Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 96   |   6 October 2016 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 1002

Estimate: 6'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 4'800 CHF Price realized: 5'000 CHF
Greek Coins
Calabria, Tarentum. Nomos circa 333-331/330 BC, AR 7.82 g.
Description Naked horseman r., spearing downward with r. hand and holding shield and two further spears with l.; in field, Ü – L and below horse, KAL / A. Rev. TARAS Dolphin rider r., holding crested Phrygian helmet; on either side, star and below, API. References
Locker Lampson 13 (this coin)
Vlasto 554
SNG Lloyd 178 (these dies)
Fischer Bossert 770h (this coin)
Kent-Hirmer pl. 107, 311
Historia Numorum Italy 896 Condition
Of masterly style and with a delightful old cabinet tone. Reverse slightly off-centre, other­wise good extremely fine Provenance
Ars Classica sale XVI, 1933, Arthur Colgate collection, 73
Hess-Leu sale 49, 1971, Desneux collection, 14
Leu sale 81, 2001, Abecassis collection, 9
Triton sale XVIII, 2015, 314
The Locker Lampson collection
The collection of the Money Museum Zürich
From the Carosino hoard of 1905 (IGCH 1928)
No other series of Greek coins offers such a consistently high degree of style for so long a period of time, and the brilliant variety for which Tarentine coins are famous make it one of the most desirable areas in all of Greek coinage to collect. On this coin we see the rider on horseback exercising his martial prowess, galloping forward and preparing to thrust a javelin into an object which the viewer does not see. On his far side he carries a round shield and two additional spears. The reverse depicts the dolphin rider facing to the right, holding a helmet of Phrygian design with cheek guards and a long, sweeping crest. Two stars in the fields flank the dolphin rider, and should perhaps be interpreted as alluding to the Dioskouroi and thus to Sparta. If so, then the design should be seen in light of the ill-fated expedition of the Spartan king Archidamos III. In 343/2 B.C. at the request of the city’s leading citizens, the Spartan king arrived with a fleet and soldiers in order to help the Tarentines to repel incursions by their Italic neighbors, notably the noisome Lucanians to Tarentum’s north and west. He was subsequently killed during the fighting, and the dolphin rider here may be thought of as mourning the slain Spartan king.

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