Numismatica Ars Classica > Auction 134Auction date: 21 November 2022
Lot number: 229

Price realized: 22,000 CHF   (Approx. 23,124 USD / 22,319 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:


Greek Coins. Crete, Gortyna.
Stater circa 330, AR 11.75 g. Europa, in attitude of mourning, seated r. on tree. Rev. Bull standing r., head turned back. Svoronos, Crète, pl. XIV, 70. Le Rider pl. IV, 23.
Very rare and in exceptional condition. Struck on unusually fresh metal
for the issue and with a superb old cabinet tone. Extremely fine

Ex M&M 68, 1986, 256 and NAC 8, 1995, 259 sales. From a Distinguished Swiss collection.
The types of this Gortynian silver stater appear to have been intended to be read together. On the obverse the Phoenician nymph Europa sits in a plane tree on Crete in the aftermath of her abduction from Tyre by Zeus in the form of a bull. She holds her head in her hand, perhaps weeping for the loss of her homeland and family. Meanwhile, on the reverse, the bull form taken by Zeus during her abduction is shown standing right, but with head reverted to look upon Europa. He had carried Europa off from Tyre out of his desire for her and this coin seems to represent the moments before their relationship was consummated beneath the plane tree. Europa ultimately gave birth to Zeus' children, Minos, Sarpedon, and Phaestos, the mythical kings of Knossos, Malia, and Phaistos.


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Estimate: 15000 CHF