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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 682. Estimate $300.
Sold for $11000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Pherai. Mid 5th century BC. AR Drachm (21mm, 5.89 g, 6h). The hero Thessalos, naked but for petasos hanging down his back, restraining a leaping bull r. by means of a band held by both his hands and passing under the animal’s horns; above to l., [Γ]ΛΑ retrograde; all in dotted circle / Θ-E-R-A-I from above, r. down and circular, bridled horse cantering r. on dotted ground line, his rein trailing below; above l., lion’s head fountain spout with water pouring from its mouth; all in incuse square. Jameson 1105 (this coin); SNG Lockett 1608 (same dies); see also CNG auction XXIII (13 October 1992), 151 (same dies) and Künker 94 (27 September 2004) 764 (same dies). VF, nice old collection toning; a scratch and a couple of marks on the rev., outside the incuse square, otherwise an appealing and rare coin struck on a large flan. From the collections of Robert Jameson and Walter Niggeler.

Ex Monnaies et Médailles 54 (26 October 1978) 208, hammer CHF 4000; Leu - Münzen und Medaillen 3 December 1965 (Niggeler) 263.

Various cataloguers have given their own version of the three letter inscription on the obverse die of this coin. This writer suggests that the above three retrograde letters read ΓΛΑ, as they appear on the obols (see lot 677 above). They are also very clear on the obverse of the Künker 94, 764 specimen of the same dies where it is evident that the archaic A is not a P as some cataloguers thought (it would be R and not P anyway). The die cutter was probably called Glaukos or some other name starting with GLA. What is more interesting is that Pherai apparently employed one more artist for their taurokathapsia obols, XAN, who also cut dies for the coins of Krannon (see Nomos 4, 1300, 1077, and 1079, but not 1078 where ASW got carried away and mistook the trident for these letters).