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Research Coins: Printed Auction

Triton XXII, Lot: 109. Estimate $20000.
Sold for $40000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Akragas. Circa 460s-420 BC. AR Tetradrachm (26mm, 17.46 g, 10h). Sea eagle standing left; AKRAC-AИTOΣ around / Crab; floral design below; all within shallow incuse circle. Westermark, Coinage, Period II, Group III, 414 (O15/R79); HGC 2, 79; SNG ANS 982 (same dies); Boston MFA 225 (same dies); McClean 2023 (same dies); Rizzo pl. I, 6 (same dies). Superb EF, attractive even light gray tone with golden hues around the devices.

From the Gasvoda Collection. Ex Baron Lorne Thyssen-Bornemisza & Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan Joint Collection (Numismatica Genevensis SA IX, 14 December 2015), lot 6; Hess-Divo 309 (28 April 2008), lot 12 and front cover.

Colonists from Gela founded Akragas circa 580 BC on a plateau overlooking the sea. Under the tyrants Phaleris and Theron, it quickly grew into one of the most prosperous and populous Greco-Sicilian cities. In 473 BC, the people overthrew Theron’s son and established a democracy. From its earliest coinage circa 510 BC, Akragas featured an eagle, sacred to Zeus, backed with an overhead view of a crab, harvested as a delicacy in the region. After the coming of democracy, the crab design was augmented with a number of other attributes, here a delicate vine scroll with each end terminating in a flower bud.