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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 631. Estimate $100.
Sold for $900. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Pharsalos. Mid to late 5th century BC. AR Hemiobol (9mm, 0.42 g, 3h). Head of Athena r., wearing crested Attic helmet / Φ sideways below to r, horse’s head and neck r., all in an incuse square. Not in Lavva. Near VF, toned; lightly and evenly crystallized; a small scrape and a couple of tiny die flaws on Athena’s face; rare and of a strange untypical style.

A highly unusual obverse style not in Lavva (this in itself not unusual) and bearing some resemblance to the equally aberrant Perrhaiboi hemiobol of lot 553.2 above. It is quite possible that this obverse die was a model for the Perrhaiboi coin that is clearly of later, more advanced style. If this is the case, perhaps we should reconsider the dating in Lavva’s corpus (also not difficult in itself) and think in terms of the fractions starting the Pharsalian coinage at an earlier date.