‡ Islands off Caria, Rhodes, tetradrachm, c. 380 BC, facing head of Helios, rev., ΡΟΔΙΟΝ, rose with bud on the left; in right field, Φ and wreath, 15.33g, die axis 12.00 (D. Bérend, “Les tétradrachmes de Rhodes de la première période”, SNR 51, 1972, p. 16, 38 and pl. 4, this piece), light toning, extremely fine, of vigorous style and struck in high relief with a remarkable fully facing head of Helios, an extremely rare variety Provenance: Marmaris Hoard (IGCH 1209); Leu Numismatic 76, 27 October 1999 (“Exceptional Private Collection”), lot 194.Note: The coinage of the city of Rhodes is easily distinguished by its ubiquitous symbols - the head of Helios (the sun god) and the rose. The rose, or rhodon in Greek, is an example of a canting symbol, punning on the name Rhodos, whereas Helios was the dominant deity of the island, whose cult was more prominent there than anywhere else. Pindar explained the connection in his seventh Olympian Ode (lines 54ff.): the sun god had initially been absent when the gods were dividing the earth amongst themselves, but instead of recasting the lots as Zeus suggested, he instead asked to be given the island of Rhodes, which he had spotted underwater and observed how rich it would be once it had emerged. The image of Helios here is of an early style, distinct from the more standardised type that was to come; indeed, the city of Rhodes was in its infancy when this coin was minted, having only been settled in 408 B.C. under the designs of the famous town-planner Hippodamos of Miletos (Strabo 14.2.9).
Estimate: GBP 70000-100000
|Starting price||55'000 GBP|