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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000480

Metropolis. Lot of 12 coins.

Triton XV, Lot: 480. Estimate $300.
Sold for $1600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lot of 12 coins.

(480.1) THESSALY, Metropolis. Early to mid 4th century BC. Æ Dichalkon (14mm, 3.15 g, 4h). Head of Aphrodite l. wearing pearl necklace, her hair pulled back behind her head and tied into a bun; behind, dove standing l., all in dotted circle / [M]HTP below, circular, dove, with wreath in her beak, alighting l. This type not in consulted reference sources. Fine, nice green patina, obv. flat struck around 12 o’clock; rev. around 9 o’clock; an extremely rare early type.

The small-sized bronzes of Metropolis (head of Aphrodite/dove) are surely earlier than the larger coins. This particular coin, to which the writer has been unable to find a comparable specimen anywhere in the literature, must be the earliest issue. Its characteristics of fine quality, careful and unhurried engraving on a relatively short and thick flan as well as the use of only the four first letters of the ethnic suggest a date in the first half of the 4th century.

(480.2) THESSALY, Metropolis. 4th century BC. Æ Dichalkon (16mm, 1.81 g, 12h). Head of Aphrodite l. with hair gathered into knot; behind her, a little dove flying (hardly visible here) / MHTP below and up to r., circular, dove alighting r., holding wreath in her beak. Rogers 406, fig. 215 corr. var. [the wreath carried by the dove’s beak is off the flan in Rogers’ specimen and the “branch in claws” are the leftovers of the undertype. Rogers’ coin, like this one, is overstruck on a type with a wreath on the rev., here showing behind the dove but on the Rogers coin showing under the dove, giving the impression of a branch carried by the bird. The ethnic on this coin is only the first four letters of the city’s name]. Near Fine, dark brown patina, the obverse weakly struck; coin overstruck.

It would be interesting to be able to work out the undertype for the Rogers coin and this one but it is doubtful that this would allow us to narrow down the date brackets. This particular issue was probably struck later rather than earlier in the 4th century and therefore there are quite a number of earlier possible candidates with wreath reverses for the undertype.

(480.3) THESSALY, Metropolis. Late 4th century BC. Æ Chalkous (13mm, 1.46 g, 10h). Laureate head of Apollo r., with short hair and a necklace; border of dots / [MHT] above, PO r. down, dove flying r. Rogers 407, fig. 216; see also Nomos 4, 1209 (different dies but same hand). Good Fine, green patina with some flaws and peripheral roughness.


(480.4) THESSALY, Metropolis. Late 4th century BC. Æ Chalkous (13mm, 0.92 g, 3h). Laureate head of Apollo r., with hair gathered behind his head and wearing a necklace; border of dots / MHT-PO from above, r. down circular, dove flying r. Rogers 407, fig. 216; see also Nomos 4, 1209 (different dies but same hand). Good Fine, dark green patina, a little rough in places; die flaws below dove.

One of the reverse die flaws may actually be a half hearted attempt to engrave the letter Π sideways, as a continuation of the legend.

(480.5) THESSALY, Metropolis. Late 4th to early 3rd centuries BC. Æ Chalkous (13.5mm, 1.96 g, 12h). Youthful male head r., with short hair / M-H-TP-O from above, l. down circular and retrograde, dove, wreath in beak, alighting r., border of dots. This exact type not found in consulted references. Near Fine, brown patina with bronze surfaces showing through; the obverse softly struck.

The head on the obverse of this and the following coins could be a local hero. The issue is definitely later than the previous Apollo and Aphrodite bronzes. It has the same characteristic obverse striking softness as the Larissa Kremaste chalkoi that were struck at the time of Demetrios Poliorketes. There are many reverse die variations of what was probably quite a plentiful coinage at the time, destined for local use in the various markets and religious festivals around the famous temple of Aphrodite Kastnia, the main attraction of the city.

(480.6) THESSALY, Metropolis. Late 4th to early 3rd centuries BC. Æ Chalkous (14mm, 2.00 g, 12h). Youthful male head r., with short hair / MHTP from below r., left up circular, dove, wreath in beak, alighting r. This exact type not found in consulted references. Fine, green patina; rev. struck a little off centre.

What Rogers called “dove standing, flapping wings”is what this writer prefers to define as “dove alighting”and it applies to all these later Chalkoi. The wings are shown together and above the bird, whereas a flying dove has the wings displayed on either side of its body.

(480.7) THESSALY, Metropolis. Late 4th to early 3rd centuries BC. Æ Chalkous (13.5mm, 2.48 g, 12h). Youthful male head r., with short hair / MHTOO (sic) from below, r. up circular, dove, wreath in beak, alighting r., border of dots. This exact type not found in consulted references. Fine, green patina; small obv. metal flaw on chin, some roughness on the rev. which is also slightly off centre.

The ending of the ethnic is obviously an engraver’s error but it also shows that the issue, apart from being carelessly struck by inexperienced workers, also used dies that were hurriedly engraved.

(480.8) THESSALY, Metropolis. Late 4th to early 3rd centuries BC. Æ Chalkous (13mm, 2.11 g, 12h). Youthful male head r., with short hair / [MH]TPOΠΟΛΙ from below l., up to r. and circular, dove, wreath in beak, alighting r. This exact type not found in consulted references. Good Fine, green patina; the reverse slightly off centre and with partly red surfaces.


(480.9) THESSALY, Metropolis. Late 4th to early 3rd centuries BC. Æ Chalkous (13mm, 1.81 g, 12h). Youthful male head r., with short hair / M-HTPOΠΟΛ[Ι] from top l., below and to r. up circular, dove, wreath in beak, alighting r. This exact type not found in consulted references. Near Fine, dark brownish green patina; the obv. softly struck and the rev. slightly off centre due to the design being too large for the flan.


(480.10) THESSALY, Metropolis. Late 4th to early 3rd centuries BC. Æ Chalkous (13mm, 2.51 g, 6h). Youthful male head r., with short hair / MH-TPOΠΟ-[ΛΙTΩΝ] from the l., above to r. and below circular, dove, wreath in beak, alighting r., border of dots. This exact type not found in consulted references. Fine, brown patina with traces of bronze showing through; both sides softly struck in parts; rev. design too large for the coin, hence part of the inscription off flan.

Same dies as 478.11 below.

(480.11) THESSALY, Metropolis. Late 4th to early 3rd centuries BC. Æ Chalkous (13mm, 1.46 g, 6h). Youthful male head r., with short hair / [MH]-TPOΠΟ-ΛΙTΩΝ from the l., above to r. and below circular, dove, wreath in beak, alighting r., border of dots. This exact type not found in consulted references. Fine, green patina; both sides weakly struck in parts.

Same dies as 478.10 above.

(480.12) THESSALY, Metropolis. Late 4th to early 3rd centuries BC. Æ Chalkous (13.5mm, 2.28 g, 6h). Youthful male head r., with short hair / M-HTP[OΠ]-ΟΛΙTΩΝ from the l., above to r. and below circular, the last part of the ethnic retrograde, dove, wreath in beak, alighting r., border of dots. This exact type not found in consulted references. Fine, dark greyish brown patina with some bronze highlights on the obverse that is softly struck; the rev. partly flat struck.

Ex Professor Saul Weinberg collection, January 1982, for $650 (identified as Sicyon “with no close parallel”) .