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Research Coins: Electronic Auction


Pedigreed Pyrrhos Tetrobol

412, Lot: 16. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $5500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LUCANIA, Metapontion. temp. Pyrrhos of Epeiros. Circa 280-279 BC. AV Tetrobol – Third Stater (12.5mm, 2.80 g, 1h). Attic standard. Bearded head of Leukippos right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet decorated with Skylla hurling a stone; [ΛEYKIΠΠOΣ above] / Two six-grained barley ears, each with a curly leaf to outside; M-E across outer fields, ΣI between. Johnston G5.2 (same dies); HN Italy 1630; SNG ANS 397–8; SNG Lockett 404; Basel 153 = Gillet 202; Dewing 378; Gulbenkian 72; Jameson 1867. EF, lustrous, slightly off center, small patch of die rust on reverse.

Ex Heritage 3012 (2 January 2011), lot 24833; Early American History Auctions (10 November 2007), lot 1200; Triton V (16 January 2002), lot 1107; Münzen und Medaillen AG FPL 603 (December 1998), no. 3.

Demonstrating the usual flare shown by the die engravers in the service of Pyrrhos during his military expedition in Italy and Sicily, the small gold issues of 280/279 depicting Nike and Leukippos (HN Italy 1629-1631) are of a refinement second to none. The traditional city founder is rendered in exquisite detail with the added novelty of his helmet being decorated with Skylla hurling a stone, the very embodiment of aggressive violence before the enemy in time of war.