|Lot 78. Sicily, Alontion. Ca. 334-325 B.C. Æ (16 mm, 5.94 g, 12 h). Head of Athena left, wearing Chalkidian helmet / A-[Λ]-O-N-[T]-IN-O-N, octopus. CNS 1; HGC 2, 211. Very rare. Deep brownish-black patina. Very fine.
There were two cities in Sicily issuing a bronze coin showing the helmeted head of Athena on the obverse paired with a reverse depicting an octopus, Adranon and Alontion. The coins from Adranon depict Athena wearing a Corinthian helmet, which derives from the town having been founded as a settlement by colonists from Syracuse - itself a Corinthian colony - around 400 B.C., and those from Alontion depict her wearing a Chalkidian helmet, as here. Alontion was not a Chalkidian colony, however, having been a native Sikel settlement, so the reasoning behind the choice of Chalkidian helmet is not known. The octopus of the reverse derives from the near-contemporary coinage of Syracuse under Dionysios I (405-367 B.C.).
Estimate: US$ 200