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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1335. Estimate CHF400. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF3800. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Skotussa. End 5th century BC. Hemiobol (Silver, 0.31 g 12). Head of Herakles facing, with wide open eyes and a lionskin headdress. Rev. ΣΚ-Ο Bunch of grapes hanging from branch; all within incuse square. Demetriadi 2000, 4 and pl. 6, 4 (this coin). Unique. A tiny coin but with a portrait of startling intensity. Very fine.

When this coin was first published, the author was struck by the wild, unkempt, even ferocious look conveyed by Herakles’ portrait. The fact that the top of the head is rather smooth and has an indentation at the center indicates that what we have is the usual lion skin headdress, but with its whiskers and hairs blended in with Herakles’ own. The coin’s reverse type is quite reminiscent in its design to that found on contemporary obols from Lokri Opuntii (as BCD Lokris 5-6), and probably can be dated to roughly the same time period.
A note from BCD: BCD is obviously pleased that ASW agrees with his updating of lots 5 and 6 in BCD Lokris-Phokis. These coins were up to now thought to be much later, their reverse incuse square being hard to notice.