ANONYMOUS (Italy) Talisman with Radiant Head of King and Family of Pigs ca. 1800 [V/P/R] - x +

CN: NUMI1800tali

MT: lead (Ø:7x1)

DN: Mr. Takis Efstathiou - 2007

CM: The Talisman with Radiant Head of King and Family of Pigs must have been produced between the eighteenth and nineteenth century. This talisman is cast from lead and its high levels of oxidization are owed to inappropriate conditions of fluctuating conditions of preservation either in contact with oxygen in either water or earth. The obverse represents the leftward portrait of a radiating king (rex radiatus). The name, which is now extremely illegible, may well be of an imaginary person.

The artist that created the present talisman is likely to have seen coins from Italy of the Roman period representing a pig breastfeeding small pigs. This iconography resonates with the Aenead - specifically Aeneas' encounter of pigs breastfeeding, which he considered to be an omen good enough to found Alba Longa in that geographical location. In creating this talisman the artist took the opportunity to demonstrate his artistic skill by integrating in the background of the composition with the family of pigs a tree on the left side and the back of a farmer in the right.

[Megakles Rogakos 08/2007]

SVORONOS, JEAN N. Modern Greek Traditions Concerning Ancient Coins 1905 Journal International d'Archeologie Numismatique v.8, p.257-292