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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

 
90090036
Sale: Nomos 9, Lot: 36. Estimate CHF22500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 20 October 2014. 
Sold For CHF32000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LUCANIA, Metapontum. c. 520-510 BC. Stater (Silver, 27mm, 8.18 g 12). ΜΕΤΑ Ear of barley with eight grains; around, border of dots within two concentric linear circles. Rev. Ear of barley with eight grains, all incuse; rayed border. HN III 1467. Jameson 260 (this coin). Noe 75 (this coin cited). A very attractive, beautifully toned example of splendid quality, struck in high relief on a broad flan. Extremely fine.


From the Escalade Collection, Switzerland, ex Sotheby’s London, 7 March 1996, 34, acquired from Pierre Strauss in 1949 who received it from Jacob Hirsch, from the Jameson Collection, ex Hirsch XVI, 6 December 1906, 91.

A truly outstanding example of the archaic coinage of Metapontum, one of the finest examples of the type known. The curious incuse technique used on a number of the archaic and early classical coinages of Magna Graecia has been plausibly connected to the theories of Pythagoras; in fact it has been suggested that he was responsible for their design. In any case, the design of the coins, especially their borders, is close to contemporary gem cutting (Pythagoras’ father Mnesarchus was a gem engraver).