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Siracusa, tetradrammo, Aretusa/quadriga - replica
gradirei una sua consulenza per questa moneta in mio possesso probabilmente greca.
colore argento
peso 17,90g
asse di conio ore 6
prova magnetica negativa
diametro 27mm
tipologia argento
La ringrazio fin da ora per la sua disponibilità
fig. 1
Cliccare sulle immagini per ingrandire
Roma, 11.4.2020
Egregio Lettore
riporto di seguito gli elementi significativi riguardanti la moneta di figura:

Tetradrammo1, zecca di Siracusa, c. 405 a. C., BMC II 209 (pag. 177)

Descrizione sommaria (sono indicate in rosso le parti della leggenda usurate o comunque non più leggibili):
D. Testa frontale, leggermente inclinata a sinistra di ninfa, adorna di orecchini e collana; capelli che si irradiano dalla testa in trecce sciolte; benda sulla fronte, firmata ΚΙΜΩΝ2; intorno, due delfini per ciascun lato, che nuotano tra le ciocche: bordo perlinato, metà inferiore del quale a doppio colpo: sopra, fuori bordo, ΑΡΕΘΟΣΑ3.
R. Quadriga4 veloce a sinistra con cavalli impennati, guidata da auriga che, con pungolo nella mano destra, tocca il capo del terzo cavallo, redini trattenute con entrambe le mani. Sopra, Nike in volo a destra, in procinto di incoronare l'auriga; ΚΙΜΩΝ tra le due linee d'esergo: ΣΥΡAKOΣIΩN5 in esergo. Sotto spiga di grano. Bordo lineare.

La ricerca nel web di monete della tipologia di figura ha dato luogo ai seguenti risultati:

  1. Tetradrachm of Syracuse with head of Arethusa, signed by Kimon Greek Classical Periodc. 413–399 B.C.Mint: Sicily, Syracuse MEDIUM/TECHNIQUE Silver DIMENSIONS Diameter: 28mm. Weight: 16.30gm. CREDIT LINE Catharine Page Perkins Fund ACCESSION NUMBER 00.117 CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ Brett, Greek Coins (MFA), no. 0417. DESCRIPTION: Obverse: Head of Arethusa, almost full-front to left, with earring and necklace; flowing hair, with a diadem on which are said to be traces of Kimon in Greek (see Brett catalogue, no. 417). Traces of inscription in Greek above to name the nymph (also Brett, no. 417). Around the head are four dolphins among the tresses. Border of dots. Reverse: Quadriga with horses galloping to left and charioteer bent forward. Nike flies to right to crown the charioteer. In exergue: inscription in Greek above ear of barley. Plain border. PROVENANCE: By date unknown: Edward Herbert Bunbury Collection; by 1896: with Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 13 Wellington Street, Strand, London (auction of the Edward Herbert Bunbury Collection, 13 Wellington Street, Strand, London, June 17, 1896, lot 465); by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; 1900: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren.
  2. Identification and Creation Object Number 1972.216 People Designed by Kimon, Greek (415 - 400 BCE) Title Tetradrachm of Syracuse with facing Arethusa by Kimon Classification Coins Work Type coin. Date 406 BCE-405 B.C. Places Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Syracuse (Sicily). Period Classical period, High Culture Greek. Persistent Link LocationLevel 3, Room 3200, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Art, Classical Medium Silver Metal AR Technique Struck Dimensions 17.26g Die Axis 11 Denomination tetradrachm Inscriptions and Marks Obverse Inscription: KIMON; above (off flan) APETOSA State, Edition, Standard Reference Number Standard Reference Number Tudeer 80 (O29 R53) Acquisition and Rights Credit Line Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Frederick M. Watkins. Accession Year 1972 Object Number 1972.216 Division Asian and Mediterranean Art. Descriptions: Obverse: Head of Arethusa in three quarter view to left surrounded by dolphins. Reverse: quadriga of horses galloping to l., driver crowned by small Nike; in exergue ear of wheat.
  3. Gemini, LLC Auction XI 10 12.01.2014 Description: Sicily. Syracuse. 406/5 BC. Tetradrachm, 16.16g. (h). Obv: Three-quarter facing head of Arethusa, artist's signature ΚΙΜΩΝ on headband. Dotted border. Above, [ΑΡΕΘΟΣΑ]. Rx: Racing quadriga left, Nike flying right above, crowning driver; artist's signature ΚΙΜΩΝ on exergual line. In exergue, wheat ear and ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩΝ. Tudeer 80. Jameson Coll. 1835. SNG Oxford 2004. Nanteuil Coll. 358. For the meaning of the obverse type, see W. Fischer-Bossert in S. Vogt (ed.), Gedenkschrift Manfred Gutgesell (forthcoming). Some reverse porosity. A significant amount of horn silver has been removed from this coin since the 2011 Hirsch sale. EF/VF+. Ex Gemini X, 13 January 2013, lot 21. Ex G. Hirsch 275, 22-23 September 2011, lot 3289. Ex M&M 79, 28 February and 1 March, 1994, lot 186. Kimon’s facing Arethusa is one of the most famous head designs of antiquity, rivaling even the Arethusa of Euainetos’ decadrachm. Like the latter, Kimon’s facing Arethusa was quickly adopted by other mints in Sicily and abroad, as well as by vase painters and metal workers. The design’s adoption even in remote areas such as Lycia and Cilicia shows that it got to the heart. The point is not in the boldness to show a head 3/4 facing to the observer – this idea had been in the wind for many years, though mainly among vase painters. The revolutionary attraction is in the facial expression that gives voice to a new philosophy of life. In archaic and early classical times, heads looking to front were used by both vase painters and sculptors for characterizing dying and dead warriors, as well as monsters like the Gorgons. Then, facing heads were something scary. Heads about to turn around, thus seen in three-quarter perspective, only came into fashion in early classical times, c. 470 BC. Judging from the scenarios they were used in, they are thought to characterize a process of reasoning, or a sophisticated perception like listening to music. Kimon’s facing Arethusa, however, is totally different. The nymph is not acting as a mythological being, executing her role in the myth told about her and the river god Alpheios. She is not acting at all, but merely presenting herself to the observer, thereby enjoying herself rather than executing a role. This design appears to be the earliest forerunner of a new view of the Greek gods. In fifth century art, the gods were acting beings, engaged in human affairs. In fourth century art, the gods kept to themselves, enjoying their divine sphere, and no longer dealing with human trifles. On the one hand, this development accords with old Greek thinking, expressed as early as Homer who spoke of the “easy-living gods”. On the other, this view of the gods is totally new, and revolutionary. The old gnawing doubt as to whether deities were really controlling human affairs, thereby setting moral standards and balancing out the many great injustices of human life, forced its way into Greek philosophy during the fifth and fourth centuries, thus leading to new designs in Greek art. So Kimon’s facing Arethusa is likely to be the first, and most influential, predecessor of masterpieces of fourth century art like Praxiteles’ Cnidian Aphrodite and Olympian Hermes. The short die chain this coin belongs to consists of just four dies, two obverse dies and two reverse dies, three of which were signed by Kimon, and the fourth one made by him, too. The obverse die of our coin (Tudeer’s O29) might be the prototype; the late Leo Mildenberg demonstrated that Tudeer’s arrangement must be modified, thereby putting O29 first and O28 second. The reverse die (R53) is a highly sophisticated variant of a famous Catanean model, the tetradrachm made by Kimon’s rival Euainetos. Surprisingly in view of its importance – the influence that both the obverse and the reverse types were to exert on contemporaneous coinages, and the high esteem this die pair enjoys among coin collectors and connoisseurs of art – the die pair is extremely rare. Tudeer knew five specimens in 1913, just one of them in private hands (the Jameson coin that was to come up again in the Hunt Collection). Since then only three or four more specimens have emerged, one of them in the Ognina Hoard.
  4. ex Pennisi museo di Siracusa 17,25g 2h.
  5. NAC 54/2010, n. 56 17,37g (che ha realizzato 210.000 CHF).
  6. New York Sale 30/2013, n. 55 (ex Jameson 822) 17,15g, 12h (che ha realizzato 180.000 dollari).
  7. Paris, Luynes 1226 16,94g (con la solita pesante patina da antica collezione museale).
  8. Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG Auction 27 118 12.05.2004 Description: Greek Coins Syracuse No.: 118 Estimate: CHF 100000. d=29mm. Tetradrachm signed by Kimon circa 405-400, AR 16.82g. Head of Arethusa facing three-quarters l. wearing pearl-shaped pendant and necklace over collier ornamented with pearls; hair flowing in loose tresses; across her forehead ampyx on which the signature K[IMW]N. Around, three dolphins emerging from curls and the fourth swimming downwards. Above, outside linear border, AREQ [OSA]. In field l., SW. Rev. Quadriga at speed with prancing horses driven l. by chiton-clad charioteer, holding kentron in r. hand and reins in l.; above, Nike flying r. to crown him. On exergual line, KIMWN. In exergue, SURAKOSIWN / ear of barley l. Rizzo pl. 48, 11 (these dies). Kraay-Hirmer 123 (this obverse die), 122 (this reverse die). Boston 417 (these dies). Regling 589 (this obverse die), 590 (this reverse die). Jameson 822 (these dies). De Luynes 1226 (these dies). H. Cahn, Essays Carson-Jenkins, Arethusa Soteira, 1 (this coin). Extremely rare. An attractive specimen of this prestigious and desirable issue with an enchanting representation of Arethusa in sublime classical style. A masterpiece from the most celebrated Sicilian die-engraver. Struck on sound metal with an exceptionally clear obverse, which allows for the first time the reading of the letters SW. About extremely fine. Ex Sotheby's sale 1990, The Hunt collection part III, 24. Certainly among the most influential coinages of the ancient Greeks, this set of dies rank among Kimon's finest. The obverse offers an arresting portrait of the nymph Arethusa, whose placid countenance is a foil to the hive of activity that surrounds it (and to the energetic scene on the reverse). First to catch the viewer's attention is Arethusa's hair, which flows wildly in all directions, though not to the detriment of her appeal; indeed, the fact that it flows back permits an unobstructed view of her beauty. Four dolphins artfully intertwine with the strands of Arethusa's hair: one at the right is shown in full, one at the left is nearly full, and only the faces of the remaining two are shown, one at each side. Kimon imparts a "playful quality" to these dolphins - a naturalistic triumph considering that is one of the most endearing features of these sea mammals. Even the dotted border is of interest, as it restrains the expansive power of Arethusa's image. Perhaps most masterful of all, though, is how Kimon incorporates three inscriptions into the design. His signature appears on the ampyx that restrains the nymph's hair; her name, Arethusa, is creatively placed at the top outside the border; and an abbreviation for "savior" is so cleverly hidden among the dolphins and the strands of hair at the left that it was not acknowledged until very recently (H.A. Cahn, "Arethusa Soteira", Essays in honour of Robert Carson and Kenneth Jenkins, 1993, pp. 5-6). The reverse is equally masterful, and the micro-signature on the exergual line reveals it also is the work of Kimon. Here we observe a quadriga in high action, viewed at a slight angle, which allowed the artist to demonstrate his ability to convey perspective. Here, it would seem, we have a momentary snapshot of a victorious team turning the bend: the calm and confidence of the driver, with his firm grip on the reins and his gentle command of the goad, is a foil to the wild excess of the horses, which rear up and toss their heads in all directions. Clearly Kimon captured a moment when a driver performs and unconventional, but masterful action that catches his team by surprise, yet, was necessary to secure a victory, as symbolized by the crowning of the driver by Nike. We may note that the border is a thin, solid line that does not distract us from the powerful scene; Kimon even delights in allowing the hoofs of the lead horse to break through the border. The combination of the obverse depicting "Arethusa the Savior" and the reverse dedicated to a victorious charioteer, and the remarkable quality of the dies, earmarks this as a commemorative issue. As such, it has been associated with historical events, principally the defeat of the Athenian fleet at Syracuse in 413 B.C. and, perhaps more likely, the good fate of the Syracusans in the otherwise devastating invasion of Sicily by the Carthaginians from 406 to 405 B.C.
Conclusioni: All'asta di Numismatica Genevensis SA Auction 11 del 18 November 2019 (v. link), un tetradrammo d'argento firmato Cimone, già della collezione Robert Käppeli (acquistato prima del 1960) è stato battuto per circa un milione mezzo di euro. Un tetradrammo autentico di Cimone è il vanto di pochi grandi musei ed il privilegio di un ristretto numero di privati in grado di investire somme eccezionali in un'asta internazionale. Ma veniamo alla moneta di figura: dopo aver raccolto nel web le immagini di un certo numero di campioni autentici della tipologia di figura, ho realizzato in una tabella riassuntiva il confronto sinottico con la moneta di figura. Dal confronto emerge che la moneta in esame, priva di spessore e carente nei dettagli, al di là delle carenze evidenziate nella nota1, è una pallida replica di un originale antico. Aggiungerò che gli esemplari autentici oggi in mano ai privati sono tutti accompagnati da un pedigree documentabile. Escludo pertanto che la moneta in esame possa essere autentica.

Un saluto cordiale
Giulio De Florio

(1) Tetradrammo (Argento). Raccolgo in tabella le caratteristiche fisiche dei tetradrammi della tipologia di figura tratti dai link di cui sopra:

Riferimenti Peso(g.)  Diametro(mm) Asse di conio (H)
Link1 16,30 28 -
Link2 17,26 - 11
Link3 16,16 - -
Link4 17,25 - 2
Link5 17,37 - -
Link6 17,15 - 12
Link7 16,94 - -
Link8 16,82 29 -
Link9 17,24 - -
Link10 17,26 - -
Dalla tabella si evince che le dimensioni della moneta in esame (17,90g, 27mm, 6) rientrano in grandi linee nei margini di variabilità delle monete dello stesso tipo presenti nel web. Qualche dubbio insorge sulla lega metallica del tondello, supposto in argento ma nel quale, tra le pieghe del collo, dei capelli e del contorno del viso, affiorano zone di colore verde, probabile conseguenza del cancro del rame.
(2) Cimone (in greco ΚΙΜΩΝ), è stato un medaglista greco (v. wikipedia), attivo a Siracusa nel periodo 415 - 400 a.C., facente parte del ristretto numero di incisori dell'antichità di cui si conosce il nome, tramandato dalla firma sulle monete. Cimone fu il creatore del decadrammo coniato a Siracusa dopo la battaglia dell'Asinaro e il primo incisore a disegnare la testa frontale di Aretusa che caratterizza la monetazione di Siracusa. Nella firma, come in altri dettagli, ha mostrato la capacità di lavorare su particolari minuti.
(3) ΑΡΕΘΟΣΑ. Aderendo ad una consuetudine piuttosto diffusa nelle città greche di Sicilia, Siracusa assunse, come emblema, la divinità fluviale di pertinenza, e dunque Aretusa. In proposito riprendo la voce relativa del portale dell'Enciclopedia Treccani on line (v. link): "Aretusa è la ninfa della fonte che sgorga nell’isola Ortigia (Siracusa). Una sorgente omonima nell’Elide (Peloponneso), lungo il corso inferiore del fiume Alfeo, fece nascere la leggenda secondo cui Aretusa, ninfa del seguito di Artemide, insidiata dal dio del fiume Alfeo, riuscì a passare in Ortigia, dove fu raggiunta da Alfeo che, nella forma di fiume, aveva attraversato il mare mantenendo la purezza delle sue acque.
(4) Il tipo della quadriga esalta la partecipazione dell'aristocrazia siracusana alle competizioni olimpiche.
(5) L'etnico ΣΥΡAKOΣIΩN (dei siracusani) indica che la moneta è stata emessa nel nome del popolo di Siracusa.
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