'Dionysos' Naxos silver tetradrachmon coin shows the son of Zeus in style

Following on from its series of rare coin auctions which closed off September, the Kuenker group has returned to the block with another session, this time through Hess-Divo.

The auction offers coins from the ancient world, coins and medals from modern times, essaies from France as well as European gold coins.

 Two of the highlights are silver Sicilian tetradrachmons. The first, from Akragas, shows a quadriga (four horse chariot) in action on the obverse, with the charioteer in a long-sleeved garment below the flying figure of Nike.

The reverse of the coin shows two eagles with their talons in the upturned belly of a rabbit. The front with wings closed, her head stretched upward, the rear, with open wings hack, with the beak on its prey. It is expected to sell for CHF 35,000 ($39,200).

Naxos tetradrachon Dionysos
What a relief: the Dionysos tetradrachmon from Naxos

The second, with extraordinarily clear features in the face's relief, shows the head of bearded Dionysos with a wide ribbon in his hair, which is decorated with a trailing ivy.

The reverse shows a nude, bearded Silenus sitting with his frontleg brought up, head turned to one side, he holds his right hand to a cup, and in his left hand he holds a thyrsus (a staff tipped with a pine cone and sometimes twined with ivy and vine branches, borne by Dionysus and his votaries).

Naxos tetradrachon Dionysos reverse
The reverse side of the Naxos tetradrachmon

This extraordinarily well-preserved coin from Naxos is described by Hess-Divo as "a toast to pre-Christian art!" and the rare piece is listed at CHF 75,000 ($84,000).

Hess-Divo's auction will take place in Zurich and online on October 26.


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