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Research Coins: Printed Auction

Triton XX, Lot: 11. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $12000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 320-315 BC. AV Hemistater – Drachm (13mm, 4.25 g, 3h). Head of Satyra left, hair bound with two crossing cords and tied at the back of her head leaving a cascade of loose curls, wearing triple pendant earring, and pearl necklace; retrograde [T]A-PA above, dolphin downward below chin, ΣA behind neck / Phalanthos, nude but for chlamys draped over his shoulders, holding crowning Nike in extended right hand and cradling trident in left arm, riding dolphin left; |-H and waves below. Fischer-Bossert G13m (V10/R13 – this coin); Vlasto 26; HN Italy 950; SNG ANS 1033; SNG Lockett 273 = Weber 549 (all from the same dies). VF, a couple light marks. Rare.

From the collection of a Northern California Gentleman. Ex Patrick A. Doheny Collection (Sotheby’s, 20 June 1979), lot 5; Ars Classica XVI (3 July 1933), lot 88.

The obverse type of this coin has traditionally been described as the nymph Satyra, mother of Taras, though the evidence is lacking for positive identification. This rendition of Satyra is stylistically similar to that of another local water nymph, Peirene, as she appears on Corinthian drachms. The cascading hair style is the obvious attribute for a water nymph interpretation. The reverse bears the standard Tarentine silver nomoi type depicting Phalanthos astride a dolphin.