Etruria, Lucca. 10 units III century, AR 4.26 g. Hippocamp r.; below, dolphin and above, dolphin and CC. Rev. Blank. Sambon 24. AMB 19 (this coin). SNG ANS 17. ECC 8.1 (this coin). Historia Numorum Italy 98.
Very rare and in exceptional condition for the issue. Unobtrusive porosity and
an area of oxidation on the reverse, otherwise about extremely fine
Ex Numismatica Ars Classica sale 13, 1998, formerly exhibited at the Antikenmuseum Basel , 19.
The city of Luca was originally settled by the Ligurians and is thought to derive its name from the Ligurian word luk, meaning ”marshy place.” In the fifth century BC, possession of Luca was frequently contested by the Etruscans. By the fourth century BC, the Etruscans seem to have been in full control of the city. Luca is notable for providing safety to Ti. Sempronius Longus and the remains of his Roman army after Hannibal’s crushing victory at the Battle of the Trebia in 218 BC. Later, in 177 BC, Luca was refounded as a Roman colony. The introduction of colonists marked the beginning of the end for Etruscan culture at the city. As in the rest of Etruria it was destined to die in relatively short order as the region became thoroughly Romanized. One of the last persons with the ability to read the Etruscan language was the Emperor Claudius (AD 41-54). The present coin was struck in the third century BC, after Roman influence was already growing strong in Etruria. It features many of the characteristics of Etruscan coinage that makes it stand out from the contemporary coinage of the Greek world. Unlike Greek coins of the third century BC, Etruscan coins were often uniface, struck with a single hammer die. Thus the obverse side of the coin tended to receive the impression of whatever solid surface it was laid upon for striking. Also contrasting with Greek coinage was the Etruscan tendency to eschew inscriptions naming the issuing authority and the frequent use of numerals to indicate face value—here 10 units, each of which was probably equivalent to the bronze as denomination used by the Romans and other Italic peoples. Numeric value marks also became commonplace for Roman silver and gold after the adoption of the denarius in c. 211 BC. The identification of the issuing mint for this hippocamp issue has been problematic for students of Etruscan coinage. It was previously attributed with caution to Populonia or Vetulonia in southwestern Etruria, but new find information now makes Luca seem like a more probable mint for the coinage.
|Price realized||8'000 CHF|
|Starting price||3'600 CHF|