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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000512
Triton XV, Lot: 512. Estimate $300.
Sold for $2000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Pelinna. Last quarter of 5th century BC. AR Drachm (18mm, 5.91 g, 1h). Thessalian cavalryman on horse prancing l., wearing chlamys and petasos and carrying a short sword in a scabbard held by a baldric; he is holding the reins with his l. and a spear pointing forward and down with his r., in field below IA in tiny letters, above r., a small A (just visible); border of dots / [Π]EΛ l. up, IN r. down, warrior in fighting attitude advancing l., wearing petasos, short tunic and carrying on his waist a sword as above, a spear in his raised r. and a shield with two more spears in his l. This die combination not found in the references consulted. VF, lightly toned with minor surface granularity, mostly around the edges.

See the BCD note after lot 1283 in Nomos 4. It is not by accident that these small letters appear only on drachms and especially on drachms coming from mints that have been independent from, or at least only marginally involved with, the “taurokathapsia partnership”. For this reason, the Skotussa and Pelinna drachms must be contemporary, or near-contemporary. This writer now sees in these tiny letters some sort of control marks having to do with specific dies and their engravers rather than outright die cutters’ signatures. Their interpretation and whether they originated from the city authorities or the mint masters are subjects that can only be fully explored in the course of preparing the die studies for these two very interesting mints.