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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Phalanna. Lot of 2 coins.

Triton XV, Lot: 575. Estimate $150.
Sold for $600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lot of 2 coins.

(575.1) THESSALY, Phalanna. 330s BC. Æ Chalkous (15mm, 2.83 g, 12h). Wreathed young male head r. (Apollo), with short hair except some longer strands that partly cover the nape of the neck / ΦAΛ l. up, female head r., devoid of jewellery, her hair rolled up around her head under a diadem. Rogers 453, fig. 246; Papaevangelou-Genakos period 2. Near VF, reddish green patina, surfaces a little smoothed; a very rare and historically interesting coin.

According to Papaevangelou-Genakos, the wreathed portrait on this and the next coin (lot 575.2), were struck just after 352 BC to celebrate Philip’s victory at the battle of Crocus Field. This is too early for the style depicted on these coins. This writer believes that the issue was struck after the battle of Chaironeia in 338 BC. At that time Thessaly had been overrun by Philip who probably had his minions securely installed and in control of the major cities. It is this pro-Macedonian group in Phalanna that made sure the King’s victory would be suitably celebrated by a special issue featuring a wreathed Apollo on the obverse. See a very similarly styled coin [Nomos 4, 1049] dated by ASW to circa 340 BC.

(575.2) THESSALY, Phalanna. 330s BC. Æ Chalkous (14mm, 3.00 g, 9h). Wreathed young male head r. (Apollo), with short hair / ΦAΛAИ from above, l. down circular, retrograde, nymph’s head r., devoid of jewellery, her hair rolled up and bunched up in a bun at the back of her head. Papaevangelou-Genakos period 2, pl. 2, 14 (this coin). Near VF, smooth dark brown patina with lighter highlights on the rev., the obv. slightly off centre due to short flan and with a tiny die flaw just outside the nose of Apollo; very rare.

Apparently the Apollo issues struck at the instigation of the pro-Macedonian faction were not very popular; they were soon discontinued and replaced by the highly original and attractive issues of Zeus Peloris on the obverse and the nymph’s head or the seated nymph reverses (see lot 573 to 574 above, and lots 588.1 to 590.1 below).