E-Auction 29 Lot 19

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E-Auction 29 Lot 19

LUCANIA. Sybaris. Before 510 B.C. AR nomos. 8.41 gm. 30 mm. A bull standing left, head looking back; dotted ground line; V M in exergue / Same design, incuse and inverted. HN Italy 1729. SNG ANS 841. Extremely Fine; fresh; full weight; broad flan with edge details. Excellent metal for issue. Handsome coin, good style, with lightly iridescent cabinet toning, highlighting the artistic merits of this dramatic issue.

Ex W.B. & R.E. Montgomery Collection

This is a beautiful example of an important type.

Sybaris, founded by Greeks around 720 BC on the instep of the Italian boot, amassed vast wealth from its busy port and rich agricultural lands, and is frequently identified in ancient literature with ostentatious luxury (hence our word “sybarite,” a self-indulgent lover of luxury). The cities of Greek southern Italy in the sixth and early fifth centuries BC developed the relief/ incuse pattern used to make this remarkable coin. The process required precise flan preparation and die alignment. Stylistically, this bull from Sybaris with its reverted head clearly influenced modern artists such as Picasso.

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