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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000475

Metropolis

Triton XV, Lot: 475. Estimate $300.
Sold for $1700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Metropolis (IACP 403)

This city was formed by a synoikismos in the late 5th or early 4th century BC. It was most prosperous in the later Hellenistic period, after the Romans arrived in the 190s BC. The chief deity was Aphrodite, and there was also a temple to Apollo.

There are some rare silver coins in the early 4th century BC, followed by scarce issues of bronze in the 3rd century BC.

THESSALY, Metropolis. Early to mid 4th century BC. AR Trihemiobol (13.5mm, 1.09 g, 11h). Head of Aphrodite Kastnia facing, turned slightly to l., wearing pendant earring, pearl necklace and her hair done in the ‘melon’ hairstyle; to l. dove flying upwards; to r. Eros flying upwards to crown her / ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟ l. up, [Λ]ΙΤΩΝ r. down, Apollo Musegetes, wearing long robes and with chlamys over his shoulders, walking to r., holding lyre with his l. and playing it with his r. Jameson 2470 = M+M FPL 216 (October 1961) 22 (same dies); see also Nomos 4, 1205 (same dies). Near VF, toned with crystallized surfaces; a rare and desirable coin.

Ambitious subjects for both obverse and reverse, engraved with flair and ingenuity. The obol (see next coin, lot 476) is equally demanding and comes out as good, if not better. These fourth century small coins of minor Thessalian cities, minted for prestige rather than economic reasons, are a delight to the senses and never cease to amaze us with their ingeniously chosen and masterfully executed iconography.