Italy. Sicily, Kamarina.
Tetradrachm, c. 410 BC. (Silver, 17.15g., 27.5mm). ΚΑΜ – Α – ΡΙΝΑ Athena, wearing helmet and long peplos, holding kentron in her left hand and the reins in her right, driving quadriga at full gallop to the right, the head of the third horse turned back and their fore hooves all raised up off the ground; above, Nike flying left to crown Athena; in exergue, two tall-neck amphorae / Head of bearded Herakles to left, wearing lion’s skin headdress; in field to left, olive branch with two fruits. CC 55 (= WJ 151.6, same dies). SNG ANS 1204 (= WJ 151.3, same dies). Westermark-Jenkins (WJ) 151 (same dies).
Kamarina (IACP 28) was founded by colonists from Syracuse in 598 and served as a buffer state between her mother city and Gela. It had a somewhat checkered existence before its destruction by the tyrant Gelon in 484; it was refounded by Gela in 461 and had a golden age of prosperity that lasted until its depopulation in 405. The city revived in the 4th century. The most extensive series of Kamarina’s coinage was struck during the last quarter of the 5th century: this piece is perhaps the most attractive of them all. The obverse die has been attributed to Exakestidas, while the reverse has been given to an unknown master engraver who ‘signed’ his work by use of the olive branch: this is paralleled by the engraver who worked for Katane, named by Rizzo the ‘maestro della foglia’.
Grading/Status: Extremely rare, the finest of the seven known examples of this die pair and surely the most beautiful of all the coins struck by Kamarina. Toned, well struck and centered on a broad flan, with a superb head of Herakles of the finest and most elegant Class
Star Collection, Numismatica Ars Classica 48, 21 October 2008, 26.
Numismatica Ars Classica 9, 16 April 1996, 139.