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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1288. Estimate CHF750. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF10000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Pharsalos. Late 5th-mid 4th century BC. Drachm (Silver, 6.08 g 6), signed by the engraver Telephantos, with his initials and with those of his ‘pupil’ Mi...on the obverse . Head of Athena to right, wearing pearl necklace and a crested Attic helmet adorned with a figure of Skylla to right, her left hand raised to shade her eyes; in tiny letters behind neck, ΤΗ / ΜΙ. Rev. Φ-Α / Ρ-Σ (last two letters retrograde) Thessalian cavalryman riding horse galloping to right, wearing petasos, chlamys and chiton, and brandishing a lagobolon with his right hand. Lavva 156b (this coin). Nicely toned and most elegant. A few minor marks, including a light cut on the obverse that affect’s Athena’s nose, otherwise, extremely fine.

Acquired from Bank Leu in October 1979, ex Monnaies et Médailles XIX, 5 June 1959, 408.

The cut on the obverse is unfortunate, but the coin is otherwise so splendid that we could not resist putting it in the sale! It seems very likely that the engravers who worked at Pharsalos were also involved with the coinage of Magna Graecia, especially that of Thurium: the heads of Athena are remarkably similar in both places.
A note from BCD: The shallow obverse cut did not prevent this coin selling in June 1959 for CHF 510, nor did it prevent Silvia Hurter from selling it to me in 1979 for CHF 5500!