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fine silver | 38 mm | 38.5 g
OBV: Head of Tanit left wreathed with corn wearing necklace and one-drop earring.
R: Pegasos flying right beneath Punic legend.
This large silver coin equivalent to five Shekels was struck by Carthagians in Sicily during First Punic War against Rome. This issue shows weakening of Greek influence in Carthagian Sicily. The head is clearly Tanit the chief goddess of Carthage. She is presented in a style derived from the earlier Gold and Electrum of that city. This impressive silver coin is a companion piece to the Siculo-Punic electrum Staters, with which it shares the inscription "b'rst," a Sicilian provenance, and a probable function as a presentation piece.
The winged horse has no place in Punic iconography but may have been inspired by Corinthian staters circulating in Sicily or, more likely, by Syracusan coins imitating Corinthian types. Corinthian staters had appeared in Sicily at the end of the Fourth Century to support Sicilian Greeks in their war against Carthage. On this Dekadrachm however the horse has a certain stylized treatment alien to the Greek prototype. The designs of this special issue are markedly non-Greek in style— more so, curiously, than contemporary gold from the Carthage mint.