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Research Coins: Printed Auction


Ex Stevenson and Jameson Collections

Triton XX, Lot: 10. Estimate $20000.
Sold for $20000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 320-315 BC. AV Stater (18mm, 8.57 g, 9h). Head of Hera (or Persephone) left, wearing stephanos, veil, triple pendant earring, and pearl necklace; three dolphins swimming around, TAPA to left / Taras, nude, on horse standing right, crowning horse with wreath held in right hand, left hand holding rein; to upper left, Nike flying right, crowning Taras with open wreath held in both hands; dolphin downward to right, ΣA below horse, star below horse’s foreleg, TAPA[Σ] in exergue. Fischer-Bossert G10j (V9/R10) = Jameson 159 (this coin); Vlasto 24; HN Italy 954 (circa 302 BC); SNG ANS 1032; SNG BN 1789 = de Luynes 237; Boston MFA 71; Gillet 37; Kraay & Hirmer 319 (all from the same dies). Good VF, lightly toned. Very rare.

From the collection of a Northern California Gentleman. Ex George and Robert Stevenson Collection (Classical Numismatic Group XXVI, 11 June 1993), lot 9; Leu 13 (29 April 1975), lot 17; Robert Jameson Collection; J. Hirsch XVI (5 December 1906), lot 19; reportedly from the 1905 Monteparano hoard (IGCH 1950).

The goddess on this beautiful stater has variously been identified as Hera, Amphitrite (consort of Poseidon), or Persephone (in her guise as consort of Hades and queen of the underworld). While Rutter (in HN Italy) prefers Hera, the iconography of the goddess is consistent with Persephone (her diaphanous veil and stephane), and the cult of the chthonian Persephone was one of the most important at Taras.