Numismatica Ars Classica > Auction 133Auction date: 21 November 2022
Lot number: 49

Price realized: 24,000 CHF   (Approx. 25,226 USD / 24,348 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:


Greek Coins. Dicaea.
Distater circa 490-480, AR 19.29 g. Bearded head of Heracles r., wearing lion skin. Rev. Quadripartite incuse square with uneven surfaces. Svoronos, Hellénisme Primitif, p. 91, 2a and pl. 15, 14. Kraay-Hirmer pl. 127, 391. Asyut 145. Schönert-Geiss, Bisanthe 3 and pl. 3, cf. 3. May, Dikaia, NC 1965, p. 16, 16 and pl. I, 16. Boston, MFA Addenda 71.
Very rare and in unusually fine condition for the issue, among the finest
specimens in private hands. A portrait of fine Archaic style and a
pleasant old cabinet tone. About extremely fine

Ex Gorny & Mosch sale 195, 2011, 105.
The coinage of Dicaea is relatively limited in scope: the bulk of it belongs to the Archaic period of Greek art, and it has only three design elements, the head of Heracles as a bearded man wearing the lion's scalp, a standing rooster, and a bull's head. The image of Heracles at Dicaea, though, is arresting: not only is it the mature image of Heracles, but the style is charged with Archaic energy, in some cases rivalling the best images on Attic red-figure pottery. Some early scholars placed this series at distant Selymbria because the coins of that city, which are inscribed, bear a rooster similar to that found at Dicaea. However, an occasional example of Dicaean coinage bears the inscription 'd' 'dik' or 'dikai', thus permitting attribution to Dicaea. A full range of denominations was struck – from a single issue of electrum trites to silver distaters, staters, didrachms, drachms, triobols and trihemiobols. The city's coinage occurs in two phases. The earliest have the incuse square as their reverse type and were struck to the weight standard used at Thasos; the later coins have reverse types within shallow incuse square frames usually bordered with pellets, and were struck to the weight standard of its neighbour Abdera. The two reverse designs are a standing rooster and a bull's head. Only the later series, on the smallest denomination do we find the obverse/reverse arrangement switched, with a rooster on the obverse and the head of Heracles in a shallow incuse on the reverse.


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Estimate: 20000 CHF