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Lot 11

Estimate: 2'500 CHF   |   Starting price: 2'500 CHF Price realized: 3'800 CHF
SICILY. ACRAGAS. Tetradrachm, about 450 BC. AR 17.54 g. AKRAC - ANTOΣ Eagle with closed wings standing l. on dotted ground line. Rev. Crab, below dolphin r.; all within incuse round. SNG Lockett 694.
Extremely rare in this quality. Choice extremely fine
Provenance: Auction Roma Numismatics Ltd., London XII (2016), 69.
Akragas was founded by colonists from Gela in around 582-580 BC in a highly favourable location on a plateau overlooking the sea, and was supplied with water by two nearby rivers. The city's position benefited it greatly, and it quickly became one of the wealthiest Greek colonies in Sicily.
Under the tyrant Phalaris, who seized power in the city after having been entrusted with the building of the temple of Zeus on the citadel, the city attained considerable prosperity. Phalaris also supplied the city with water, adorned it with grand public buildings, and strengthened it with defensive walls. Yet for all this, he was renowned for his cruelty and sadistic tendencies, which supposedly included cannibalism. His notorious reputation is etched in legend, as it was he who commissioned the Brazen Bull, a hollow bronze statue invented by the sculptor Perillos as a novel way to execute criminals, in which the victim would be placed, before a fire was set below the statue. A complex system of tubes converted the victim's screams into the sounds of a bellowing bull. Perillos, expecting a reward for his service, was instead thrown into the bull to test it. Phalaris himself was said to have been killed in his brazen bull after being overthrown by Telemachos, the ancestor of Theron.

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