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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1071. Estimate CHF3500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF50000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Kierion. Circa 350 BC. Stater (Silver, 11.12 g 3). Laureate head of Zeus to right, his hair and beard abundant and curly. Rev. [ΚΙΕΡΙΕΙΩΝ] Youthful Asklepios, nude to the waist, seated to left on rocks, holding long scepter in his left hand and resting his right on his upraised right knee; to left, tree entwined by a serpent. Photiades Pacha (Hoffmann, 19 May 1890) 51 =Traité IV, 508, pl. CCLXXXIX, 21 = SNG Lewis 574 (same dies. A coin of great rarity, one of four known staters of Kierion. Nicely toned. Scratched on the reverse and with the usual die breaks and traces of corrosion, otherwise, very fine.

Ex Hess-Leu 45, 12 May 1970, 161 (CHF 4300).

This is one of the great Thessalian rarities. The head of Zeus is clearly modeled on those that appear on the coinage of Philip II and it seems clear that a date of c. 350 for it is fully justified. The figure of Asklepios on the reverse depicts him as a young man, rather than as he usually appears: an older and bearded figure. All the known specimens of this stater, one, as Traité 507, with Asklepios seated on a throne, and three, as this (plus the one in the Lewis Collection = Traité 508, and another in trade - CNG MBS 57, 2001, 282), are struck from damaged obverse dies: no fresh example is known and it is possible that the obverse die broke after only a relatively few coins were struck. The fact that it is, nevertheless, known paired with two different reverses is truly remarkable. This exceptional issue of staters was accompanied by a number of trihemiobols (often termed diobols but they would be very light for that) and obols. A note from BCD: ASW does not state the obvious: there were no diobols in Thessaly or in any other area adhering to the Aeginetan standard. All coins called “diobols” in the various auction catalogues are simply reduced weight (or worn) hemidrachms.