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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 185. Estimate $750.
Sold for $3250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Larissa. Early to mid 4th century BC. AR Drachm (19mm, 6.00 g, 6h). ΑΛΕΥ in small letters in field r., upwards, head of Aleuas three-quarter facing to l., wearing a conical helmet with ear flaps, decorated with wings and held on his head by a cord tied below his chin; in field r., double axe; all in a dotted circle / ΛΑΡΙΣΑ[ΙΑ] r. down, ΕΛΛΑ in smaller letters l. down, eagle with closed wings standing l. on thunderbolt, head turned to r. BMC p. 29, 53, pl. V, 12; Lorber, Thessalian, p. 128-129, pl. 45, 94. Good VF, toned, a rare and desirable type.

It is well known that the Aleuas drachms were struck from a single pair of dies. The issue therefore must have been rather special and produced on a specific occasion. There are still unresolved differences of opinion concerning the exact date of issue and the purpose of this puzzling coin. This writer, believing that we should also take into account the possibility that such an extraordinary issue was hoarded more than the other types of coin in circulation, thus displaying less wear for a given period of time, suggests a date of minting circa 360 BC or even a little earlier.