Frank AuerbachPrimrose Hill Summer Sunshine 1964 Arts Council Collection Southbank Centre Frank Auerbach courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

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A beautiful ancient Punic electrum (a gold/silver alloy) stater from the city of Carthage, struck circa 300 B.C. in Carthage. 

The obverse with a superb portrait of the chief goddess of Carthage, Tanit, shown facing left, wearing earring and necklace, her hair tied up with grain wreath.

The reverse with horse standing facing right.

Carthage, one of the great cities of antiquity, was ideally located on the North African coast in modern day Tunisia. Her position enabled her to become a powerful and influential city-state. Embodied, at one point, by one of history's greatest military leaders, Hannibal. Carthage was eventually completely destroyed in 146 B.C. by the Romans after a series of enormous battles known as the Punic wars.

This beautiful coin shows the city's chief deity, Tanit on the obverse while the reverse depicts the iconic Carthaginian horse.

A beautiful coin type, this example with lovely, iridescent toning, struck by one of humanity's great lost civilizations.

Diameter: 18 mm. Weight: 7.35 g.

Provenance: Ex collection of Parisian Dr L.A. acquired during the 1980's. 

Dr LA formed one of the most charming and personal collections of ancient coins that we have handled. The theme was his childhood passion for animals, which began at the age of seven when he found and nursed a young, wounded owl. 

He collected for many years, selecting only beautiful and well preserved examples. The coins he purchased show depictions of wild animals, a fascination that he shared with the artists who made them. 

(source artancientltd)