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Research Coins: Feature Auction



Triton XV, Lot: 406. Estimate $150.
Sold for $1200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

The Magnetes (IACP -)

The Magnetes were an ancient tribe who lived on the eastern border of Thessaly, around mounts Ossa and Pelion: their district was named Magnesia, which contained only a few towns of note, such as Meliboia, Rhizos and Homolion. Later, following a major synoikismos, the chief town of their district became the harbor city of Demetrias. As a group they had no coinage in their own name until early in the 2nd quarter of the 2nd century BC when coins began to be issued circa 171 BC in Demetrias in support of Perseus of Macedon. After his fall coins in the name of the Magnetes continued to be issued in typically Thessalian form, similar to those of the Thessalian League struck in Larissa, until the late 1st century BC. These coins were primarily in bronze but also included some silver issues, most of which are now very rare. In the Imperial period, bronze coins were again issued until it ended with Gallienus.

Dating of the silver and bronze series of the Magnetes follows the dates suggested in the unpublished manuscript of Professor Andreas Furtwängler on the autonomous coinage of Magnetes, kindly made available to the collector. It goes without saying that this writer is not only indebted to him for his kindness but would like to stress that such generosity shown from an accomplished and widely recognized authority towards a simple amateur is not often encountered and not easily forgotten.

THESSALY, Magnetes. 2nd century BC. Æ Dichalkon (19mm, 6.36 g, 1h). Diademed head of Zeus l. / ΜΑΓNH above, TΩN below, galley prow r., to l., dolphin downwards, to r., palm branch. Rogers 351. Near VF, brown patina; a pleasing coin with an especially nice reverse.