Electrum Hekte, c. 387-326 BC.
Obverse: Head of the Lydian queen, Omphale facing left, wearing the lion’s skin headdress of Herakles, and with his club over her shoulder. Seal below, off-flan.
Reverse: Quadripartite incuse square.
(Bodenstedt Group 107d/a; Boston 1917; SNG Copenhagen 1029; SNG von Aulock 2133).
Good Very Fine.
This coin references a mythical tale of Herakles which was comical to the Ancient Greeks. In it, Hearkles was forced to act as a slave to the Lydian Queen, Omphale. He was forced to wear women’s clothing and perform ‘women’s roles’ about the palace. Omphale, meanwhile, took pleasure in wearing Herakles’ trademark lion-skin headdress, and wielding his club. It is her portrait we see here – the remarkable depiction of the Lydian Queen wearing the lion-skin headdress.