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Research Coins: Feature Auction



Triton XV, Lot: 73. Estimate $150.
Sold for $1600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Gonnos (IACP 463)

Located in Perrhaibia on the end of a ridge on the lower slopes of Mt. Olympos, ancient Gonnos was situated on three hills and overlooked a major pass into Thessaly. According to Herodotos (7.173.4), it was through this pass that the Persian army descended on Thessaly. Gonnos may have been the birthplace of Antigonos II Gonatas (Euseb. Chron. 237b). Traces of the Greek and Roman remains are evident, but virtually nothing later.

The site of Gonnos has been studied by Bruno Helly (Gonnoi. Vol. 1: la cité et son histoire [Amsterdam, 1973]).

THESSALY, Gonnos. Early to mid 4th century BC . Æ Trichalkon (19mm, 6.19 g, 12h). Ram standing l. on thick exergue line, border of dots / ΓΟΝΝΙΚΟΝ l. up, male figure in short chiton standing r. looking at the sky, holds a little shrub with his r. Unpublished and unknown except for CNG e-sale 184 (19 March 2008) 6. VF, dark green smooth patina with small areas of dark red; extremely rare.

The ram is well known as the emblem of Gonnos on the later coins of this mint but on the reverse, this very unusual depiction of a farmer (?) contemplating the weather (?) holding a small shrub he intends to plant (?) does not seem to occur elsewhere on coins. The CNG coin was not touted for what it was and therefore ended up quite underappreciated. The unknown up to now version of the ethnic (ΓΟΝΝΙΚΟΝ instead of ΓΟΝΝΕΩΝ) is also very interesting because it refers to the actual piece of money and not to the issuing authority.