Gold Ring Featuring a Thurian Silver Stater

SKU FJ.5172
Circa

350 BC

Medium

Silver

Origin

Mediterranean

Gallery Location

USA


 

This genuine ancient silver coin has been mounted in a modern 18 karat gold ring.

The ancient Greek colony of Thuria, located in southern Italy, was founded in 443 B.C. Not far removed from the site of deserted Sybaris. The colony was at first called by its old name, but later the name was changed to Thuria, named after a fountain in the immediate area. A large influx of new colonists from Athens resulted in commercial prosperity for this new attic colony. The coins of Thurium rank among the finest, a purity of style and delicacy of execution resulting in masterpieces of numismatic art. This stunning silver stater features the image of a rushing bull, its legs in an animated pose. With its tail twitching in the air and head down, we can almost hear the snorting sounds emanating from the flared nostrils of this fearsome beast. The ancient symbolism of this bovine is still unclear. Some take it to be a symbol of Dionysus, others to be the rushing bull indicative of the fountain Thuria, while some see the bull as an artistic development of the bull which adorned earlier sybaritic coins. The reverse side of this stunning coin features the Greek goddess Athena. This particular portrait is that of Athena Skyletria, a sea goddess who was worshiped on the southern coasts of Brutium (Italy). Adorning Athena’s head is a helmet with the image of the ancient Greek nymph, Scylla. Legend has it that a sea deity Glaucus, fell in love with the beautiful nymph but she scorned his attention. Glaucus appealed to the goddess Circe for help; instead of helping him, Circe fell in love with Glaucus and tried to make him forget Scylla. By trickery, she then turned the lovely nymph into a frightful monster, the upper part of her body and head remaining a beautiful maiden, the lower part encircled with the necks and heads of six hideous barking dogs who, whenever a ship passed, reached out to grab six seamen and devour them. Scylla's monster body can be seen on this coin, curling about Athena’s helmet. Captivating mythological images and masterful craftsmanship combine to form a most unique coin, one that continues to cast its spell upon all who behold its radiant beauty.

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