Numismatik Lanz München   |   Auktion 165   |   8 December 2017 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 88

Estimate: 1'000 EUR   |   Starting price: 600 EUR Price realized: 1'000 EUR
MYSIEN. KYZIKOS. Electrum Hekte (1/6 Stater), 400-350. Eros standing left, astride bull crouching left, which he holds by its horns; below, tunny left. Rev: Quadripartite incuse square. Hurter & Liewald I 9b; Von Fritze I –; Boston MFA –; SNG France –; SNG von Aulock 1212. 2,58g. Rare. About extremely fine.
This scene rather shows naked Eros and not Nike, as the figure, that is taming the bull, does not resemble Nike at all (Eros riding a tamed bull is not unusual for ancient Tarracotta Figurines anyway). The scene also strongly reminds of- and might be connected to the labours of Heracles, who caught the Cretan Bull by snucking up behind him and then used his hands to strangle it. The identification of the figure as Eros does not contradict that interpretation/approach at all. Countless depictions of disguised Eros as "child Heracles" are known from later ancient periods (mainly from the third century BC) and the scene on our coin could witness one of the first illustrations. Also it is worth to mention that Eros is not simply illustrated in disguise as Heracles here, rather he is embedded in a mythological scene as if he were acting as Heracles himself. The connection and the inseparability between these two deities can hardly be explained in some lines. Some scholars see the bond due to their supernatural powers. At a greater degree however both gods intervene and affect the human world as no god ever did before. But whereas the imposing demigod Heracles enters the human world physically and became the greatest Hero in ancient times, "the tiny figure of Eros" seems rather to be a tremendous invisible (psychological) power, which evokes a certain desire by "casting a spell over the individual". Maybe the inseperable, mythological bond between these two deities has the function to visualize human desire (not only love) as stimulation/condition for great miraculous achievements. And it can`t be better illustrated than the scene on that coin, where both these two deities and the secular respectively divine sphaere are somehow merging with each other. Ex Numismatik Lanz, Auction 160, lot 175.

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