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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000735

Skotussa. Lot of 2 coins.

Triton XV, Lot: 735. Estimate $200.
Sold for $200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Skotussa’s mint, as well as the polis itself, must have flourished around the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th centuries BC. There was an air of innovation blowing and at the same time new and gifted artists were involved in the preparation of dies. It is quite possible that the end of the Peloponnesian war saw a number of Athenians emigrating to Thessaly. Skotussa, located about half way between Pharsalos and Pherai, was a logical stop on the way north and must have been well equipped to offer an appealing alternative to liberal Athenians running away from the Spartan oppression. Amongst them there must have been artists and die cutters; in this writer’s opinion, the range of Herakles/horse denominations that follow were sculpted by an Athenian hand. Perhaps, one day, examples of the drachm and the stater will be found...

Lot of 2 coins.

(735.1) THESSALY, Skotussa. Early 4th century BC. AR Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.75 g, 12h). Archaizing head of Herakles r., wearing lion’s skin headdress / 𐌔-KO below, forepart of bridled horse walking r., being led by its rein; all in concave field. This particular obverse die not found in the literature consulted. Good Fine, toned; slightly porous surfaces and a light film of deposit on parts of the reverse; a rare, unknown up to now (?) obverse die in fine, late archaic style.

This writer is very fond of this Herakles portrait, one of the earliest coins in his collection, but has not been able to find this die in any of the sources he consulted. The next coin in this lot is surely from the same hand and equally charming, a miniature of the highest artistic calibre.

(735.2) THESSALY, Skotussa. Early 4th century BC. AR Obol (10.5mm, 0.86 g, 9h). Archaizing head of Herakles r., wearing lion’s skin headdress / 𐌔-KO below, forepart of bridled horse walking r., being led by its rein; all in concave field. This particular obverse die not found in the literature consulted; see lot 738 below for a vaguely related but surely later trihemiobol. Good Fine, toned, with lightly granulated surfaces but no loss of detail; a captivating fraction, the obverse die engraved in late archaic style by a superb artist; very rare, especially so nice.