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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 36. Estimate CHF1500. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF1300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THRACE, Ainos. Circa 402/1-400/399 BC. Diobol (Silver, 1.36 g 3). Head of Hermes facing, wearing petasos and with his head turned very slightly to his right Rev. ΑΙΝΙ Goat standing right, his forelegs close together; to right, grain. May, Ainos 334 var. (A209/P227 - a die combination unlisted by May). SNG Copenhagen 416. Rare. Lightly toned and most attractive. Nearly extremely fine.

As compared to the earlier profile heads of Hermes at Ainos, the facing heads can, when well-executed like this one, show considerably more emotional power. While this Hermes has long curly hair falling down around the sides of his head, he is nevertheless a very masculine looking god. In fact, he is rather reminiscent of the proud aristocrats one sees in 15th century Renaissance paintings from Florence! To have such a fine head on such a small coin shows how masterful the die engravers at Ainos could be.