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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000354

Larissa. Lot of 2 coins.

Triton XV, Lot: 354. Estimate $400.
Sold for $550. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lot of 2 coins.

(354.1) THESSALY, Larissa. Mid 5th century BC. AR Drachm (18mm, 4.79 g, 1h). Hero to l., wearing cloak and with petasos over his shoulders, holding a band with both his hands passing around the forehead of a bull rushing to l., border of dots / ΛΑ above, Ι-Я below, bridled horse with trailing reins prancing r., all within incuse square. SNG Lockett 1559 (same dies); see also Nomos 4, 1109 (same dies). VF, lightly toned, good metal.

This coin is much lighter than its die duplicates that weigh 5.94 (Lockett) and 5.97 (Nomos 4). It has, of course, a little more wear than the above two coins but this small amount of extra wear does not justify the considerable weight difference. There is one other explanation that becomes even more credible when the dies of these three coins are carefully compared. The Nomos coin has a die flaw to the right of the petasos on the obverse and another one behind the horse on the reverse. The Lockett coin has just the obverse die flaw. This coin has neither which means that it is an earlier strike from these dies. Perhaps, the order (following the decision) to increase the weight of the coinage to the normal Aiginetan standard (or close to it) came after the start of the drachm production. The very first drachms would then adhere to the old, lighter standard and there would be no reason to recall them and melt them so that fewer and heavier coins would be struck. More research into the early dies of Larissa drachms will either corroborate or invalidate this theory.

(354.2) THESSALY, Larissa. Mid 5th century BC. AR Drachm (17mm, 6.22 g, 5h). Hero to r., wearing cloak and with petasos over his shoulders, holding a band with both his hands passing around the forehead of a bull rushing to r., border of dots / ΛΑ above, R to r., Ι below; the R retrograde and upside down, bridled horse with trailing rein prancing r. on dotted ground line; all within incuse square. Boston MFA 877 (same dies); Traité I, 1417, pl. XLIII, 9 (same obv. die). VF, nicely toned, both sides off centre, the obverse affecting more of the subject, die flaws developing on the reverse, small edge scratch at 2 o’clock obverse.

Ex G. Henzen FPL 114, September 2000, NLG 650.