CARIA. Knidos. Circa 200-150 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 35 mm, 16.49 g, 12 h). Laureate head of Apollo to right. Rev. KNIΔION Artemis Hyakinthotrophos standing front, head to left, holding laurel branch in her right hand and leaning with her left elbow on facing archaic statue of herself, wearing polos; to left, stag standing left, looking up. BN FRBNF41778907 = G. le Rider: Un tétradrachme hellénistique de Cnide, in: Essays Thompson, p. 155-157 and pl. 18, 1 corr. (laurel branch not patera) and var. (slightly differing ethnic). Roma 13 (2017), 335 corr. (laurel branch not patera) and var. (slightly differing ethnic). Of the highest rarity, the third known example and the first of this variety. A beautifully struck and lightly toned coin of great interest. Good very fine.
For an elaborate discussion of Artemis Hyakinthotrophos and her games, the Hyakinthotrophia, see the note in Roma 13, 23 March 2017, 335. However, that cataloguer failed to note what Le Rider had already pointed out in his discussion of the Paris coin, that the cult statue on which Artemis is leaning with her left elbow is in fact most probably her own archaic cult statue, of which this is thus the sole image to survive. Le Rider suggested that the legend KИIΔIΟИ replacing the usual KNIΔIΩN on his coin means that the artist was deliberately archaizing the ethnic to connect the issue to the ancient cult of Artemis and the glorious past of Knidos. This interesting suggestion is in part refuted by the present coin lacking the retrograde N, but the unusual replacement of the Omega with the Omicron persists. It is worth noting that both Le Rider and Roma misidentified the object held in Artemis right hand as a phiale or a patera from which liquor flows, whereas in fact it is clearly a laurel branch, which reinforces the suggestion of Roma to connect the issue with the Hyakinthotrophia, the panhellenic games instituted in honor of Artemis Hyakinthotrophos in remembrance of her epiphany during the siege of Knidos by Philip V in 201 BC.