Dekadrachm Head of Arethusa
- Place of origin:
ca. 406-345 BC (made)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
This ancient Greek coin is a dekadrachm of Syracuse, signed by Euainetos. A drachm is the basic monetary unit in ancient Greece (and still today), originating from the word 'dragma', which means 'handful'. A drachm is a medium sized coin, weighing around 4 grams and with a diameter of about 1.6 to 1.9 cm. A Dekadrachme (ten-drachm) is a larger silver coin, which weighs around 40 grams. Greek coins were made by a crude form of striking, the rough blank of metal being placed between two dies engraved with the required image and the whole assemblage being hit with a hammer, thus obverse and reverse were impressed simultaneously, sometimes with uneven results.
The coins bequeathed to the V&A by George Salting include examples of silver coins from Syracuse of the 4th century BC, a set of gold imperial coins of Rome, and some fine specimens of bronze denarii of the Roman Empire.
Obverse: Head of Arethusa. Around four dolphins. Behind neck a scallop-shell.
Reverse: Galloping quadriga, charioteer holds goad and reins, above Nike flying.
Place of Origin
ca. 406-345 BC (made)
Materials and Techniques
Diameter: 3.68 cm, Weight: 44.06 g
Object history note
From the Salting bequest.
Coin, dekadrachm of Syracuse, silver, head of Arethusa / quadriga, by Euainetos, Greek, ca. 406-345 BC
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 106
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Vol 1, Part 1, 'the Collection of Capt. E. G. Spencer-Churchill, M.C., of Northwick Park' and 'The Salting Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum', London, published for the British Academy by Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, London and Spink and Son, London, S.N.G. 8
Coins & Medals; Myths & Legends; Sculpture; Portraits