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Mysia, Kyzikos EL Stater. Circa 550-500 BC. Winged siren standing to left, holding tunny fish by the tail / Quadripartite incuse square. Von Fritze 74, pl. II 29 (these dies); cf. SNG France 203 (Hekte); Boston 1441 (these dies). 16.08g, 19mm.

Good Very Fine. Very Rare, and among the finest known specimens. Only a half dozen examples auctioned in the past 15 years.

From the A.F. Collection, Germany.

The mythical Sirens are best known to us from two ancient epics: the 'Argonautica' by Apollonios in which Jason and the Argonauts have to travel past them on their quest for the Golden Fleece, and Homer's 'Odyssey', where they are portrayed as a pair of dangerous creatures that lure passing sailors to their deaths with their sweet music (Odyssey XII 40). They are supposed to have inhabited an island with a particularly rocky shoreline onto which sailors would be drawn by their desire to hear the Sirens sing, leading to shipwreck. Speaking to Odysseus and warning him of the dangers he would encounter further into his journey, Queen Circe describes the Sirens as sitting in a meadow, with around them 'a great heap of bones of mouldering men' (XII, 45).

Mysia, Kyzikos EL Stater. (rxv217)

Price: £15,384.00

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  • (Rates for 24/04/2018)
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