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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 650. Estimate $150.
Sold for $2020. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Pharsalos. Circa 400 BC. AR Hemidrachm (15mm, 3.00 g, 8h). Head of Athena r., wearing Attic helmet adorned with scrolls and a hippocamp to r. / Φ-A-P-Σ-A from middle r., down, left and up circular, horse’s head and neck r. Lavva 50 (V32/R14). Good VF, lightly toned; obv. a pinhole-type metal flaw in field r., extremely rare obverse type; an enticing coin.

This is the third known hemidrachm struck from this remarkable obverse die; the other two are in Oxford and the Vatican. The hippocamp obverse die was also tried on a trihemiobol issue (see the unique piece sold in Nomos 4, 1289) that, like its predecessor and for the same reasons (see above, lot 636) was very short lived, hence its excessive rarity.