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Lot
20007

Ancients: Bruttium, Rhegion. Ca. 415/0-387 B.C. AR tetradrachm,...

2010 August Boston, MA Signature ANA World Coin Auction #3010

 
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Auction Ended On: Aug 12, 2010
Item Activity: 1 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Location:

Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Description:
An Impressive Tetradrachm from Rhegion
Bruttium, Rhegion. Ca. 415/0-387 B.C. AR tetradrachm, (22 mm, 16.46 g, 10 h). Facing lion's head / Laureate head of Apollo right; behind, olive spray. Herzfelder 75 (D43/R63); SNG ANS 660; HN Italy 2496; BMFA 204 (same dies). Choice XF, lovely toning. A magnificent specimen.

Ex Triton I (2 December 1997), 179.

Rhegion was a city of Magna Graecia at the toe of Italy founded by colonists from Euboian Chalkis, Peloponnesian Messenia, and Sicilian Zankle in the eighth century B.C. According to tradition, the Chalkidians provided the main impetus for the foundation, when, following a disastrous harvest they dedicated one tenth of their citizen body to Apollo at Delphi. Faced with this influx of starving people, the god reportedly advised the Chalkidians to seek their fortunes and found a new city in the rich farmlands of Italy. It is probably for this reason that Apollo appears so prominently on the coinage of Rhegion. The lion mask may refer to the Nemean lion slain by Herakles and therefore stands as a badge of the Messenian component of the Rhegian population.

The beauty of this coin is enhanced not only by the flawless execution of the types in a high classical style, but by the quality of preservation. This is especially noticeable with the ferocious facing lion's head on the obverse, a compositional masterpiece that creates an illusion of extreme depth. On the reverse, Apollo's expressive face gives the impression that he is just about to offer a cryptic message about the future through one of his several oracles.

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