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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 712. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $15000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Pherai. Early 3rd century BC. AR Stater (24mm, 12.03 g, 6h). Head of the nymph Hypereia r., wearing pearl necklace, triple-pendant earring and wreath of grain leaves; behind, fountain spout in the form of a lion’s head r., water gushing from its mouth; all in a dotted circle / ΦEPAIOYN below, Ennodia, draped and with a torch in each hand, seated facing, her head r., on horse galloping r., in field l., within wreath, AΣT-OME-ΔON. Traité IV, 606, pl. CCXCIV, 8 = Hoffmann 19 May 1890 (Photiades Pasha) 165 (same rev. die); see also Nomos 4, 1320 and Triton III (30 November 1999) 433 (both from the same pair of dies). VF, toned; nice surfaces with a hint of deposit leftovers on the obv. between 10 and 11 o’clock; a great rarity and - in this collector’s opinion - an under-appreciated coin. From the collection of Charles Gillet (photofile no. 882).

Acquired from Leu, October 1984, for CHF 20000.

The writer, in the 1990s, owned three of these coins, all from the same pair of dies. The first one to go was in 1999 (see above) and he was pleased to see it going to a real connoisseur, one of the few collectors of ancient Greek coins left, who appreciate and respect rarity. The second one sold as lot 1320 in Nomos 4, and, together with the unique Pherai Kunstfreund stater (lot 1322) that sold for less then half its 1974 hammer price, were amongst the few real bargains of that auction. This is the third and last one and, always in this writer’s opinion, the chances of any others making their appearance are diminishing with every year that passes. It will be interesting to see how this coin does in the auction - the estimate, of course, is in line with all the other estimates here: just a low starting price to get the bidding under way.