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BRUTTIUM, Kaulonia. Circa 525-500 BC. AR Nomos (30mm, 8.33 g, 12h). Apollo advancing right, holding branch aloft in right hand, left arm extended, upon which a small daimon, holding branch in each hand, runs right; KAVΛ to left; to right, stag standing right, head reverted; dot-and-cable border / Incuse of obverse, but daimon, branch, and stag’s antlers in outline, and no ethnic; radiate border. Noe, Caulonia, Group A, 5–6 (same obv. die); Gorini 3; HN Italy 2035; SNG ANS 142 (same obv. die); SNG München 1396 (same obv. die); Gulbenkian 119 (same obv. die); Hermitage Sale II 163 (same obv. die); Hunterian 2 (same obv. die). Attractive old cabinet tone, thin flan crack, typical spots of weak strike. EF.

Ex Nomos 13 (7 October 2016), lot 116; Monetarium 47 (Spring 1987), no. 5.

Kaulonia was founded in the 7th century BC by Achaean Greeks. The location, on the underside of Italy's "toe,” has long since disappeared beneath the waves, but underwater archaeologists have located more than 100 fluted columns, likely for a large shrine to Apollo, the deity depicted on the city's beautiful coinage. On this exceptional piece, Apollo's nude body is shown striding to right, with a small winged daimon on his left arm; to his right stands a stag, sacred to both Apollo and his sister Artemis. The unusual fabric of this piece follows a style peculiar to Greek southern Italy in the archaic period: A broad, thin flan, obverse depicted in relief, the reverse repeating the obverse motif but incuse, and reversed. The reasons for the popularity of this fabric are poorly understood; some scholars have postulated a connection to the mathematician-philosopher Pythagoras, who was active in Italy during this period.