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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000072

Gomphi - Philippopolis. Lot of 3 coins.

Triton XV, Lot: 72. Estimate $300.
Sold for $450. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lot of 3 coins.

(72.1) THESSALY, Gomphi - Philippopolis. 3rd century BC (the countermark 1st or 2nd centuries AD). Æ Trichalkon (20mm, 7.06 g, 12h). Head of nymph or maenad facing 3/4 r., circular countermark of owl standing r. with closed wings, looking at the viewer / ΓΟΜΦ l. up, ΙΤΟΥΝ r. down, Zeus Palamnaios seated l. on throne without back, holds thunderbolt in r. and long sceptre with l. Rogers 215 var. [no countermark]. VF, dark olive brown patina, high surfaces a little rubbed and showing the brassy metal below.

This countermark occurs on many Thessalian coins, most of them worn out to practically just a metal disc. It is sometimes applied on top of a wheat ear countermark that seems more or less contemporary because its host coins are usually also worn smooth. We are probably dealing with countermarks of imperial times than have something to do with the supply of Thessalian foodstuffs and wheat to Rome. See below lot 83.13 for the contemporary wheat ear countermark.

(72.2) THESSALY, Gomphi - Philippopolis. 3rd century BC (the countermarks 1st or 2nd centuries AD). Æ Trichalkon (21mm, 8.22 g, 2h). Head of nymph or maenad facing 3/4 r., circular countermark of owl standing r. with closed wings, looking at the viewer, applied over oval countermark of wheat ear / [ΓΟΜΦΕ] r. down, ΩΝ l. down, Zeus Palamnaios seated l. on throne without back, holds thunderbolt in r. and long sceptre with l. McClean 4570, pl. 171, 24 (undertype only); see also Winterthur 1682 for the wheat ear countermark on its own, without the owl. Fair, dark brown patina, a bit porous. Countermark is Good VF.


(72.3) THESSALY, Gomphi - Philippopolis. Last quarter of 3rd century BC. Æ Trichalkon (21mm, 8.52 g, 3h). Head of nymph or maenad facing 3/4 l., circular countermark with eagle standing r., wings closed / ΓΟΜΦΕ r. down, ΩΝ l. down, Zeus Palamnaios seated l. on throne with short back, holds thunderbolt in r. and long sceptre with l. Rogers 220 var. [no countermark]. VF, smooth medium green patina; the types partly obliterated by the countermark.

This countermark that only occurs on 3rd century Gomphi coins looks Ptolemaic, at least to this writer. The involvement of Ptolemy III in the affairs of Greece is well known but up to now there was no evidence of his activity in north-west Thessaly. Perhaps this countermark was applied for some unknown reason connected with a local political development the details of which have not come down to us.