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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 661. Estimate $100.
Sold for $800. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Pharsalos. 4th-3rd centuries BC. Æ Chalkous (13.5mm, 2.39 g, 12h). Helmeted head of Athena facing, turned slightly to l., her shield over her l. shoulder / ΦAP above l., A in field r., ΛIA below, helmeted rider on prancing horse r., wielding his flail above his head. Lavva -. Type as lot 669 above but the small denomination, unknown to Lavva. Near VF, dark brown patina, an extremely rare coin, possibly unique (?).

This writer’s explanation for the rarity of this piece is based on its proposed date. The engraving details and the style of this coin (and also of lot 660) are, in this writer’s opinion, indicative of a third century date. At that time and due to many reasons, of which inflation was one, coin production in general was taking place much less often and at the same time becoming a hurried operation that had no artistic aspirations. A small value bronze coin would be an anomaly in this state of affairs and this is the reason it is so rare; probably very few were struck before it became obvious that there was no demand or use for them.