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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1039. Estimate CHF800. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF6500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Eurymenai. Circa 352-344 BC. Trichalkon (Bronze, 20mm, 7.02 g 5). Head of young Dionysos to right, wearing ivy wreath. Rev. ΕΥΡΥΜΕΝΑΙΩΝ (beginning at the top left and ending at the bottom left Grape vine with leaves and six bunches of grapes; to the right of the trunk, dolphin swimming downwards; to the left, krater. Rogers 212. Traité IV, 753, pl. CCCI, 2. Extremely rare. Beautifully struck and centered and with a lovely, dark green patina. Nearly extremely fine/extremely fine.

The coinage of Eurymenai is basically very rare, especially in good condition: this piece is probably the finest example known. While Imhoof-Blumer identified the head on the obverse as that of a nymph (Nymphen und Chariten auf griechischen Münzen, JIAN XI, 1908, 373) the very well preserved example we have here makes it clear we are dealing with a young Dionysos (as Warren, NC 1961, and Head, HN², had already noted - among others). What is particularly interesting about this coin is the vessel on the reverse, usually termed a krater in most publications (Imhoof-Blumer cautiously terms it merely “a vessel”). Its shape is very unusual for a krater, since it has a high round belly on a long, thin stem, unlike almost all Classical krater-shapes. It does, however, look curiously like wine vessels that existed in Mycenaean times (!) and it would be interesting if this was a local survival that continued in use for ritual purposes.