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Feature Auction
CNG Feature Auction 114

Lot nuber 3

CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 281-276 BC. AV Stater (18.5mm, 8.28 g, 5h).

CNG Feature Auction 114
Lot: 3.
 Estimated: $ 50 000

Greek, 360 Photo, Gold

Sold For $ 65 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 281-276 BC. AV Stater (18.5mm, 8.28 g, 5h). Youthful head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Taras, holding reins in right hand, trident in left, driving fast biga right; star above; below horses, dolphin downward. Fischer-Bossert G21 (V18/R21); Vlasto, Or Type O 1 [b]; Vlasto 16 = Gulbenkian 34 (same dies); HN Italy 955; BMC 13 (same dies). Lustrous. Choice EF. Well centered and struck on a broad flan, in high relief. A choice example of this very rare issue.

This rare and beautiful gold stater type was most likely struck by Pyrrhos of Epiros during his expedition to southern Italy, at Tarentum’s invitation, to fight the expansionist Romans circa 281-276 BC. Struck from dies of extraordinary style in sculptural high relief, the obverse emulates the famous silver coinage of Alexander III the Great of Macedon. The reverse depicts Taras holding a trident and driving a biga, establishing Tarentum as the mint. Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert, citing the support of S. Garraffo and G.K. Jenkins, places the issue during the famous Italian expedition of the Epirote dynast Pyrrhos, whose desire to imitate Alexander’s career of conquest was well known. The bloody campaign of Pyrrhos gave us the term “Pyrrhic Victory,” meaning a victory won at such terrible cost that it might as well be a defeat.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 114 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 13-14 May 2020. This lot is in Session 1, which begins 13 May 2020 at 9 AM ET.

UPDATE: As the CNG staff and many of our clients remain under social distancing and other restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CNG 114 will be held as an internet only auction. The sale will take place as scheduled on 13-14 May 2020.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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