A unique silver tetradrachm of the tyrant Gelon, featuring what the
auction house calls “very probably the finest facing head ever to
appear on Greek coinage,” is a highlight from the auction of
Masterpieces of Ancient Greek Coinage: Selections from Cabinet W.
The 19-lot catalog is offered at auction Jan. 4 by Classical
Numismatic Group in association with Nomos AG.
The circa 485 B.C. silver coin was issued in Syracuse in Sicily,
part of ancient Greece, and bears a striking portrait of the river god
Alpheios on the obverse.
The coin was reportedly discovered in dealer stock in Europe,
uncleaned and thickly encrusted, before ancient coins dealer Sylvia
Hurter picked it out and sold it in 2000 to an American collector. The
American collector “had it very professionally and very carefully
cleaned: this is the result,” according to the auction catalog.
The reverse of the coin is “marginally triple struck,” but
otherwise the coin is in Extremely Fine condition. It has an opening
bid of $600,000.
The coin is just one of the highlights from the Cabinet W auction,
which have opening bids together totaling more than $6.7 million (two
of the lots are featured in separate coverage in Coin World,
Dec. 26, 2011, and Jan. 2, 2012 issues).
The auction is one of seven being held in conjunction with the New
York International Numismatic Convention, with three catalogs from CNG
offering several thousand lots of a wide array of material. Previews
for the firm’s other two catalogs may be viewed at www.coinworld.com.
Virtual catalogs may be viewed at the firm’s website, www.cngcoins.com and are accessible
through www.sixbid.com; printed
catalogs may be ordered from the firm for a fee.
For more information, telephone the firm at 717-390-9194, email it
at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit its website.
Some additional highlights:
Greece, Sicily, Naxos, circa 520 B.C. silver drachm, 5.75 grams,
Chalkidian standard, Lot 1001, “toned and of splendid late archaic
style,” About Extremely Fine.
Greece, Islands off Troas, Tenedos, circa 490 to 480 B.C. silver
didrachm, 8.94 grams, Lot 1002, “lightly toned and of superb late
Archaic-early Classical style, a magnificent coin of great beauty,
slightly porous surfaces, otherwise nearly Extremely Fine.”
Greece, Thraco-Macedonian Tribes, Ichnai, circa 485 to 470 B.C.
silver octadrachm, 28.97 grams, “probably the finest known of the
type,” Lot 1004, “lightly toned with some minor areas of flatness,
otherwise Good Extremely Fine.”
Greece, Phokis, Delphi, circa 480 to 475 B.C. silver tridrachm,
18.31 grams, “extremely rare and of the greatest artistic, historical
and architectural importance,” “a superb example, probably the finest
known,” from the Asyut Hoard, Lot 1005, EF.
Greece, Sicily, Naxos, circa 425 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 17.14
grams, Lot 1007, “a lovely toned example, very well struck and
Greece, Sicily, Katane, circa 405 to 403/2 B.C. silver
tetradrachm, 17.2 grams, signed by the engraver Herakleidas on the
obverse, Lot 1009, “toned, and of splendid classical style,” EF.
Greece, Macedon, Chalkidian League, circa 380s to 370 B.C. silver
tetradrachm, 14.6 grams, Olynthos Mint, “apparently an unpublished die
pair,” Lot 1010, “a serene and youthful head of Apollo of great
Greece, Argolis, Argos, circa 370 to 350 B.C. silver stater, 11.99
grams, “the second example known,” Lot 1011, “some striking flatness
but beautifully toned and struck on a broad flan,” EF.
Greece, Arkadia, Arkadian League, Megalopolis, summer 363 to
spring 362 B.C. silver stater, 11.76 grams, signed on the reverse by
the magistrate Olympios, Lot 1012, “some old scratches, long toned
over, otherwise Extremely Fine.”
Greece, Arkadia, Pheneos, circa 360 to 350 B.C. silver stater,
11.95 grams, “this example unrecorded,” “one of the finest known
examples,” Lot 1013, “very minor deposits on the reverse, otherwise
Good Extremely Fine.”
Greece, Elis, Olympia, 107th Olympiad, 352 B.C. silver stater,
12.18 grams, “the only example from this die pair known,” “one of the
most powerful and impressive of all the heads of Zeus to be found on
the coinage of Olympia,” Lot 1014, “beautifully toned and very well
Greece, Arkadia, Stymphalos, circa 350 B.C. silver stater, 12.04
grams, “very probably the finest known example,” Lot 1015, “some very
minor traces of corrosion, otherwise Good Extremely Fine.”
Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, Timoleon, circa 344 to 337 B.C. silver
stater, 8.62 grams, “the second example known,” Lot 1016, “some minor
edge bumps from the striking process, otherwise a magnificent,
well-nigh perfect coin,” Fleur de Coin.
Greece, Phokis, Delphi, Amphictionic issues, circa 336 to 334 B.C.
silver stater, 12.27 grams, Lot 1017, “a lovely toned coin,” EF.
Greece, Sicily, uncertain Punic military mint, circa 320 to 310
B.C. silver tetradrachm, 16.8 grams, “probably the most beautiful of
all Carthaginian silver coins,” Lot 1019, “some very minor corrosion,
otherwise virtually as struck.” ■