Search in Feature Auction

CNG Bidding Platform


Products and Services

Use Old Home Page

Feature Auction
Triton XXVII

Lot nuber 13

LUCANIA, Metapontion. Circa 540-510 BC. AR Nomos (27mm, 8.20 g, 12h). Superb EF.

Triton XXVII
Lot: 13.
 Estimated: $ 15 000

Greek, 12h, Coin-in-Hand Video, Silver

Sold For $ 15 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

LUCANIA, Metapontion. Circa 540-510 BC. AR Nomos (27mm, 8.20 g, 12h). Ear of barley with eight grains and bracts at base; MET down left field, pellet border / Incuse ear of barley with eight grains; rayed border. Noe Class I, 1; Gorini –; HN Italy 1459; SNG ANS 166; Kraay & Hirmer 228; Prospero 51 (this coin). Attractively toned, a few minor edge marks. Superb EF.

Ex Classical Numismatic Review XLIII.2 (Summer, 2018), no. 489937; Prospero Collection (New York Sale XXVII, 4 January 2012), lot 51, purchased from Spink, 22 April 1986.

Metapontion was founded by residents of Kroton and Sybaris around 700 BC. Located on the sea coast on the arch of the Italian “boot,” adjoining vast fertile plains, Metapontion grew in importance as a major grain exporter. By the time the Greek world started coining silver, Metapontion was already a significant city in Magna Graecia. Like its Italian neighbors, the city took to coinage early with the first issues commencing circa 540 BC. Like several nearby cities, Metapontion’s first coins used an unusual fabric – an obverse design in relief combined with a reverse depicting the same design incuse. Metapontion chose an ear of barley as its emblem, reflecting the importance of its agricultural bounty.

This incuse coinage remains mysterious. We do not know which city commenced it, or who conceived it (the Greek polymath Pythagoras or one of his disciples have been suggested, but with no evidence aside from his reputed presence in Italy in the later sixth century BC). Despite much speculation and experimentation, we do not know for sure how coins were struck, so the raised and incuse designs remained aligned (theories include notched, socketed or hinged dies). We do know celators throughout southern Italy quickly adopted this minting technology as many incuse coins survived to the present day.

The present coin is an incredibly rare example Noe 1, the very first emission from Metapontion. Perhaps even more remarkable than its rarity is the state of preservation: we have graded this coin Superb EF, and it is probably the finest known from this initial die pair. One must wonder if, at the time of striking, this coin could have been set aside like a modern “First Strike” issue. Whichever way it arrived in the present day, this is a rare opportunity to own a superb example of the inception coinage from this important Greek city.

The final winners of all Triton XXVII lots will be determined at the live public sale that will be held on 9-10 January 2024.

Triton XXVII – Session One – Lot 1-337 will be held Tuesday morning, 9 January 2024 beginning at 9:00 AM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 22.5% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 25% for all others.

We recognize that our users may have various Internet Browsers and Operating Systems. We like our visitors to have the best possible experience when using our bidding platform. However, we do recognize that it is impossible to develop applications that work identically, efficiently and effectively on all web browsers. The CNG bidding platform supports the latest stable major version and stable previous version of Chrome and Firefox.