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Lot 12





Estimate: 12'500 CHF   |   Starting price: 12'500 CHF Price realized: 32'000 CHF
SICILY. CATANA. Tetradrachm, about 464-450 BC. AR 17.20 g. Man-headed bull reclining r. (river god Amenanos), above, large branch, below, fish r. Rev. KAT - ANE Nike, wearing long chiton, flying l., holding taenia in her outstretched r. hand. SNG ANS 1235 (this rev. die); SNG Cop. 175 (these dies); Randazzo 51, 48 (this specimen mentioned and illustrated on pl. 3).
Very rare. Excellent early classical style. Rev. from slightly worn die.
Obv. Almost extremely fine. Rev. Very fine
Provenance:
Nelson Bunker Hunt collection.
Auction Numismatic Fine Arts, Inc., Beverly Hills X (1981), 32.
Auction Sotheby's, New York-The Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection/Important Greek and Roman Coins, 21-22 June 1990, 200.
Auction Numismatica Ars Classica (NAC) AG, Zurich 66 (2012), 8.
The city of Catana was founded on the east coast of Sicily, at the foot of volcanic Mount Aetna, in the mid-8th century BC by Greek colonists from the nearby city of Naxos. Little is known of its earlier history, but in 476 BC Catana was conquered by the tyrant Hieron I of Syracuse, who ejected the inhabitants and replaced them with Syracusans and new settlers from the Peloponnese. Hieron renamed the city Aetna, but in 461 BC, the new occupants were in turn ejected and the original inhabitants resumed their former home, reinstated the old name, and inaugurated a remarkable series of coins that included some of the most striking and evocative types ever produced in Sicily. This exceedingly rare early Classical type depicts the river god Amenanos in the form of a man-faced bull, pawing at the ground and apparently about to charge. The reverse image depicts a vigorous Nike striding to left, her diaphanous peplos flowing over her athletic form. The mastery of numismatic art would continue until the city's second fall to Syracuse in 404 BC.

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