Perhaps the third known example of this very unusual issue
Lot 1625
SYRIA, Coele-Syria. Heliopolis. Caracalla, 198-217. Tetradrachm (Billon, 26 mm, 13.59 g, 11 h), 215-217. ΑΥΤ Κ Μ Α [ΑΝ]ΤⲰΝЄΙΝΟC CЄ•Β• Laureate and cuirassed bust of Caracalla to left, holding spear over his right shoulder and shield on his left; breastplate decorated with aegis; shield decorated with a horse springing to left over a male head with long flowing hair to left, before the head, small figure kneeling right, raising his hands in adoration. Rev. ΔΗΜΑΡΧ ЄΞ•ΥΠΑΤΟC•ΤΟ•Δ• Eagle with spread wings standing facing, head to right and holding wreath in beak; between the eagle's legs, star above lion walking right. Prieur 1198 corr. (same obverse die, but obverse misdescribed). Extremely rare, perhaps the third known example of this very unusual issue. Light deposits and the reverse somewhat rough, otherwise, good very fine.

From the collection of Dr. D. Cornel, ex Leu 7, 24-25 October 2020, 1502.

What makes this coin particularly interesting is the shield decoration on the obverse, which was described by Prieur as 'shield, on which (radiate?) head left, small figure with raised arms right; horse leaping left above'. However, close inspection of the present coin reveals that the apparent rays on the head on the shield are in fact long waving hair. This observation, the posture of the head, which is raised somewhat to heaven, and the horse leaping above it make it very likely that the shield is in fact showing Alexander 'the Great' and his horse Boukephalos. Alexander was Caracalla's greatest hero, and his image appears - heavily influenced by the tetradrachms of Lysimachos showing the king diademed, with long flowing hair and the horn of Ammon over his ear - in a very similar manner on the contemporary Aboukir medallions.
Starting price:
250 CHF
Hammer price:
1300 CHF
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Closing time: 12-Mar-23, 16:33:00 CET
All winning bids are subject to a 18.5% buyer's fee.


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