SICILY. Syracuse. At the End of the Second Democracy and the Start of the Reign of Dionysos I, winter 406/405 BC. 30 or 2 Litrai (Gold, 12 mm, 1.76 g, 6 h). ΣΥΡΑΚΩΣΙΩΝ Head of Athena (or Arethusa?) to left, wearing an Attic helmet, adorned with a coiled serpent and a tiny figure of Skylla on the bowl over the ear, and with a crest ending in streamers, her long hair flowing out under the helmet; in the field to left, tablet or ribbon with inscription. Rev. Aegis with a facing gorgoneion. Boehringer, Finanzpolitik, pl. 38, 12 = Hess-Leu  27 March 1956, 210. Of the greatest rarity, perhaps one of only two examples known. A splendid coin of the finest Classical style. Some very minor die faults unaffecting the design , otherwise, good extremely fine.
From a European collection and that of a prominent Californian, Freeman & Sear/Manhattan Sale I, 5 January 2010, 28.
The curious way the denomination is given here depends on whether one is counting silver or gold litrai! In fact, coins of this type weighing c. 0.63 g are usually termed 10 litrai pieces, while the Heracles-head gold fractions of Syracuse, weighing c. 1.16 g are usually identified as 20 litrai pieces. Thus, the present very rare piece is, by weight, 30 litrai! In addition, when this coin first appeared its then cataloguer seems to have read an engraver's signature, "ΙΜ", beneath the neck truncation; upon re-examination these supposed letters appear to be die faults.
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