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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1050. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $1300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 334-331 BC. AV 1/20 Stater (0.43 gm). Attic Standard. Donative issue struck for Alexander the Molossian's campaigns. Radiate, facing head of Helios slightly right / TAPAN, thunderbolt; APOL to right. Vlasto 14 (this coin); Côte 197/198. EF. Very rare. ($750)

Ex Classical Numismatic Group Auction 40 (4 December 1996), lot 591; M.P. Vlasto Collection.

Mimicking the types of Alexander the Molossian, this issue was struck at the same time as the Tarentine gold staters of the horseman type. This coin and the similar type of Alexander (cf. Vlasto 1865) are based on two different systems of division but on the same weight standard. Alexander's is divided on the obol system and this Tarentine issue on the litra system; hence a ratio of 3:5 between the two. It is possible that the two systems were employed to reflect different categories of base pay for the mercenaries.