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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

 
90041318
Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1318. Estimate CHF1000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF14000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Pherai. Later 4th century BC. Obol (Silver, 0.84 g 2). Head of Ennodia to right, wearing pendant earring and necklace; before her to right, flaming torch. Rev. ΦΕΡΑΙΩΝ Head of a mastiff to right. Demetriadi 2000, 3, and pl. 6, 3 (this coin). Extremely rare. A lovely coin of the finest style, with a particularly lifelike head of a dog. Some slight surface roughness, otherwise, extremely fine.


This coin is an enigma because of its use of the Ω in the ethnic. It is clearly related to the chalkous with Ο that appears in the preceding lot, given their common obverse types, but the omega makes it rather more ‘up-to-date’ in form, like the trichalkon that follows. This makes the stater and hemidrachm, with ΦΕΡΑΙΟΥΝ (lots 1320 - 1321, below) real anomalies, but, as I suggest below, that ethnic was used in a consciously archaistic way. This coin was published by Demetriadi in 2000, but, unfortunately, he does not date it other than to the 4th century. A note from BCD: He was probably hoping, like all of us, that the forthcoming die study of the mint by Ute Wartenberg-Kagan would provide the correct sequence of the issues and narrow down their date ranges.