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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 541. Estimate $200.
Sold for $600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Perrhaiboi. Circa mid 5th century BC. AR Hemidrachm (15.5mm, 2.82 g, 6h). Hero to r., with petasos over his shoulders and chlamys tied at his neck, holding with both his hands a band passing around the head of a bull’s forepart leaping to right; below, star; all in dotted circle / Π above l., E below l., forepart of bridled horse to r., all within incuse square. See for the same dies CNG e-sale 236 (7 July 2010) 94 and Heritage, 3 January 2010, 21252. VF, toned; nice detail and sharp, deep strike on both sides; the face of the bull wrestler mis-struck.

The star on the obverse of this hemidrachm connects it with the drachm of Nomos 4, 1238 and the obol lot 537 above. On this last one, instead of a star, we see a pellet between two horizontal lines, as if there was not enough vertical space on the die to engrave a complete star. See however G. Hirsch 248 (6 February 2007) 1341 (an obverse die match for lot 537 above), where the attempt to add some vertical lines above the pellet is clearly visible. The die cutter tried his best to show that the dies of this obol were by the same hand as those of the drachm and the hemidrachm. Was this star an early artist’s ‘signature’ or did it have some other ancestral significance for the tribe of Perrhaiboi?