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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 8, Lot: 16. Estimate CHF3750. 
Closing Date: Monday, 21 October 2013. 
Sold For CHF8000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LUCANIA, Metapontum. Circa 400-340 BC. Didrachm or Nomos (Silver, 20mm, 7.37 g 4). ΣΩΤΗΡΙΑ Head of Demeter facing, turned slightly to the right, wearing a wreath of grain ears and a pearl necklace. Rev. ΜΕΤΑ Barley ear with leaf to right. HN III 1523. Noe 449. With a remarkably fine facing head of Demeter of splendid late classical style. Nicely toned. Obverse partly struck flat, otherwise, about extremely fine.

From the B. in B. Collection, ex Sternberg XIV, 24 May 1984, 33.

This is one of the rare facing heads to appear on the coinage of Metapontum and it is one of great beauty. It also illustrates the problem of striking coins with facing heads: the tendency for them to be struck flat. The great esteem in which this type was held is proven by the fact that the British Museum has two of them and Berlin has three! It was struck using only a single pair of dies, and this implies that it was produced for a special occasion, perhaps as a donative by a wealthy citizen; it is, thus, similar to the didrachm with Apollo Karneios in the preceding lot.