Outstanding Metapontum, Ex HunterLUCANIA. Metapontum. Ca. 540-510 BC. AR stater or nomos (29mm, 8.22 gm, 12h). MET (downward, on left), seven-grained barley ear with bracts at base; dotted border / As obverse, incuse and reversed. Noe Class I, 12; HN Italy 1459. An exceptional example, perfectly struck on a broad, round flan and lightly toned. NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5.
From The California Collection. Ex Hunter Collection (Goldberg 72, 5 February 2013), lot 4006.
Metapontum traced its founding to the 7th century BC, when an Achaean adventurer named Leucippus and his followers put down roots on a fertile plain on the instep of the Italian boot. The city so flourished that its people were said to have dedicated a "golden harvest," probably a golden sheaf of barley, at the great temple of Delphi. Demeter, goddess of the grain harvest, was patroness of the city and her image and symbology figure prominently on the city's coinage. Virtually all of Metapontum's coins bear the symbol of Demeter, a barley ear with the grains arranged in six or seven rows. The earliest issues of the city, ca. 525 BC, feature the grain ear on both sides of the coin, in relief on one side and in incuse on the other.
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