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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 262. Estimate $250.
Sold for $700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Larissa. Early to mid 4th century BC. AR Drachm (18mm, 6.06 g, 3h). Head of the nymph Larissa three-quarter facing l., all within border of dots / [Λ]ΑΡΙΣ above, horse with straight legs feeding r. on solid exergue line. Lorber, Early, 83.-. VF, lightly toned; rev. edge die flaw above horse’s tail.

Careful scrutiny of the field on the reverse indicates parallel striations, horizontally to the viewer, something like brushing marks. The obvious explanation is that this reverse die - and probably others too - was filed down after its useful life expired, to present a new, clear area for the engraving of a new die. The writer here will go one step further in this chain of thought and suggest that these freshly filed down dies (blanks) were then struck by a harder positive die having the general outlines of a horse. This would reduce the work needed to make the die ready to be used again to just the touching up and addition of details to the already present horse outline.