ISLANDS OFF THRACE, Thasos. Circa 412-404 BC.
Drachm (Silver, 14 mm, 3.56 g). Nude ithyphallic satyr, balding and with long beard, moving right in 'running-kneeling' position, holding a nymph in his arms, who raises her right hand in protest. Rev.
Quadripartite incuse square with granulated recesses. HGC 6, 336. Le Rider, Thasiennes, 8. A spectacular coin, boldly struck on sound metal, beautifully toned, and of exceptionally fine full Classical style. Tiny marks, otherwise,
nearly extremely fine.
Privately acquired from Tradart, ex Münzen & Medaillen AG 73, 17 October 1988, 60, Leu 15, 4 May 1976, 165, and from the collection of Victor Luneau, Platt, 27 March 1922, 415.
The island polis of Thasos grew its fabulous wealth from its silver mines and the export of timber and high-quality wines. With its mainland peraia lying at the foothills of the rugged Thraco-Macedonian mountains, the Thasian coins quite fittingly contain the satyr and nymph motive, a highly sexually charged design showing the ferocious and aroused satyr abusing the mannered nymph. Such images of wilderness clashing with civilization were especially popular in frontier regions such as the Thraco-Macedonian coast, where Greek apoikiai came into close contact with native 'barbarian' tribes.