A silver diobol or 1/6th stater coin from the town of Metapontum in Lucania, Italy circa 500 BC
Ear of barley; in field to left, META
"The first coinages of Italy were issued in the second half of the sixth century by a group of cities on the coast of the Ionian Sea ... Metapontum, Sybaris and Croton, with Cauilonia following ... All four cities adopted the same weight standard ... The coins were struck with an obverse and a reverse die, but their appearance was unprecedented ... the obverse design appeared normal in relief, while on the reverse a closely similar version of the same design was struck in negative and in alignment with it." Rutter, N.K. "The Coinage of Italy" The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage, Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 128. This coin represents a slight variation on the originasl form, the reverse incuse design being a bull's head shaped to fit the barley of the obverse.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Mr Lincoln, Eugene von Guerard, 15 Mar 1976
circa 500 BC
Eugene von Guerard, Melbourne, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, pre 1880
Listed in Eugene von Guerard's catalogue, vol.1, p.8. Purchased by von Guerard from Mr Lincoln of London for 3 shillings 9 pence.
Type of item
12 mm (Outside Diameter), 1.109 g (Weight)
BMC. Italy p.241 no.42 Sear 239
[Book] Poole, Reginald S. 1873. A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Italy., 241 Pages
[Catalogue] Pullin, Ruth. 2011. Nature Revealed: Eugene von Guerard.