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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000461
Triton XV, Lot: 461. Estimate $100.
Sold for $700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Melitaia. Circa 220’s BC. Æ Trichalkon (22.5mm, 4.63 g, 3h). Laureate head of Zeus r. / ΜΕ-Λ-Ι-Τ-ΑΙ-ΩΝ from top, r. down circular, bee upwards, with outstretched wings. Rogers 400; Traité IV, 474, pl. CCLXXXVIII, 11 (same dies); Winterthur 1702. Near Fine, green patina; some minor roughness on obv. and a few pits on rev., a very rare and fascinating coin.

This last issue of Melitaia, known to Rogers only from the Berlin specimen, has been an intriguing coin for this collector. Its date is uncertain but the thin and spread fabric, quite unusual for Thessaly, should place it well within the third century BC and possibly towards its end. The 220s date suggested here connects it with the declaration of independence of the Greek poleis by Antigonos Doson who, by this time, should have earned the respect and trust of his southern neighbours because of his sensible and liberal foreign policy. For fiscal reasons unknown to us, Melitaia could not come up with the necessary funds for a silver issue as Metropolis (lot 479), Phalanna (lot 581), Skotoussa (lots 755 and 756) and Thessalian Thebes (lot 764) did; the city had to settle instead for a bronze, deliberately distinct from its earlier issues.