PHOCAEA ( PHOKAIA ) ELECTRUM HECTE ( HEKTE ) – GRYLLOS OF YOUNG AND OLD SATYR BODENSTEDT TYPE 70 – CHOICE VF STAR NGC GRADED GREEK IONIA COIN (Inv. 15015)
IONIA. PHOCAEA (PHOKAIA). Ca. 477-388 BC.
EL Hecte ( Hekte ), 2.57 g, 10 mm.
Obv. Head of a gryllos left (a youthful satyr combined with an old Silenus emerging from his head), seal swimming downward in left field.
Rev. Quadripartite incuse square.
NGC graded CHOICE VF STAR, Strike 5/5, Surface 5/5, with a very interesting and misunderstood figural type. Combining the faces of young satyr with an old satyr (Silenus) into one, the pointed year doing double duty for both heads, this composition is known as a gryllos. In antiquity Grylloi were whimsical “composite creatures”, joining two or more heads, human and animal, into one. They are frequently encountered in Greek and especially Roman jewelry, and often present contrasts, such as here, where youth and old age are brought into play.