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fine silver | 35 mm | 43 g
OBV: Galloping quadriga driven r. by charioteer holding goad crowned by Nike flying r. above. In ex. panoply of armour consisting of cuirass flanked by greaves with shield on l. and crested helmet on r.
R: Head of Artemis-Arethusa or Persephone l. hair bound with wreath of corn-leaves four dolphins around. SVRAKOSION above head. Beneath SVSOK (engraver's signature).
The decadrachm of Euainetus must be counted among the most influential of all Greek coins, for it established a canonical type of female beauty that was admired and frequently imitated at distant mints, and even incorporated into decorative metalwork and pottery. Euainetus stripped away the urbane headbands and hairnets prevalent on late representations of Arethusa, offering a simpler and more spontaneous vision that seems closer to nature. The assimilation of Arethusa to the grain-goddess Persephone had already begun on Syracusan tetradrachms, which occasionally depicted the fountain- nymph with a crown of grain. It was Euainetus' stroke of genius to employ grassy leaves only, so that they might be interpreted either as water plants or as barley leaves.
Euainetus' racing scene is a restless composition whose motion is concentrated in the thrashing legs of the horses. The arms in the exergue are labelled as prizes, presumably for the victor in the race.
Euainetus' decadrachms probably started off much like those of his contemporary and rival Cimon, as special presentation pieces. Examples bearing his signature, like the present piece, belong to this early phase. However unsigned decadrachms in the style of Euainetus continued in production throughout much of the reign of Dionysius I and eventually may have circulated as currency.
Customer's feedback: Today I received the reproductions I just purchased from you. Obviously your coins are always in the highest class of quality that makes them truly appreciated by every collector but I must share with you my absolute joy and happiness with your recent production of the decadram of Syracuse. This is truly a masterpiece. The obverse is perfect and captures the movement of the horses in quadrigemina WITHOUT the common dye rust and wear particularly over the head of the leading horse a characteristic that bedevils too many of the existing originals I have seen or handled. The subtle wear (or absence of complete striking up over the hairline as it is sometimes explained) is an ingenious artistic element which you have had the sensitivity to include in this wonderful re strike of a coin felt to be the high point of classical Greek coinage by many. I can not tell you how much pleasure it brings me to behold this coin. The surfaces are well done and the absence of centuries of the chemical effects of Sicilian soil allows the viewer a less distracted view of this true masterpiece. I want to thank both of you gentlemen profoundly for bringing this level of numismatic art into the lives of those who love it at a modest cost. An original if you could find it in this condition would cost over Dollars 40000 at this point in time. Thank you again M.C. USA