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Research Coins: Feature Auction



Triton XV, Lot: 758. Estimate $200.
Sold for $3000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Thebai (IACP 444)

Thebai in Achaian Phthiotis was a very old city indeed. There are remains going back to the late Neolithic, and the Mycenaean settlement seems to have been destroyed by fire circa 1200 BC. In archaic times the city was famous for its temple of Athena Polias. In 353 BC, it was the site of Philip II’s victory over Pherai, and in 323/322 BC it was the only city in the area to remain loyal to Macedonia. Kassander even wanted to make Thebai into a city powerful enough to counter Pherai. However, it was ultimately overtaken by Demetrias, and in Roman times was of little importance.

Its coinage seems to be limited to issues struck in the time of Demetrios Poliorketes, at the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC.

THESSALY, Thebai. Early 3rd century BC. AR Hemidrachm (17mm, 2.40 g, 11h). Veiled head of Demeter r., wearing grain wreath / ʘHBAIΩИ l. up, Protesilaos, armoured and wearing short chiton and crested helmet, holding shield with his l. and sword in his r., stepping off the prow of a galley; below, waves. SNG Lockett 1617 (this coin); see also Nomos 4, 1347 corr. [same rev. die; the reversed N, clear on the photograph, is not mentioned in the text]. VF, old collection toning; obv. not perfectly centred; rev. edge die flaw between 2 and 3 o’clock. From the collections of D. Bersi-Mangakis and R. C. Lockett.

Acquired in March 1977 for CHF 1200; ex Glendining’s 12 February 1958 (Lockett) 1479.

This writer has the fondest memories of “evenings out” with Dimi (or DBM as he appears on his coin tickets), talking coins. Dimi started by collecting English pennies as a young man; his stories about visiting Lockett and having tea with him in his “Winter Garden” while the butler would fetch “Cabinet 23” that contained the pennies to be discussed, would always leave the listener with that vague feeling of nostalgia mixed with the regret that he would never live moments like these - they happened before his time and belonged to a different world. A world that was kinder to collectors and where collecting was not regulated by financial interests and power politics or defined by bigoted public servants.