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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1141. Estimate CHF2500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF55000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Larissa. Circa 400-380 BC. Drachm (Silver, 6.09 g 2). Head of the nymph Larissa facing and turned slightly to the left with her eyes wide open, with ampyx inscribed ΓΕΥ binding her flowing hair and with ΑΙ above her head, wearing drop-earring hanging from her left ear, plain necklace, and with her right shoulder raised so that the button on her chiton is visible. Rev. ΛΑΡΙΣΑΙ Horse with bent legs crouching to right, bukranion brand mark barely visible on flank. Lorber 1992, 20.1 a = Lorber, Early O34/R1 b (this coin). A spectacular coin with an obverse of great power and beauty. Lightly toned. Minor edge break on the reverse, otherwise, extremely fine.

Ex Sotheby’s Zurich, 26 October 1993, 43 (CHF 14,000), NFA FPL 41, June 1992 (illustrated on the cover) and NFA XXV, 29 November 1990, 92.

This is probably the most dramatic of all the facing heads produced in Larissa. It is an absolute masterpiece. A note from BCD: The hammer price at the Sotheby sale in Zurich, eighteen years ago, was so preposterous (CHF 14,000) that I would be very surprised if this coin now sold anywhere near that level. Unfortunately the dealer who was bidding against me was so absorbed by the contents of the book he was reading at the same time that he forgot to lower his pencil.