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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 34. Estimate CHF4500. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF5000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THRACE, Ainos. Circa 408/7-407/6 BC. Drachm (Silver, 2.77 g 7). Head of Hermes wearing petasos to right Rev. ΑΙΝΙ Goat walking right; below his raised right foreleg, crab waving his claws. May, Ainos 288 (A 179/P194). SNG Copenhagen 396. Very rare. Attractively toned and with a lovely head of Hermes. Extremely fine.

Virtually all the coins of Ainos bear a head of Hermes on their obverses. They range in date from early in the 5th century down into the mid 4th, and as such, can serve as a guide to the progression of Classical style. The earliest heads can be rather severe looking, but they soon soften and become more human and approachable. This head exhibits the full-blown classicism characteristic of the end of the 5th century - Hermes appears here as an elegant young man with no apparent worries or concerns. In many ways this drachm is far more attractive than the larger tetradrachms of the same period; perhaps its small size evoked a greater spirit of delicacy from the master engraver who cut its dies. Yet he was almost certainly the same artist who was responsible for the tetradrachm in the previous lot, which has a quite different expression.