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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Italy||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Greek Coins of Italy (Magna Graecia)

Velia, Lucania, Italy, c. 334 - 300 B.C.

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Signed! The KE monogram is the signature of Kleudoros, the artist or mint master of Velia. Interesting helmet decoration. We know his name because he signed his full name in the genitive case on one obverse die. On his reverses there is, in addition, usually a control mark, ether Θ, Φ, or A.
GI13690. Silver didrachm, Williams Velia 349 (O180/R253), SNG ANS 1339 (same dies), SNG München 868 (same), McClean 1449 (same), HN Italy 1296, HGC 1 1314, aVF, nicely toned, old scratch on obverse, small test cut on edge, weight 7.606 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Velia mint, c. 340 - 310 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Phrygian helmet decorated with sphinx, KE (Kleudoros monogram) behind neck; reverse lion left devouring prey, Φ below, YEΛHTΩN in exergue; SOLD


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 470 - 425 B.C.

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Iokastos was the founder of Rhegion. He died of a snakebite. Iokastos was one of six sons of Aiolos, ruler of the Aeolian islands, all of whom secured their own realms in Italy and Sicily.

Of all the coins that have passed through my hands, this is one of my favorites - Joe Sermarini
SH33193. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Lockett 651; SNG ANS 640 var. (swan vice snake); BMC Italy p. 374, 14 (snake not mentioned); Pozzi -; SNG Cop -, Choice gVF, weight 17.312 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 150o, Rhegion mint, c. 470 - 425 B.C.; obverse facing lion's scalp, sprig with two olives right; reverse PHΓI−NOΣ (retrograde), Iokastos seated left, staff in right, left resting on seat, snake beneath seat, all within laurel wreath; toned, hairline crack, slightly bent, reverse lightly double struck; rare; SOLD


Hyria, Campania, Italy, 405 - 400 B.C.

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A beautiful example of this very rare type. More magnificent in hand!
SH28126. Silver didrachm, SNG Cop 380, Choice gVF, weight 7.224 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 225o, Hyria mint, 405 - 400 B.C.; obverse head of Hera Lakinia facing slightly right, wearing necklace and polos ornamented with palmette between the foreparts of two griffins; reverse man-faced bull walking right; superb style, nice metal, well centered, few light scratches in reverse fields, old cabinet toning; very rare; SOLD


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, 334 - 330 B.C.

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Gold coins of Magna Graecia are scarce and were only minted for exceptional occasions, such as paying mercenaries. Most likely this rare issue was struck when Alexander Molossus, the Epirote King, helped Metapontion against the Lucanians and Bruttians. Molossus was Alexander the Great's uncle and Olympia's brother.
SH86428. Gold 1/3 stater, SNG Lockett 406; SNG ANS 395; HN Italy 1578; Noe-Johnston 3, G1 and pl. 18; SNG Lloyd -; SNG Cop -; Jameson -; Gulbenkian -; Pozzi -; Weber -, aVF+, fine style, marks, reverse double struck, weight 2.574 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 180o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 334 - 332 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing stephane and pendant earring; reverse METAΠON, barley stalk, bird right on leaf to right; ex Forum (2007), ex Christie's Auction (1993) ; very rare; SOLD


Thourioi, Lucania, Italy, c. 400 - 350 B.C.

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A superb example from the period when Thurium's coinage reached its highest point of excellence in execution. The head of Athena is probably that of the sea-goddess Athena Skyletria. The bull may be a symbol of Dionysos or may have been derived from the archaic coins of Sybaris and symbolize the river Krathis. A more romantic view is that the butting bull symbolizes the rushing waters of the fountain Thuria from which the city took its name.
SH28048. Silver double nomos, Noe Thurian, group F, 28 (same dies); HN Italy 1805; SNG ANS 969; SNG Lloyd 486 (same dies); Jameson 359 (same dies); Pozzi 229 (same dies), VF, toned, weight 15.461 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 0o, Thourioi (near Sibari, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy) mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with Skylla scanning; I∆ behind neck guard; reverse ΘOYPIΩN, bull butting right, fish right in exergue; well struck on a broad flan, ex Sunrise Collection, Triton X lot 45; SOLD


Taras, Calabria, Pyrrhus of Epirus, c. 280 B.C.

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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

Gold coins of Magna Graecia are scarce and were only minted for exceptional occasions, such as paying mercenaries. In 279 BC, Pyrrhus forces, supporting the Greek cities of southern Italy, met and defeated the Romans at the battle of Asculum in Apulia. Pyrrhus, however, lost many men, several close associates, and all of his baggage. When one of his soldiers congratulated him on his victory, he famously replied: "Another such victory and we are ruined!" From this we have the term Pyrrhic victory, a victory achieved at ruinous cost.

SH24865. Gold quarter stater, Fischer-Bossert p. 370, G59g and pl. 68 (this coin); HN Italy 986; Vlasto 49; SNG ANS 1043, VF, weight 2.134 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 225o, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 280 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, AP monogram behind; reverse TAPANTINΩN, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, (AP monogram) left; ex Hess-Leu, 27th March 1956, lot 12; rare; SOLD


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 450 - 445 B.C.

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Iokastos was the founder of Rhegion. He died of a snakebite. Iokastos was one of six sons of Aiolos, ruler of the Aeolian islands, all of whom secured their own realms in Italy and Sicily.
SH46848. Silver tetradrachm, SNG ANS 636, SNG Cop 1928, HN Italy 2477, VF/F, damaged reverse die, weight 16.915 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, Rhegion mint, obverse facing lion's scalp, sprig with two olives right; reverse PHΓI−NOΣ (retrograde), Iokastos seated left, staff in right, left resting on seat, snake beneath seat, all within laurel wreath; high relief sculptural obverse; SOLD


Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 240 - 228 B.C.

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Taras, the only Spartan colony, was founded in 706 B.C. by the Partheniae ("sons of virgins"), sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta). When they were forced to leave Greece, their leader, Phalanthos, consulted the oracle at Delphi and was told to make Taranto their home. They named the city Taras after the son of Poseidon and a local nymph, Satyrion. According to one legend, Phalanthos was rescued by a dolphin after a shipwreck near Delphi. Some descriptions of this and similar coin types identify the dolphin rider as Phalanthos. But Aristotle wrote that it was Taras, not Phalanthos, who was saved by a dolphin. On this coin the rider holds a trident, supporting Aristotle and suggesting he is the son of Poseidon. This symbol of the ancient Greek city is still the symbol of modern Taranto today.
SH20278. Silver stater, SNG ANS 1262, HN Italy 1059, Vlasto 968 - 968, sharp gVF, toned, weight 6.554 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 315o, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 240 - 228 B.C.; obverse warrior on horseback right, torso turned right, right arm extended, Nike above flying right crowning him, monogram behind, KAΛΛIKPA/THΣ in two lines below; reverse Taras (or Phalanthos) seated on a dolphin left naked, Nike in right hand, trident in left hand, NE monogram above dolphins tail, TAPAΣ below; ex Coin Galleries mail bid sale 11/21/69, #990; SOLD


Kroton, Bruttium, c. 350 - 340 B.C.

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In 295 B.C., Kroton fell to another Syracusan tyrant, Agathocles. When Pyrrhus invaded Italy in 280 B.C., it was still a considerable city, with twelve miles (19 km) of walls, but after the Pyrrhic War, half the town was deserted (Livy 24.3). What was left of its population submitted to Rome in 277 B.C. After the Battle of Cannae in the Second Punic War, Hannibal made it his winter quarters for three years and the city was not recaptured until 205 or 204 B.C. In 194 B.C., it became the site of a Roman colony. Little more is heard of it during the Republican and Imperial periods.
SH15423. Silver nomos, SNG ANS 379 (same dies), Head HN 2160, VF, weight 7.053 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 90o, Kroton (Crotone, Calbria, Italy) mint, c. 350 - 340 B.C.; obverse head of Hera Lakinia facing, wearing stephane; reverse Herakles seated left on lion-skin, holding cup in extended right; above, bow, quiver and club; attractive high relief obverse and nicely toned; SOLD


Kroton, Bruttium, Italy, c. 300 - 208 B.C.

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A beautiful example of this this enigmatic type with the date, denomination, god depicted, and purpose uncertain. Rutter describes it as an octobol from c. 300 - 250 B.C. Cahn, Mildenburg, Russo and Voegtli, in the Ludwig catalog, favor c. 215 - 208 B.C. during the Second Punic War.
SH28056. Silver half stater, HN Italy 2195 (octobol), SNG ANS 421 - 422, EF, weight 3.107 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 90o, Kroton (Crotone, Calbria, Italy) mint, c. 300 - 208 B.C.; obverse head of young Herakles or river-god Aesaros right wearing taenia; reverse owl standing left, head facing, barley stalk at feet, KPO right; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Fischer-Bossert, W. Chronologie Der Didrachmenprägung von Tarent 510-280 v. Chr. (Berlin, 1999).
Grunauer von Hoerschelmann, S. "Die Bronzeprägung von Poseidonia" in AIIN 18/19 Suppl. (1973).
Jameson, R. Collection R. Jameson. Monnaies grecques antiques. (Paris, 1913-1932).
Johnston, A. "The Bronze Coinage of Metapontum" in Kraay-Mørkholm Essays, pp. 121-136.
Johnston, A. The Coinage of Metapontum, Part 3. ANSNNM 164. (1990).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Naville Co. Monnaies grecques antiques S. Pozzi. Auction 1 (4 April 1921, Geneva).
Noe, S. The coinage of Metapontum, Parts 1 and 2. ANSNNM 32 and 47. (1927 and 1931).
Noe, S. The Thurian Distaters. ANSNNM 71. (New York, 1935).
Ravel, O., Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Tarentine Coins formed by M.P. Vlasto. (London, 1947).
Rutter, N., ed. Historia Numorum. Italy. (London, 2001).
Poole, R., ed. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Italy. (London, 1873).
Sambon, A. Les monnaies antiques de l'Italie. (Paris, 1903).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1, Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 1: Italy - Sicily. (New Jersey, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 1: Hispania-Sikelia. (Berlin, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale, Vol. 6, Part 1: Italy (Etruria-Calabria). (Paris, 2003).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain II, Lloyd Collection. (London. 1933-1937).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection, Part 1: Spain - Italy (gold and silver). (London, 1938).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain V, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. (London. 1951 - 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 1: Spain (Emporiae, Rhoda)-Italy. (London, 1940).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain X, John Morcom Collection. (Oxford, 1995).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 1: Etruria - Calabria. (New York, 1969).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 2: Lucania. (New York, 1972).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 3: Bruttium - Sicily 1 (Abacaenum-Eryx). (New York, 1975).
Taliercio Mensitieri, M. "Simboli, lettere, sigle sul bronzo di Neapolis" in Studi Breglia.
van Keuren, F. The Coinage of Heraclea Lucaniae. (Rome, 1994).
Williams, R. Silver Coinage of Velia. (London, 1992).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, November 20, 2019.
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Italy (Magna Graecia)