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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 469. Estimate $150.
Sold for $600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Methylion (?). 4th century BC. Æ Hemichalkous (?) (11mm, 1.09 g, 7h). Thessalos l., restraining a man-faced bull leaping l. with a band around his forehead; border of dots / M-E retrograde below, above l., E retrograde (or part of a monogram?), club standing vertically, crossed by horizontal bow; all in shallow incuse square . Unpublished but see CNG e-sale 251 (9 March 2011) 18 (same dies). Near VF, brown patina; rev. partly flat struck, one of three known.

The discovery and publication of the CNG coin (see above ref.) did not do much to help towards establishing a definite attribution for these fascinating bronzes. The top r. quadrant (flat struck on this specimen, but see the CNG e-sale coin) seems to be an X, and if we assume that the top l. quadrant is a retrograde E (as it appears to be on this specimen) and not a monogram ending in E, we end up with four letters, two of which can stand for ME[thylion] and the other two for the magistrate or sponsor of this strange issue. It would be nice if, instead of the X we had a clear N; we could then read MENE[KPATHΣ] and attribute these coins to the magistrate whose full name appears on the grain/ram bronzes (here lots 471 and 473.1 to 473.4). Finally, the fact that these bronzes borrow the early taurokathapsia silver drachm types of the 5th century does not make them that old; they could easily be contemporary to the grain/ram chalkoi of Methylion.