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Research Coins: The Coin Shop

 
5629325. Sold For $17750

SICILY, Leontini. Circa 430-425 BC. AR Tetradrachm (23mm, 16.25 g, 9h). Head of Apollo left, wearing laurel wreath / Head of roaring lion right; LE-O-N-TI-N-ON around; three barley grains above, to left, and below; leaf behind. Boehringer, M├╝nzgeschichte 55 (same dies); HGC 2, 671 (same dies as illustration); SNG ANS 257 (same dies); SNG Lloyd 1063 (same obv. die); Basel 353 (same dies); Rizzo pl. XXIV, 4 (same dies). Wonderful deep iridescent tone, typical minor die wear on obverse (diagnostic for die). Superb EF. Well struck, with fine details.


Ex Tkalec (9 May 2005), lot 18.

This attractive tetradrachm was probably struck about two decades after the initial introduction of the Apollo / Lion type. While early heads of Apollo were rendered in a highly stylized manner, here he appears as an idealized human. Apollo was especially revered at Leontini, as he was at the mother city of Naxos where there was a famous sanctuary of Apollo Archegetes. The lion was the emblem of Apollo but probably also represents a punning allusion to the city name. The surrounding barley-grains are indicative of the exceptional fertility of the Leontine territory and doubtless refer to the local worship of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture.