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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXI, Lot: 329. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $1200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BRUTTIUM(?), Uncertain. 3rd century BC. AR Nomos (20.5mm, 6.67 g, 3h). Youthful head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin; club over far shoulder / Nike, wearing long chiton, standing left, holding wreath in right hand. Unpublished. Good VF, toned, light scratch on obverse, minor double strike and a small area of smoothing on reverse. Unique.

From the J. L. Gomer Collection. Ex Elvira E. Clain-Stefanelli Collection (Naville Numismatics 24, 17 July 2016), lot 75.

This coin is a true enigma. As an anepigraphic issue, one must look to other aspects of the coin for attribution, but the types here are rather ubiquitous, and the physical aspects of the piece do not suggest even a particular region. Clain-Stefanelli apparently attributed the coin to Bruttium during the Pyrrhic Wars, but without her reasoning, it can only be regarded as speculative. Teanum Sidicinum in Campania struck an issue of nomoi with a head of Herakles and club on the obverse, and Nike in a chariot on the reverse, but the style of this issue seems foreign to that city, and its weight is too low without any significant wear. With the lack of information regarding its discovery, the attribution of this issue remains a mystery.