Lot 47: Greek Italy. Etruria, uncertain mint. AV Unit, 3rd century BC. D/ I between two pellets. R/ Similar incuse. Cf. Vecchi EC I, p. 384, 4.1; Garrucci p. 47, pl. LXXI, 3 (from Chiusi). AV. g. 0.02 mm. 6.00 RRR. Extremely rare, very few specimens known. VF. This is the third recorded example of a remarkable series which would seem to represent a gold As. Their extremely light weight would seem to indicate that they of a votive nature, possible as Charon’s obol. The phrase "Charon’s obol" as used by archaeologists sometimes can be understood as referring to a particular religious rite, but often serves as a kind of shorthand for coinage as grave goods presumed to further the deceased's passage into the afterlife. In Latin, Charon's obol sometimes is called a viaticum, or "sustenance for the journey”, and the placement of the coin in the mouth has been explained also as a seal to protect the deceased's soul or to prevent it from returning. Find spots in Etruria have been attested for at Blera (Bieda) in 1885 [Cimino, Baranowsky & Bezzi, 1940, 1-3] and Chiusi before 1874 [= Strozzi 524].
Spink 342, 2018, lot 18.
Base d'asta € 400
Realized price € 550