related series of tetradrachms from Syracuse and Leontinoi. The Demareteion series is the most famous, and among the most beautiful, of all the archaic and classical coinage of Syracuse and the dekadrachm is the most spectacular creation of this master engraver. The obverse of the coin depicts the scene of a Charioteer driving a chariot with Nike (the winged goddess of victory) flying above to crown the horses. The reverse shows the head of Arethusa with four dolphins swimming clockwise around. Apart from the distinctive style of this coin, there are distinctive differences between the Demareteion issues and the regular Syracusan coinage. The head of Arethusa is shown wearing an olive-wreath, perhaps a reference to the recent Sicilian victory. The facial features are quite unlike those seen on other Syracusan issues. The eye is heavy-lidded and the lips, which do not join to define the corner of the mouth, are rather pronounced. The nose has been engraved rather delicately, and the chin is quite pointed. From the otherwise neatly arranged hair, there is a lock of that curls downwards behind the ear. The lion that appears in the exergue of the obverse could perhaps be seen as symbolic of Carthage. Alternatively, it has been suggested that as the lion was the seal of the family of Demarete and her father Theron, it could refer to the alliance that brought about the Syracusan victory over the Carthaginians. This coin is estimated to sell for US$150,000.
Of the 642 lots being offered for sale a large proportion will be considered as some of the finest examples of numismatic workmanship ever created, some too are completely unique. Many have additional marks of distinction in the form of truly exception provenances. Coin collecting is often described as the hobby of kings and we owe a great debt of thanks to the noble men and women who sought to collect and preserve the examples offered throughout this collection, many of whom collected them for their artistic beauty.
The reverse shows a naked, bearded and ithyphallic Silenos holding a drinking cup. This early classical masterpiece still retains some of the rigidity of design that is typical of archaic art but it is far more naturalistic in its proportions, setting it aside from previous archaic die engraving. While the shape of the beard and the formal arrangement of the hair of Dionysos are reminiscent of the archaic style, his eye is seen in profile and the entire obverse has been set-out with more freedom, indicative of classical progression. The rendering of Silenos on the reverse of the coin moves even further into the realms of early classical art, evident in the details of his anatomy and particularly by the sense of perspective achieved through his foreshortened right leg and feet. The reverse composition is extremely impressive in its technical mastery for the period. This coin is estimated to sell for US$125,000.
Lot 213, the facing head Pantikapaion gold stater, perhaps the rarest and most important of all