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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1307. Estimate CHF50000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF580000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Pherai. Alexander. Tyrant, 369-358 BC. Stater (Silver, 12.07 g 12). Head of Ennodia facing, turned slightly to right, wearing pearl diadem, grape-cluster earring and pearl necklace; on left, torch. Rev. ΑΛ-ΕΞΑΝ-Δ-Ρ-ΕΙΟΣ Alexander riding horse galloping to right, the reins in his left hand and a lance held level in his right, wearing cavalry helmet, cuirass and with his sheathed sword on a baldric around his chest; on horse’s rump, double ax. BMC 14 (same obverse die). Gulbenkian 482 = Locker Lampson 181 (same reverse die). Extremely rare, one of the most beautiful and impressive coins produced in 4th century Greece. Lightly toned. Extremely fine.

Ex Giessener Münzhandlung 44, 3 April 1989, 292 (DM 180,000).

Alexander of Pherai was one of the sons of the tyrant Jason, who was murdered by conspirators in 370 and was succeeded by his brother Polydoros who was, in turn, murdered by his own brother Polyphron. Alexander, his nephew, murdered him in 369, and embarked on a rule of oppression and tyranny. He was a severe threat to the Aleuadai of Larissa so they called on Macedonian aid, which succeeded in forcing Alexander to flee Pherai. After the Macedonians also withdrew, Larissa called for Theban aid, which arrrived in the person of Pelopidas. This forced Alexander into an alliance with Athens, but by 364 he was defeated and forced into peace. After the death of Epaminondas in 362, Alexander turned on his erstwhile Athenian allies and attacked them, even raiding the Piraeus. He was finally killed by his wife Thebe’s brothers, who she goaded to do so out of hatred for his cruelties. A note from BCD: There isn’t much one can say about this stunning coin, it speaks for itself. Probably the best by far that has ever been offered at auction.