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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 276. Estimate $100.
Sold for $4500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Larissa. Early to mid 4th century BC. AR Trihemiobol (10mm, 1.13 g, 6h). Head of the nymph Larissa r., wearing pendant earring / ΛΑ at top r., downwards, half length and bearded bust of Asklepios to r., drapery over his l. shoulder [and around his waist], his l. hand raised and holding a plant or a bunch of herbs. Unpublished but see Nomos 4, 1138 (same dies). Fine, lightly toned and surfaces a bit grainy; die flaws on the face of Asklepios and above his l. hand, on the A of the ethnic. An enigmatic coin and a great rarity, probably the second known.

The writer admits that seeing a bunch of herbs held by Asklepios is more a product of his imagination than the outcome of careful observation. However, Asklepios is not holding a sickle as ASW thought in Nomos 4. The die flaw and the A on the coin he examined, combined to give him that impression. Another candidate to be held by the god of medicine would be his attribute, a staff with a snake entwined around it. But in this case, the photograph of the Nomos coin should show the lower part of the staff, as there is room for it on the flan. We may have to wait for another coin to appear that would have a wider flan and no die flaws, before deciding on the issue.