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Research Coins: Printed Auction

Triton XXII, Lot: 154. Estimate $7500.
Sold for $20000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Syracuse. Agathokles. 317-289 BC. AR Tetradrachm (25.5mm, 17.15 g, 12h). Struck circa 317-310 BC. Head of Arethousa left, wearing wreath of grain ears, triple-pendant earring, and pearl necklace; three dolphins around, NK monogram below neck / Charioteer, holding kentron in right hand, reins in left, driving fast quadriga left; counterclockwise triskeles above, ΣYPAKOΣIΩN and AI monogram in exergue. Ierardi 8 (O2/R4); BAR Issue 2; HGC 2, 1348; SNG ANS 637; SNG Ashmolean 2064; SNG Lloyd 1477; Boston MFA 458; de Luynes 1318 (all from the same obv. die). EF, wonderful cabinet tone.

From the Gasvoda Collection. Ex G. Hirsch 313 (23 September 2015), lot 2012; Hess-Leu 36 (17 April 1968), lot 101.

This spectacular tetradrachm was struck during the first phase of the rule of Agathokles, a military strongman who seized control of Syracuse in 317 BC. His early coinage as “Tyrant” closely follows the decadrachm design of Euainetos struck nearly a century before, with the head of Arethousa now moved to the obverse. A triskeles, a symbol closely associated with Sicily, now appears on the reverse above the racing chariot. Although closely following the Euainetos paradigm, the skill of engraving and production standards for this type can vary considerably. This specimen is certainly among the finest surviving examples in terms of style, strike, metal quality and eye-appeal.