CRETE. Kydonia. Circa 320-270 BC. Stater (Silver, 25 mm, 11.51 g, 11 h), signed by Neuantos. NEYANTOΣ / [EΠOEI] Head of a nymph to right, her hair tied up and bound with a vine wreath, wearing solar disc and crescent earring with four drops. Rev. KYΔΩИ The archer Kydon standing left, stringing his bow. Le Rider, Crete, pl. IX, 18 (same dies). Pozzi 1972 (same dies). Svoronos, Crete, 3 and pl. IX, 3 (same obverse die). Very rare, especially with the artist's name fully legible. Struck on a broad flan and with lovely old collection toning. The usual minor die breaks and areas of weakness, otherwise, very fine.
From the Jolimont Collection.
The artist Neuantos is only known from this obverse die, which he proudly signed with his name and the verb EΠOEI ('made it'). This is one of the few occasions outside of Magna Graecia where a Greek artist signed his work. We do not know for sure whether Neuantos also crafted the reverse die of the issue, but the powerful image of Kydon, the eponymous hero of the city, stringing his bow, clearly reflects the importance of archery in Cretan society. Much like the Balearic slingers in the West, Cretan archers were dreaded throughout the eastern Mediterranean, serving as mercenaries in many of the armies of Alexander's successors. This lead to an influx of silver to Crete since the late 4th century BC, which was coined by the many poleis of the island, resulting in one of the most interesting and diverse series in Greek numismatics.