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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 5. Estimate CHF10000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF10500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 290-281 BC. Stater (Silver, 7.83 g 5). Helmeted rider on horse prancing to left, holding, in his left hand, a large shield ornamented with a dolphin and, in his right, two spears; above and to right, ΑIΛ; below, ΑΠΗ Rev. ΤΑΡΑΣ Phalanthos, nude, riding on dolphin to left, holding spindle over his left shoulder; to left CΟΙ; to right, ornamental trident pointed downwards. Fischer-Bossert 1137. HN III, 940. Vlasto 648-650. A superb piece in exceptionally fine condition. Bright, lustrous, fresh and perfectly struck in high relief. Good extremely fine.

This must be one of the finest early 3rd century Tarentine staters in existence. These coins were struck in great numbers to pay for military needs, but they were struck rapidly, which means that most are slightly off-struck with parts off the flan, with flat areas, etc. Absolutely perfect pieces are very, very rare. The engraver really wanted to show the blazon on the shield of this rider, even though doing so would make it difficult to depict him: he succeeded admirably with the large shield realistically covering most of the rider’s torso, just leaving his helmeted head and bare leg visible.