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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1133. Estimate CHF2500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF42000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Larissa. Circa 370-360 BC. Drachm (Silver, 6.10 g 12). ΛΑΡΙΣΑ Head of the nymph Larissa to right, her hair bound at the top of her head, wearing triple-pendant earring and pearl necklace. Rev. ΛΑΡ - Ι- ΣΑΙ - ΩΝ Bridled horse trotting to right, tail in a curl; below, in very small letters, ΕΠΙ. Lorber 2008, pl. 45, 100 var. Extremely rare and of superb style. Extremely fine.

Ex Giessener Münzhandlung 44, 3 April 1989, 275 (DM 24,000).

This rare coin has been dated as early as the 390s but that seems too high. The head of Larissa has a reasonably close relationship to the Demeter on the staters of Lokris, but it also harks back to the work of Euainetos at Syracuse. This must have been the prototype issue with the following lot coming shortly thereafter. They were followed by issues bearing the head of Aleuas and by those with a bull fleeing before a pursuing rider, both types also rare; and then, finally, by the long series of drachms with facing heads of the nymph, so familiar to collectors.
A note from BCD: The date of this and the next lot, the high relief profile drachms, is still open to discussion but recent hoard evidence points to circa 370 and not 395 BC as suggested by Herrmann, p. 39. For further comments on these coins and the problems of striking that caused them to be such a short lived issue, see Obolos 7, pp. 18-19.