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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000617

Pharkadon. Lot of 3 coins.

Triton XV, Lot: 617. Estimate $100.
Sold for $100. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lot of 3 coins.

(617.1) THESSALY, Pharkadon. 3rd quarter of the 5th century BC. AR fourreé Hemidrachm (16mm, 2.42 g, 10h). Thessalos to r., naked but for chlamys billowing from his shoulders, holding a band with both hands around the forehead of a bull’s front half; border of dots / Φ-A-P-K-A-Δ-O from above l., r. down and circular, the second A upside down, forepart of bridled (?) horse r. in incuse square with rounded edges and corners. BMC p. 42, 1, pl. IX, 1. Near VF, toned; obverse edge cut at 8 o’clock and two spots above at 11 o’clock just outside the circle of dots, revealing the bronze core; rev. diagonal die flaw starting in front of the horse’s face and a few scratches in field behind it.

Ex Spink 32 (30 November 1983) 29, hammer, £ 160.

There is another diagonal line starting from the horse’s eye that could be the rein but it looks more like a die break to this writer.

(617.2) THESSALY, Pharkadon. 2nd half of the 5th century BC. AR fourreé Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.70 g, 7h). Thessalos to r., naked but for chlamys billowing from his shoulders and his petasos behind his neck, holding a band with both hands around the forehead of a bull’s front half; border of dots / Φ-A-P-K-[A-Δ-O] from above l., r. down and circular, forepart of horse r. in incuse square with rounded edges and corners. SNG Cop. 210 var. [the SNG coin not plated (?)]. Good Fine, toned; good artwork, imitating legitimate dies; plating has peeled off from about a quarter of its surfaces.


(617.3) THESSALY, Pharkadon. 2nd half of the 5th century BC. AR fourreé Hemidrachm (15.5mm, 2.22 g, 9h). Thessalos to r., naked but for chlamys billowing from his shoulders and his petasos behind his neck, holding a band with both hands around the forehead of a bull’s front half; border of dots / Φ-A-P-[K-A-Δ-O] from above l., r. down and circular, forepart of horse r. in incuse square. SNG Cop. 210 var. [the SNG coin not plated (?)]. Good Fine, lightly toned on the obv., pierced and missing most of its rev. plating; artwork seems quite credible.

The three fourreés of this lot are just a small sample of the fakes that were circulating in Thessaly during the second half of the 5th century. Pharkadon and Trikka were the main fake producing taurokathapsia cities and not so much Larissa, although the quantities of genuine coins produced there were vast. The explanation to this discrepancy is simple: the mint of Larissa was obviously much better organized and as a result better supervised too. There must have been controls there that made it very difficult to take dies away so that they could be used to strike fakes in a unofficial workshop; also, striking fakes within the official mint premises must again have been very difficult due to constant supervision of the workers. This does not mean that there were no Larissa fakes produced but the poor style of most of them indicates that they were struck using dies made especially for the production of forgeries in small, privately set up workshops.