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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Demetrias. Lot of 2 coins.

Triton XV, Lot: 63. Estimate $100.
Sold for $1600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lot of 2 coins.

(63.1) THESSALY, Demetrias. Circa 290 BC or later. Æ Chalkous (13mm, 1.44 g, 12h). Wreathed female head r., wearing pendant earring and with the hair pulled up in 3rd century BC style / Δ-ΗΜΗΤΡΙ-Α-ΔΟ-Σ anticlockwise from middle l., elaborate prow r., its top depicted curling backwards in a design similar to that of the prow of lot 95 below. Rogers 206 corr. (see note below). VF, brown patina with some red and green; flan clipped (?) in ancient times; this variety unique (?).

Rogers gives three references for this excessively rare coin. His Mionnet reference is wrong, it corresponds to the silver coin type and to coins of another Demetrias with different types. His first Hirsch reference is also wrong, the number given corresponds to Eurea and the Demetrias coin illustrated on the same plate (with a different number) is silver. Finally, his Hirsch XXV, 595 reference is not illustrated and describes a bronze coin with Artemis l. / prow l. In this last case there is no reason to doubt either the judgment of Philipsen - he was a knowledgeable collector with a sharp eye for rarities - or the intelligence of Jacob Hirsch. However, that coin was purchased by Seltman and it is the same coin that Rogers illustrates as part of his own collection. It is now in the BM and, having examined it, this writer regrets to say that it is not from Demetrias. It may be from Samos or some other western Asia Minor city but until the letters can be made out clearly by means of comparison to another one of the same dies or at least of similar style, it should be classed with the uncertain or unidentified, of which the BM has a large number.

(63.2) THESSALY, Demetrias. Circa 287-285 BC. Æ Chalkous (11mm, 0.97 g, 12h). Head of Artemis to l., her hair done in “melon” style and gathered in a bun at the back of her head / ΔΗΜΗ..., prow to r. without any decoration. Furtwängler (unpublished manuscript) p. 405 and plate 25, B3. Fine, green patina, edges fraying but an extremely rare coin.

Although ASW has already expressed his gratitude to Professor Andreas Furtwängler in Nomos 4, (see note to lot 1178) for the precise dating of the Magnetes issues that was made possible by consulting his unpublished manuscript, BCD would like to add his own here and also remind the reader that this kind of unparalleled generosity is unfortunately very rare in today’s interaction between established scholars and unqualified amateurs. For this reason Professor Furtwängler’s gesture is even more valuable as it shows the way for the correct interrelations between all individuals who consider themselves involved in this discipline.