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Nomos 1 6 May 2009
Widder Hotel, Zürich
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Lot 37
Estimate: 8500 CHF
THRACE, Ainos. Circa 396/5-394/3 BC. Drachm (Silver, 2.67 g 1). Head of Hermes facing, wearing petasos and with his head turned very slightly to his right Rev. ΑΙΝΙΟΝ Goat standing to right; to right, hydria. May, Ainos 355 var. (A219/P-). SNG Copenhagen 412. Very rare. A superb piece of very fine style. Minor die break on the obverse, otherwise, extremely fine.


Facing heads are one of the most difficult of all coin designs for engravers to make successfully. They were produced all over the Greek world from Archaic through Hellenistic times, but a few mints, Ainos, Amphipolis, Larissa and Rhodes, specialized in them. The best existing survey remains Erhart’s dissertation of 1979. The coins of Ainos all bear heads of Hermes and they are quite varied stylistically, ranging from rather insipid heads to some of great subtlety and power. This piece bears a Hermes head that exhibits a remarkable degree of emotion - he is not just calmly and serenely looking out of the coin; rather, he seems to be deeply concerned about something. The quality of the engraving is outstanding - the goat on the reverse, seemingly holding back with his front legs together, almost seems to be startled by the perfectly detailed hydria that is on the ground before him. Could he be wondering what is inside, or does he know that it contains water but is perplexed at how to go about drinking from it?
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Current Status
Online bidding closes: 06 May 2009 14:00:00 CET
Current Date & Time: 22 Mar 2019 23:08:13 CET
Remaining Time: Closed
Hammer Price: 7000 CHF

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Lot 37
Estimate: 8500 CHF
Hammer Price: 7000 CHF
THRACE, Ainos. Circa 396/5-394/3 BC. Drachm (Silver, 2.67 g 1). Head of Hermes facing, wearing petasos ...
Lot 38
Estimate: 8500 CHF
Hammer Price: 9750 CHF
THRACE, Maroneia. Circa 436/5-411/0 BC. Stater (Silver, 14.25 g 4), magistrate Posideios. ΜΑΡΩΝ Free ho ...
Lot 39
Estimate: 22500 CHF
Hammer Price: 24500 CHF
MACEDON, Akanthos. Circa 490 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 17.20 g). Lion to left, attacking bull kneeling t ...