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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1049. Estimate CHF300. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Gyrton. Circa 340s BC. Chalkous (Bronze, 16mm, 2.73 g 10). Bare youthful male head to right (the hero Gyrton); behind head, tiny letter Π. Rev. ΓΥΡ Head of the nymph Gyrtona to right, wearing earring and necklace. Apparently unpublished. Extremely rare and of excellent style. Dark greenish-brown patina. Nearly extremely fine.

This coin, which rather surprisingly is unpublished, must be related to the even more rare silver hemidrachm that precedes it: both coins have the same tiny letter Π (the early form with the right leg shorter than the left) on the obverse. Its small size and inconspicuous placement suggests an artist’s signature, though it certainly could be a magistrate’s mark.
A note from BCD: I find it hard to believe that the tiny letter on the obverse of this little gem of a coin is a magistrate’s mark. There are more cases where such very small letters appear on Thessalian coins (see, for instance, the previous lot); they almost always appear on coins made from dies of the finest style and, which is also significant, on coins that are carefully struck.