A very rare didrachm or nomos from Velia from the collection of Prof. S. Pozzi
Lot 13
LUCANIA. Velia. Circa 440/35-400 BC. Didrachm or Nomos (Silver, 20 mm, 7.75 g, 2 h). Head of Athena to right, wearing crested Attic helmet adorned with a griffin standing right and a volute on the bowl and a palmette on the neck guard; above visor, [A]; behind neck guard, Φ. Rev. [ΥEΛHTΩN] Lion attacking stag to right, biting him in the neck. Boston MFA 156 (same dies). HN Italy 1270. Pozzi 675 = Williams 153s (this coin, O102/R119). SNG ANS 1252 (same dies). SNG Ashmolean 1122 (same dies). Very rare. Beautifully toned and of wonderful style, and with a very old pedigree. The reverse struck slightly off center, otherwise, good very fine.

Ex Leu 83, 6 May 2002, 29, Schweizerische Kreditanstalt Monetarium FPL 60, autumn 1993, 8 and Schweizerische Kreditanstalt Monetarium FPL 58, autumn 1992, 9, and from the collection of Prof. S. Pozzi, Naville I, 4 April 1921, 246 (acquired by Dr. Jacob Hirsch for 600 CHF).

In antiquity, Velia gained prominence as the birthplace of the Eleatics, a monistic philosophical school. Its name derived from the Greek city name Ἐλέα = Elea, which in turn evolved from the original name Ὑέλη = Hyele in the 5th century BC. Established around 535 BC by Phokaian refugees escaping Persian rule in Asia Minor, the Velians not only inherited knowledge and philosophical influences from the East, but also adopted the type of Athena with an Attic helmet adorned with a griffin from the electrum coinage of their Ionian mother city, Phokaia. Conversely, the reverse of our very rare didrachm depicts a lion attacking a stag, a depiction that was to become typical for the Velian coinage, together with the lion (see lot 14 below).
7500 CHF
Starting price:
6000 CHF
Hammer price:
11000 CHF
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