Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 96   |   6 October 2016
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Lot 1014





Estimate: 125'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 100'000 CHF Price realized: 140'000 CHF
Greek Coins
Sicily, Catana. Tetradrachm signed by Herakleidas circa 405-402 BC, AR 17.18 g.
Description Laureate head of Apollo, facing three-quarters l., his hair falling in loose curls around the face; in r. field, HERAKLEIDAS. Rev. Fast quadriga driven r. by charioteer holding reins with both hands, about to turn around Ionic column; in field above, Nike alighting from flight, holding wreath to crown the charioteer. In exergue, KATANAIWN / crayfish r. References
Jameson 547 (this coin)
Gulbenkian 192 (this obverse die) and 193 (this reverse die)
Rizzo pl. XIV, 11 (this obverse die) and 13 (this reverse die)
SNG ANS 1257 (these dies)
AMB 338 (this obverse die) Condition
Very rare. A very appealing specimen of this important and artistically well-accomplished issue, work a celebrated master-engraver. Wonderful old cabinet tone and about extremely fine Provenance
Rollin & Feuardent sale 22 March 1886, Billoin collection, 184 (not illustrated)
Leu sale 18, 1977, 59
Leu sale 86, 2003, 269
New York Sale XX, 2009, 74
The Duruflé collection
The Arthur Evans collection
The De Guermantes collection
The Jameson collection
This tetradrachm has been engraved by Herakleidas. On the obverse, rather than on the reverse, we see the head of Apollo. Unlike the usual pattern (with the chariot on the obverse) the images have been inverted, bearing witness to Herakleidas’ originality and artistic freedom. Apollo’s head is portrayed facing; his thick and abundant hair, criss-crossed by the laurel leaves of his crown, is less detailed and is shown as a soft mass, cascading around his face. The outline of the face itself is heavily marked; the lips are straight and firm, the eyes deep set. No less vigorous is the chariot on the reverse; the charioteer is holding the reins in both hands, testifying to the fierce competition of the horses and lending great dynamism to the entire competition, enriched by the usual motif of Nike flying to right to crown the charioteer.

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