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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1387. Estimate CHF125. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF2200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Thessalian League. Third quarter of the 1st century BC. Drachm (Silver, 4.05 g 12), Aga.... Helmeted head of Athena to right; above, ΑΓΑ. Rev. ΘΕΣ / ΣΑ-ΛΩ-Ν Bridled horse prancing right. SNG Copenhagen 309. Unusually nice and clear, an exellent example. Nearly extremely fine.

While other coins of this type must be late 2nd or early 1st century in date, this piece has to be later. The use of such an abbreviated magistrate’s name on the obverse would seem to be early, but the reverse arrangement, with the horse’s hooves breaking up the legend and with no added names, would be unprecedented for such an early period. In addition, the seemingly poorer quality silver used to strike this piece is reminiscent of the rare half stater in lot 389 below, which itself dates down to the 40s. The possibility that some locally used silver coins of low denomination were debased, while good silver was used for imports or official payments, would make sense, especially at this period.