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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

 
90041413
Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1413. Estimate CHF150. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Thessalian League. Marcus Aurelius. 161-180. Hemiassarion or Semis (Bronze, 12mm, 2.14 g 7). Wheat grain on stalk, between the two open halves of its husk. Rev. ΘεC / CΑΛ / ωΝ across field. Burrer, MA-G 4. Rogers -. Y. Stoyas, Rare Pseudo-autonomous Issues of the Thessalian League struck in Imperial Times (in modern Greek), Studies Touratsoglou (Athens 2009), pp. 447-455, 3β (this coin). Extremely rare. Dark green patina. Nearly extremely fine.


The first known example of this coin was only published in 2002, as part of a donation to the Byzantine Museum in Ipati. By 2009, Stoyas was able to track down a total of 6 examples, of which this is the best (another piece has recently come on the market). He also very perceptively pointed out that the type of a wheat grain within a husk was taken from the League coinage of the 5th century BC, struck over 600 years earlier. This emphasizes the knowledge that the ancient magistrates and die cutters had about the past coinage of their area. By using a type that dated to ‘ancient times’, the moneyers of the 2nd century AD stressed its connection to the modern coinage of the day.