116.
 Estimated: $ 15 000

Greek, 12h, Silver

Sold For $ 19 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

SICILY, Messana. 425-421 BC. AR Tetradrachm (25mm, 17.33 g, 12h). Charioteer, holding reins in both hands, driving slow biga of mules right; above, Nike advancing right on reins, crowning mules with open laurel wreath held in both hands; olive leaf and berry in exergue / Hare springing right; below, dolphin right; MEΣ-Σ-A-N-IO-N around. Caltabiano Series XIII, 488 (D199/R199); HGC 2, 787; Bement 408 (same dies); Dewing 652 (same dies); Hunterian 10 (same dies). Even deep golden tone with dark iridescence around the devices. In NGC encapsulation 4284629-001, graded Ch AU★, Strike: 5/5, Surface: 5/5, Fine Style. Well centered and struck.

From the Father & Son Collection. Ex Gasvoda Collection (Classical Numismatic Review XLIV.2 (Summer 2019), no. 494989; Escalade Collection (Nomos 9, 20 October 2014), lot 52.

The designs of ancient Greek coins were carefully chosen to advance the image and civic pride of the issuing city. Messana, located on the northwest corner of Sicily and the third most populous city on the island, chose as its civic badges a chariot pulled by a pair of mules (biga) and a leaping hare. The symbolism of the mule biga is obvious: In 484 or 480 BC, a mule team from Messana won the Olympic Games in the event known as the anape (mule biga race); naturally, civic pride prompted the Messenians to advertise the victory on their coinage. The two dolphins nose-to-nose below the chariot probably refer to Messana’s military alliance with Syracuse. As for the leaping hare, this animal was sacred to the god Pan, who had a temple in Messana and was widely worshipped there. The dolphin below the hare harkens back to the original name of Messana, Zankle (“sickle”), so named for its crescent-shaped harbor, of which the leaping dolphin’s arched shape became a visual allegory.

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.

We recognize that our users may have various Internet Browsers and Operating Systems. We like our visitors to have the best possible experience when using our bidding platform. However, we do recognize that it is impossible to develop applications that work identically, efficiently and effectively on all web browsers. The CNG bidding platform supports the latest stable major version and stable previous version of Chrome and Firefox.