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Research Coins: Electronic Auction


Extremely Rare Issue

446, Lot: 3. Estimate $300.
Sold for $1211. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LUCANIA, Poseidonia. Circa 445-420 BC. AR Nomos (19.5mm, 7.94 g, 12h). Poseidon advancing right, wielding trident overhead; Ǝ[M]OΠ curving downward along left edge; pellet and linear circle borders / Bull standing left; Ǝ[MOΠ] curving along edge above. HN Italy –; SNG München 1060; Auctiones AG 15, lot 14; CNG 78, lot 164 (all from the same dies). VF, toned. Extremely rare.

This nomos belongs to a very rare issue known from only a handful of coins. The characteristics of the flan, broad and thin, and the general style are consistent with the issues of circa 445-420 BC. What is different here is the orientation of the ethnic on both sides, which is positioned in a curve along the edge of the die, instead of the canonical vertical line on either side of Poseidon and a horizontal line immediately above the bull. The canonical positioning of the ethnics actually began in the preceding period of coinage, and lasted through the very latest issues of the mid 4th century BC. The extreme rarity of the issue is suggested by the fact that all the known examples are struck from only one pair of dies.