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Sale 72

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Lot 4396

L. Volumnius (or Volteius) L.f. Strabo, moneyer. Silver Denarius Serratus (3.82g) minted at Rome, 81 BC. Laureate head of Jupiter right; behind, "F." Reverse: Europa astride Jupiter in the guise of a bull charging left, holding her billowing veil; her head looking back; winged thunderbolt in the far right field; ivy leaf in exergue. Craw 377/1; Syd 743; Sear 298. Bold strike, well-centered, with a decent amount of Europa facial details. Attractive light gray toning. Very Rare. Extremely Fine.

Enamored of the fair Europa, Greek mythology tells us that Zeus decided to seduce her. Casting himself as tame white bull, he mixed into her father's herds. While gathering flowers with her attendants, Europa saw the bull, caressed its flanks, and soon got onto its back. Zeus led them to the sea and swam across to Crete, where he revealed his true identity to Europa, who became the first queen of Crete. Zeus gave Europa a necklace made by Hephaestus and three more gifts: Talos, the bronze giant (depicted on the coinage of Phaistos in Crete, see our lot 4072 in The Hunter Collection); Laelaps, the dog that never failed to catch its prey; and a javelin that never missed. Later, Zeus recreated the white bull in the heavens, which became the constellation Taurus. The Romans adopted the tale of the Raptus, "Abduction of Europa," substituting Jupiter for Zeus.
Estimated Value $3,000 - 3,500.
Ex Numismatic Fine Arts XXVII, December 4-5, 1991, lot 435.

Realized $1,783

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