Numismatik Naumann

Auction 142  –  7 July 2024

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Numismatik Naumann, Auction 142

Ancient and World Coins

Su, 07.07.2024, from 5:00 PM CEST
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Description

★ Great Style ★

LUCANIA. Metapontion. Time of Pyrrhos of Epiros (280-279 BC). GOLD Tetrobol .

Obv: ΛEYKIΠΠOΣ.
Bearded head of Leukippos right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet decorated with Skylla hurling a stone.
Rev: M-E.
Two barley ears, each with leaf to outside; ΣI between.

Johnston G5; HN Italy 1630; SNG ANS 397-8; SNG Copenhagen Suppl. 43; SNG Lockett 404.

Metapontion minted six gold issues beginning in the second half of the 4th century. In 333/332 the city entered into an alliance with Alexander the Molossian and became his main base of action. The first gold fractions, bearing the head of Hera on the obverse, are dated to this period, followed by issues with a frontal female head. On the reverse is the barley ear, which was the city emblem and appeared on all issues. Finally, there are two issues with the type of Leukippos on the obverse, identified by the legend. Strabo reports one version of the colonization of Metapontion, according to which Leukippos was sent by the Achaeans. The head is similar to that appearing on silver Distaters and Staters attributed to the period of Alexander the Molossian. The two sets of Tetrobols are similar in type, but vary essentially in weight: while the former conforms to the Attic standard (2.85g), known specimens of the latter weigh c. 3.20-3.30g, weights that do not seem to fit well into any system of the period. The double barley-ear was probably intended to indicate the use of a different weight system, the same expedient in fact being used later as a value indicator for silver and bronze of the Hannibalic period. Specimens of both of these issues were found in the Bernalda hoard, suggesting contemporary circulation. The use of different weight systems is an open question. Indeed, the city had at first adopted the Achaean standard for gold, then minted the issue with Leukippos on Attic standard, like the gold coins of Tarentum. This change may be connected with a period when, as the gold coinage of Philip II of Macedon had become more widespread, the city decided to mint fine metal coinage on Attic standard, because it was accepted by mercenaries who had to be paid.

Condition: Good very fine.

Weight: 2.85 g.
Diameter: 13 mm.

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Current bid 6'000 EUR 1 bid
Starting price 6'000 EUR
Estimate 7'500 EUR
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