Sicily, Messana. c. 420-413 BC

Sicily, Messana. c. 420-413 BC


AR Tetradrachm, 17.04g (27mm, 4h). Charioteer leading biga of donkeys, fish symbol below / Springing hare right with dolphin below.

Pedigree: Ex Lanz 123 (2005), lot 61

References: Caltabiano 541 (D 213/R 213)

Grade: Outstanding strike and sharp detail. Toned surfaces. Rough surfaces with several minor flan and edge cracks. EF . (gk1257c)

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The leaping hare is a well-known image on the coinage of Messana. The hare can be elongated and thin or almost a caricature of a bunny.  Either way, they are fabulously popular coins and for good reason. The imagery is bold and it shows the talent of the die engravers of the time.  The hare was considered a good luck symbol among other things and there are several varieties of hares that can be found within the Sicilian coinage series.  

The obverse imagery of a biga of mules with a driver signifies the success of Anaxilas, and his success at the Olympic games. 

For more information on this exciting series, an article in Coin Week is below: