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525517. Sold For $5750

LUCANIA, Sybaris. Circa 510-475 BC. AR Nomos (27mm, 7.86 g, 12h). Bull standing left, head right; VM in exergue / Incuse bull standing right, head left. S&S Class B, pl. XLVIII, 4–8; Gorini 2; HN Italy 1729; SNG ANS 828–44; SNG Lloyd 449–50; Basel 168–9; Bement 213; Dewing 406–7; Gillet 215. Light golden tone. Near EF. Excellent metal, and with a particularly detailed incuse reverse.

Sybaris, located on the bottom of the Italian boot, was founded circa 720 BC and quickly amassed great wealth due to its fertile fields and active port. Descriptions of the city's sumptuous festivals and luxurious dwellings abound in ancient literature, and "Sybarite" became a synonym for any lover of luxury and pleasure. The silver coinage of Sybaris follows the remarkable relief / incuse pattern employed by other cities of Greek southern Italy in the sixth and early fifth centuries BC, which required careful flan preparation and precise alignment of dies. The bull of Sybaris, with its reverted head, exerted a powerful influence on modern artists, including Picasso.