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Lot 60

Estimate: -   |   Starting price: 15'000 EUR Price realized: 16'000 EUR
IONIA, SILVER DRACHM OF CLAZOMENAE, possibly by the Master Theodotos, ca. 360 BC, 4.064g, 12h. Luynes 2585. Rare. Old cabinet tone. Perfectly centered and struck. An outstanding example of this wonderful issue bearing one of the finest facing portraits of all Greek coinage. Insignificant scratch on cheek, otherwise, choice extremely fine. Privately acquired from Tradart; Jean Vinchon 1983 (9-10 December) lot 146; former William H. Woodward (1856-1941) collection, Naville 1930 (15) lot 941

Facing heads were difficult to engrave and only the very best, or most confident, artists attempted to do them. This coin shows us a young Apollo, principal god of the city, of a dazzling, ideal beauty... with a work of such mastery, one is obliged to find the source of its inspiration, and it closely resembles the facing Apollo heads of Amphipolis. The swan on the reverse - in the tradition of so many Greek cities - is not only a bird sacred to Apollo, but a canting type based on the city name. It may well be that Clazomenae derived from the verb 'klazein', which was used to describe the whir of a bird’s wings, or the screech or cry of their calls.

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