Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich
Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, Auction 116

A highly important collection of Greek coins

Tu, 01.10.2019, from 02:30 PM CEST
The auction is closed.

Description

Poseidonia
Nomos circa 500, AR 7.21 g. ΠOMEI – DANS Poseidon bearded, diademed and naked but for chlamys over shoulders, advancing r., hurling trident in upraised r. hand. Rev. The same type incuse. SNG ANS –. SNG Copenhagen –. Historia Numorum Italy –. L. Breglia, Presentazione di uno statere incuso di Poseidonia, in Numismatica 1964, fig. 1 (this coin).
An apparently unique variety of an extremely rare issue. Among the latest, if not the latest,
incuse issue to be struck at Poseidonia. Lovely old cabinet tone, minor traces of
overstriking, otherwise good very fine / about extremely fine

Ex M&M 53, 1977, 13; NAC-Spink Taisei 52 part II, 1994, 1752 and Hirsch 275, 2011, 3100 sales.
Poseidonia was located on a large, fertile plain along the Tyrrhenian coast at the mouth of the river Silaris. It was ideal for trade and agriculture, but was vulnerable to sea-borne attacks and raids from the inland hills. The archaeological record shows that Poseidonia had been populated by the 8th or 7th Century B.C., long before its 'foundation' by colonists from Sybaris, as related by Strabo. Though Poseidonia may have played a role in the famed trade between the Etruscans and the Sybarites, commercial ties between Poseidonia and its mother city could not have been too strong since the early coins of Poseidonia were struck to the Campanian-Phocaean standard rather than the Italic-Achaean standard used at Sybaris. Their relationship must have been reasonably strong, though, for Poseidonia accepted Sybarites who in 510 sought refuge after their city was destroyed by Strabo. Incuse coinage was struck in Poseidonia from about 530 to 500 B.C. showing a heraldic figure of the sea-god Poseidon striding forward with his trident raised as if ready to be thrown. Most scholars have, with good reason, assumed that this figure was inspired by a statue, for it has a monumental quality. The reverse, though less artistic than the obverse, is no less interesting in its composition: it is a complex image with the body and corded border set incuse, yet the chlamys, hair detail, trident, and inscription are all shown in relief.This unique nomos was first described by L. Breglia in 1964. The scholar dates the coin to the last phase of the incuse period for several reasons such as the lack of direct connections to the known dies and some stylistic differences with other incuse specimens. After a general analysis, where Breglia excludes the possibility that the nomos has been re-struck on a different coin, she describes its principal characteristics. The coin shows an obverse legend, ποσειδανι (nomos of Poseidonia), whose form was adopted by several contemporary polis in Magna Greacia such as Siris-Pyxus, Sybaris and Laus. However, at Poseidonia this inscription was used only after circa 470 BC during the phase of double relief coinage, whilst the oldest and more frequent legend in the incuse phase is ποσ, and in some rare dies ποσει. The scholar argues, thanks to some comparisons with red-figure pottery, that the reverse die could be a little older (by perhaps a few years) than the obverse, although signs of its reuse are absent. According to the date derived from Breglia, we can assign the nomos to the last decade of the VI century BC and the beginning of the V century BC- the years following the destruction of Sybaris in 510 BC, and the subsequent arrival of its refugees at Poseidonia.

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Price realized 9'500 CHF
Starting price 6'400 CHF
Estimate 8'000 CHF
The auction is closed.
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