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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XV, Lot: 756. Estimate $150.
Sold for $600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Skotussa. Circa 220 BC. AR Trihemiobol (12mm, 1.12 g, 11h). Wreathed head of young Herakles r., border of dots / ΣKOTOY r. down, ΣAIΩN l. down, Hekate standing l., dressed in long robes, holding long torch with her r., her l. on her waist with drapery folded over it. Traité IV, 629, pl. CCXCV, 8. Near VF, toned, obverse not perfectly centred; very rare.

This companion piece to the last silver issue of Skotussa is much rarer than the bigger denomination and missing from most public collections. Here, the young and beardless Herakles is shown laureate but his lion’s skin with the animal’s feet crossing in front can be seen around his neck and is probably draped on his shoulders. Skotussa sems to have lost much of her allure towards the end of the third century but continued striking bronze for local needs, if only sporadically. The style of these bronzes kept deteriorating until the time when the city could not any more afford to strike its own coins. Lots 757.1 to 757.4 below, are examples of coins that share their obverse dies with similarly artless bronzes of Larissa and Gomphi. Apparently, at this state of destitution, coinage for all three cities was struck in one central location, probably Larissa.