The ancient coinage of Sicily in ancient Greece is renowned for its
artistry, with many large denomination coins created through the
labors of famed engravers still honored today.
But that record of engraving skill doesn’t often extend to smaller denominations.
Nomos Ag’s auction No. 10, scheduled for May 18 in Zurich, offers an
uncommon example of the engraver’s art in miniature.
The coin is 12 millimeters in diameter (half the diameter of a
Washington quarter dollar) and weighs 0.84 gram.
The circa 415 or 413 to 404 B.C. silver litra coin from Katane is a
compelling piece. Despite its size the coin features a rich image of
Silenos facing left on the obverse, and a winged thunderbolt between
two shields on the reverse.
“The superlative quality of the die engraving for this coin has
impelled some catalogers to attribute it to a known engraver like
Euainetos,” according to the catalog. “It is yet another example of
how the minters of the Sicilian cities lavished great care on even the
smallest silver pieces. This coin proves that it was surely a matter
of prestige and pride for local citizens to have even minor
denominations made with outstanding artistry.”
The coin is “nicely toned” with “some original luster,” and though
it has some “minor striking weakness,” it otherwise is Extremely Fine,
according to Nomos Ag.
The coin has an estimate of 1,500 Swiss francs (about $1,574 in U.S. funds).
To learn more about the sale, visit the firm’s website.
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