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Extremely Rare Kroton-Pandosia “Alliance” Issue

567721. Sold For $19500

BRUTTIUM, Kroton. Alliance issue with Pandosia. Circa 500-480 BC. AR Nomos (26.5mm, 7.94 g, 5h). Tripod, legs surmounted by wreaths and terminating in lion's feet, set on basis of three lines, the central dotted; (koppa)PO to left / Bull standing right, head reverted, in linear rectangle within incuse rectangle; ΠAN-O(retrograde D) in margin above and below; radiate border. Montesanti Series VII-1, fig. 13 = Gorini 3 ill. = Basel 205 (same dies); HN Italy 2097; SNG Ashmolean 1534 (same rev. die); BM Museum No. 1950,1002.2 (same rev. die); Garrucci pl. CIX, 2 (“Collection Santangelo”); Gilet 289 (same dies); Hess-Leu 24, lot 37 = Hess-Leu [9], lot 39 (same rev. die); Traité I 2175, pl. LXX, 12 (same dies); Rev. A.W. Hands, Coins of Magna Graecia (London, 1909), p. 193 ill. (rev. only, same die). Lightly toned, usual light roughness. VF. Extremely rare Alliance issue, only eight published with bull right; the first offering of the type since the sale of the Basel piece in NAC 13 (1998).

Ex Kenneth Bressett Collection, purchased from the collection of Walter Sheridan, 2003.

In 510 BC, Kroton destroyed its rival, Sybaris. Current scholarship indicates that the cities of Pandosia and Temesa were associated with Sybaris, and that, following the destruction of the latter, all of these cities came under the domination of Kroton. Although some references refer to the association of these cities as an alliance, it was more likely a dominion that was controlled by Kroton, with Pandosia, Sybaris, and Temesa acting as dependencies (see Rutter, Greek, p. 36, and IACP p. 267). This association was commemorated on a variety of coin issues, which were struck almost exclusively at Kroton; Temesa being the only other, striking a single issue that is quite rare today. Other than these coins, there is little evidence attesting to the activity of this dominion, and it appears to have dissolved at some point in the second half of the 5th century BC. All of the issues feature the canonical tripod and ethnic of Kroton on the obverse (except for that at Temesa, which lacks the ethnic), while the reverses feature the iconography and ethnic of one of the other cities. The first of these issues was struck near the end of Kroton's incuse type coinage, c. 500-480 BC, and the present coin is from this early group. On these coins, the reverse features the ethnic of Pandosia and a bull standing with its head reverted. The bull is depicted as it is typically found on contemporary issues at Sybaris, and its appearance here suggests that Pandosia had previously been a dependency of Sybaris (see IACP p. 285). This coinage is arguably the rarest of all the "alliance" coin issues known today, with approximately only nine examples, struck from two obverse and two reverse dies.