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The Mark Staal Collection of the Three Graces

230, Lot: 168. Estimate $100.
Sold for $96. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MOESIA INFERIOR, Marcianopolis. Commodus. AD 177-192. Æ 26mm (7.79 g, 1h). Bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / The Three Graces; dolphin to left, amphora to right. Hristova & Jekov; Varbanov 702. Good Fine, dark green patina.

From the Mark Staal Collection of the Three Graces.

The Three Graces (or Charities) were goddesses of beauty, charm, and amusement, the embodiment of loveliness in all its aspects. Although their names varied from place to place, the most commonly encountered are Aglaea (“Beauty”), Euphrosyne (“Cheer”), and Thalia (“Flowering”). Over time an artistic convention of depicting the Graces developed: the three deities were shown undraped, each with one arm placed on the figure adjacent to them, the central figure standing facing the opposite direction as the others. This is the convention that one finds in most numismatic depictions of the goddesses.

CNG is proud to offer the current selection from the Mark Staal Collection of the Three Graces. This subject not only served as a theme in building a collection, but also as an area of scholarly pursuit for Staal, and many of his coins in this sale have been published in his monograph The Three Graces and their Numismatic Mythology (Santa Clara. 2004 [available for purchase through CNG]).