Lucania, Metapontum. c. 290-280 BC

Lucania, Metapontum. c. 290-280 BC


AR Nomos, 7.95g (20mm, 3h). Head of Herakles left, wearing tainia, lion skin around neck; club over far shoulder / Grain ear with leaf to right; META up left field; kantharos above leaf, BI below

Pedigree: From the Gasvoda Collection. Ex Nomos 13 (7 October 2016), lot 11

References: Johnston Class D, 4.1 corr. (control letters on rev.; same dies); HN Italy 1621 corr. (same); Leu 61, lot 38 (same obv. die)

Grade: EF, deeply toned, minor edge split. Very rare with head left, and among the finest known (gk1234)

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The coinage of Metapontum is synonymous with early incuse issues and the many variations of grain ears that were skilfully forged and struck. This beauty still features a grain ear with the city state name but it also has a rare and impressive image of Herakles on the obverse. The style is bold with a proud looking Herakles with high cheekbones and curly hair. He holds a club, his weapon of choice over his shoulder. It is an amazing piece of artistry.

This coin was struck much later than the incuse coinage and the city had lost some of its power as the earlier days. They were still nonetheless a wealthy city as evidenced by this coin.