Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 100   |   29 May 2017
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Lot 69





Estimate: 2'500 CHF   |   Starting price: 2'000 CHF Price realized: 3'500 CHF
Thurium. Nomos circa 443-400 BC, AR 7.88 g. Head of Athena r., wearing Attic helmet; above, [Φ]. Rev. ΘΟΥΡΙΩ[Ν] Bull walking r.; below, bird. In exergue, tunny fish r. Jameson 351 (this coin). SNG ANS 952. Historia Numorum Italy 1772.
A masterpiece of classical style, perfectly centered, with a delightful old cabinet
tone and outstanding pedigree. About extremely fine / extremely fine

Ex Leu-M&M December 1965, Niggeler, 63; Auctiones 7, 1977, 56; NAC 8, 1995, 71; Hirsch 194, 1997, 61; NAC M, 2002, 2081; Astarte 6, 2000, 58 and Tom Cederlind, 2007, 16 sales. From the Evans and Jameson collections.
Thourian coinage is renowned for the fine artistry of its dies. This particular coin has been traditionally considered as an early work of the great master engraver Phrigillos, who signed dies at Syracuse and whose work has also been identified at Terina and even at Pharsalos. As a matter of fact, the bird stamp is traditionally considered as alluding to his own name (öρυγßλλoς = finch) as is also proven by the fact that on other issues by the Master we will find the letters ”Φ” or ”ΦΡΥ” next to the bird (the letter ”Φ” also appears on some of the most finely styled contemporary coins from other Magna Graecian cities such as Herakleia, Velia and Terina).
The severe dignity of Athena’s face is a beautiful example of classical coinage at its best, while the standing bull, probably derived from the old badge of Sybaris, shows a tremendous, yet restrained, power typical of the city’s earliest coins.

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