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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000775

Trikka. Lot of 7 coins.

Triton XV, Lot: 775. Estimate $500.
Sold for $900. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lot of 7 coins.

(775.1) THESSALY, Trikka. 2nd half of the 5th century BC. AR Hemidrachm (15.5mm, 2.63 g, 2h). Youthful hero, Thessalos, naked, holding a band with both hands below the horns of the forepart of a bull leaping r., border of dots / TPI-KKA from top l., down and r., the first part of the legend retrograde, forepart of horse prancing r., all in incuse square. SNG Fitzwilliam 2458 (same rev. die). Near VF, lightly toned; surfaces a little porous; the obv. edge from 7 to 8 o’clock split from the strike and slightly rough. Same obverse die as lot 771.5 below.

There is no trace of cloak or petasos on this obverse; the hero may be wearing something like a scull cap but we cannot be sure. The edge split hints at something dark brown underneath that may be the bronze core of a plated (fourrée) coin. This and the lack of the hero’s trappings is the only indication that the coin could be an ancient forgery; the weight is a little on the low side but still within the acceptable limits. The weight of the Fitzwilliam piece is 2.52; this reinforces the possibility of a very well made ancient forgery.

(775.2) THESSALY, Trikka. 2nd half of the 5th century BC. AR Hemidrachm (15mm, 2.74 g, 1h). Youthful hero, Thessalos, naked but for cloak and petasos over his shoulders, holding a band with both hands below the horns of the forepart of a bull leaping r., border of dots / TP-IK-K-A-IOИ from middle l., up, r. and circular, forepart of bridled horse prancing r., all in incuse square with rounded edges and corners. See Vinchon 27 February 1961, 138 (same dies). Good Fine, lightly toned.

Judging from its style, probably amongst the earliest issues of Trikka hemidrachms.

(775.3) THESSALY, Trikka. 2nd half of the 5th century BC. AR Hemidrachm (16.5mm, 2.86 g, 2h). Youthful hero, Thessalos, naked but for cloak and petasos over his shoulders, holding a band with both hands below the horns of the forepart of a bull leaping r., border of dots / TP-IK-K-A-I-OИ from middle l., up, r. and down circular, the A upside down, forepart of bridled horse prancing r., all in incuse square with rounded edges and corners. See Gorny & Mosch 196 (7 March 2011) 1466 (same dies). VF, lightly toned; on the reverse, linear die flaw at 10 o’clock.


(775.4) THESSALY, Trikka. 2nd half of the 5th century BC. AR Hemidrachm (16.5mm, 2.86 g, 6h). Youthful hero, Thessalos, naked, holding a band with both hands below the horns of the forepart of a bull leaping r., border of dots / T-P-IK-K-A-I from above r., to l., down and circular, the P and the first K retrograde, forepart of bridled horse prancing r., all in incuse square with rounded edges and corners. Good Fine, dark old collection toning; obverse struck a little softly. Same obverse die as lot 775.1 above.

Ex Peus 284 (9 December 1974) 236, hammer DM 450; L. Hamburger [92] (11 June 1930) 125.

The obverse die identity with the suspicious lot 775.1 above, does not necessarily mean that this coin too is a fourrée. Perhaps the obverse die was used for legitimate coins and, “after hours”, some fakes were struck in an effort to supplement the low wages of the mint operators.

(775.5) THESSALY, Trikka. 2nd half of the 5th century BC. AR Hemidrachm (17.5mm, 2.89 g, 1h). Youthful hero, Thessalos, naked but for cloak and petasos over his shoulders, holding a band with both hands below the horns of the forepart of a bull leaping r., below bull’s head, E downwards; V (plant?) on the ground line between hero’s legs; border of dots / TP-I-KKA-I-OИ from middle l., up, r. and down circular, forepart of bridled horse prancing r., all in incuse square. Traité IV, 540, pl. CCXCI, 11 (same dies). Good Fine, toned, a little unevenly; obverse die rusty in places; reverse die flaw at 10 o’clock.

Acquired from Dr. Roland Maly (Nomos AG), May 1981, for CHF 1400.

One of the few Trikka hemidrachm obverse dies with additional controls; the coin’s fabric and artwork give an impression of earlier rather than later date.

(775.6) THESSALY, Trikka. 2nd half of the 5th century BC. AR Hemidrachm (16mm, 2.75 g, 9h). Youthful hero, Thessalos, naked but for cloak and petasos over his shoulders, holding a band with both hands below the horns of the forepart of a bull leaping r., below bull’s body VE, the E retrograde; border of dots / TPI-K-KAI-O-И from middle l., up, r. and down circular, forepart of bridled horse prancing r., all in shallow incuse square. This die combination not found in references consulted. Good Fine, toned; slightly rough surfaces; rare variety.

The E and the V of the previous coin, lot 775.5, have now combined into a signature, a name probably starting with EΛ; the “plant” interpretation is therefore less likely.

(775.7) THESSALY, Trikka. 2nd half of the 5th century BC. AR Hemidrachm (17.5mm, 2.88 g, 4h). Youthful hero, Thessalos, naked but for cloak and petasos over his shoulders, holding a band with both hands below the horns of the forepart of a bull leaping r., border of dots / T-PI-K-[K]AI-[O]-N from above l., r., down and circular, forepart of horse prancing r., all in shallow incuse square. See CNG e-sale 129 (21 December 2005) 94 (same dies). Fine, toned; some traces of deposit leftovers on obv. and two ancient scratches at 2 o’clock on reverse that could be an attempt to engrave an Λ.

Ex M+M FPL 449 (October 1982) 150, for CHF 280.

This may be a little far-fetched, but as there is a tendency in human nature to “correct” things, the Λ - if it is an Λ - scratched on this coin could refer to the die engraver of the two previous coins, 775.5 and 775.6. In this case the EΛ previously suggested by this writer should be changed to ΛE which, by the way, is the beginning of many more ancient names than the EΛ. However, to further complicate matters, Ernest Babelon, in Traité, 2, IV, 550 sees EY on the obol (see below lot 779.1) and this would surely apply to the hemidrachms as well, providing a common date bracket for the two denominations.