From the collections of J. Pierpont Morgan and Prof. Carlo Stiavelli, Santamaria, pedigreed to 1906
Lot 22
SICILY. Gela. Circa 450-440 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 27 mm, 16.78 g, 6 h). Charioteer, holding reins with both hands and kentron in his right, driving slow quadriga to right; above, Nike flying right to crown the horses; in exergue, palmette with tendrils. Rev. CΕΛΑ[Σ] Forepart of the river-god Gelas, in the form of a man-headed bull, to right. Boston MFA 247 (same dies). Gulbenkian 198 (same dies). Jenkins, Gela, 357.23 (this coin, O69/R142). McClean 2255 (same dies). Morgan 112 (this coin). SNG ANS 66 (same obverse die). A beautiful example with lovely old collection toning and a very old pedigree. The usual die wear and the obverse struck somewhat off center, otherwise, about extremely fine.

From the collections of J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) and of Prof. Carlo Stiavelli, Santamaria, 6 April 1908, 112, and ex Hirsch XV, 28 May 1906, 999.

Many rivers formed the primary lifeline for the communities living by their banks, while also holding the potential for great destruction through flooding. As such, rivers were respected and revered throughout the ancient world. A popular motif in Greek art was to depict rivers as man-headed bulls, a form stressing the unbridled power of the river, while also humanizing it. The Gelas river, from which Gela derived its name, was so called for the Siceliote word for rime (perhaps etymologically related to the Latin word for frosty, 'gelidus'). Ideally located near sea and river, Gela would become one of the great cities of Greek Sicily, and appropriately honored its local river on its magnificent coinage.
10000 CHF
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8000 CHF
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14000 CHF
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