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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 65. Estimate CHF14000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF13000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Phalanna. Circa 340 BC. Drachm (Silver, 5.80 g 2). Youthful male head to right, with short, curly hair. Rev. ΦΑΛΑΝ-ΝΑΙΩΝ Bridled horse prancing to right. De Hirsch 1158. De Luynes 1858. Traité IV, 583 and pl. CCXCIII, 6. Very rare. An astonishing coin, sharp, nicely centered and of splendid style. Reverse very slightly double-struck and with an insignificant flan fault, otherwise, good extremely fine.

Precisely who this young man is on the obverse is subject to debate: the lack of a wreath makes it more likely to be Ares than Apollo. The drachm coinage of Phalanna is actually very rare, in this condition extremely so; the coins are probably all from a single issue, or perhaps two, and it is likely that they were all struck at roughly the same time. The similarity of the male head on the obverse to the heads of Apollo on the gold staters of Philip II is almost certainly not a coincidence - the Phalanna head is surely copied from them.