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    Extremely Rare Mint State Taras Stater

    CALABRIA. Tarentum. Time of Pyrrhus of Epirus (ca. 276-272 BC). AV stater (19mm, 8.57 gm, 5h). NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. Head of Heracles right, wearing lion skin headdress, paws tied before neck / TAPANTI-NΩ-N, male youth (Taras?), nude but for chlamys draped over arm, reins in right hand, trident in left, driving fast biga right; API monogram above hooves, thunderbolt below. Fischer-Bossert G26. Vlasto 11. cf. HN Italy 984. Solidly struck from fresh dies on gleaming flan. A gorgeous coin in hand. Extremely rare and likely the finest extant.

    From the Cameron Collection

    From the time he became king of Epirus in 319 BC, the handsome and charismatic Pyrrhus dreamed of emulating his cousin Alexander the Great's career of conquest. He married Lanassa, the daughter of king Agathocles of Syracuse, in 295 BC and an opportunity presented itself in 280 BC, when the city of Tarentum in southern Italy sought his assistance in resisting Rome. Landing in Italy with his army and several war elephants, he marched against the Roman consul Publius Valerius Laevinus and defeated him in a bloody encounter near Heraclea. Pyrrhus won a second, even more costly victory at Ausculum in 279 BC, after which he is said to have remarked, "another such 'victory' and I am finished!" Thus was born the phrase "Pyrrhic victory," a battle won at such cost that it might as well be a defeat. Next, the Siceliotes lobbied for his support against Roman ally Carthage in 278 BC, resulting in Pyrrhus taking over the island and being acclaimed 'King of Sicily'. The presence of Pyrrhus in southern Italy and Sicily soon became an occupation, with the hosting cities forced to strike coins to pay the army. He returned to Italy in 276 BC and eventually to Epirus.
    From the Cameron Collection

    Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000.

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    View Certification Details from NGC

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    Proxy Bidding Ends
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    This lot is in: 2 - Signature® Floor Session Platinum Night (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 31001-31190) - 5:00 PM Central Time, Thursday, May 6, 2021.
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    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261

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