Greece, Greek Colonies of Italy, Sicily, Gela. Circa 490/85-480/75 BC. AR Didrachm (18mm, 6.6 g). Nude warrior riding right, preparing to cast javelin held aloft in his right hand / Forepart of man-headed bull right; CEΛAΣ above. Jenkins, Gela, group Ia, 2 var. (O2/R– [unlisted rev. die]); SNG ANS –; SNG Lloyd –; SNG Lockett 762 (same obv. die).
The earliest coins of Jenkins' Group I at Gela reflect the experimental nature of an initial coinage series at a Greek mint. Stylistically, the first six obverses feature a youthful nude male riding a horse, brandishing a spear overhead. Gela had been known for its adept cavalry, and this type is likely an allusion to that asset of the polis. It is uncertain why the initial inclination of the engravers was to depict the warrior bare headed, but this was quickly changed by the addition of a helmet beginning with the seventh obverse die. Depicting a nude warrior with helmet was more typical in contemporary artwork, and this revised obverse type became canonical for the remainder of the city's didrachm issues. Another interesting "experimental" feature of the earliest coins is the presence of some obverses that are slightly concave. Typically, the obverse of ancient coins are flat or slightly convex, while the reverses are either concave or incuse. The reverse die, being on the hammer used to punch the flan, is typically made with either a raised area, producing an incuse, or a convex surface, producing a concave reverse on the coins. These forms would not only allow for better metal flow when the flan was struck, but also allow the die to better absorb the forces of the striking. In contrast, the obverse dies, placed in the anvil, would be either flat or slightly concave in form.
Greece, Italy, Sicily, Syracuse, Gela Didrachm Coin
$19.99 Regular Price
- These coins/medals are made of a metal alloy and not a precious metal.
These coins/tokens are made with a white metal alloy, having a base metal of Tin (Sn)