Estimate: 35'000 CHF
Starting price: 28'000 CHF
Price realized: 34'000 CHF
Sicily, Syracuse. Tetradrachm circa 430-420 BC, AR 17.69 g.
Description Slow quadriga driven r. by charioteer, holding reins and kentron; above, Nike flying r. to crown horse. Rev. SURA - KOSIWN Head of Arethusa r., wearing earring and necklace, hair waved over forehead and the rest enclosed in saccos bound with broad diadem. Around, four dolphins. References
Rizzo pl. XXXVIII, 17 (these dies)
Boehringer 635 (these dies)
AMB 447 (this coin) Condition
Very rare and among the finest specimens known of this desirable issue of superb style. An exceptionally detailed and well-accomplished portrait of Arethusa, light iridescent tone and about extremely fine / extremely fine Provenance
NAC sale 13, 1998, formerly exhibited at the Antike Museum Basel un Sammlung Ludwig, 447
NAC sale 72, 2013, 326
The A.D.M. collection
The collection of the Money Museum Zürich
The portrait of Arethusa presented on the lovely tetradrachm offered here is a far cry from the earlier stiff-featured depictions of the demi-goddess from the earlier fifth century coinage of Syracuse. Here her hair is held in place with a cloth saccos, bound tight with a broad band, and intricately decorative stitching can be see along the front edge and at the back. A loose fold descends from the far side, hanging at the back of the neck. Despite the enclosing headpiece, tufts of hair fall from the side in waves, which are pulled back and tucked behind her ear. Arethusa wears the heavy necklace and earring she always wears, except here the earring is not in pendant form but rather a loop. The portrait is enhanced by the goddess’s eye, which is well crafted and realistic, with the iris and pupil being clear and the eyelashes distinct.