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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000784
Triton XV, Lot: 784. Estimate $100.
Sold for $1700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Trikka. Circa 400 BC. AR Trihemiobol (13mm, 1.34 g, 9h). Head of nymph Trikke r., wearing pendant earring and plain necklace, her hair rolled around her head and placed in sakkos at the back / TP l. up, traces of other letters r. down, wreathed male figure (Apollo ?), wearing his himation draped around his naked torso, seated r. on stool and playing a lyre. Moustaka, TRIKKAIΩN, p. 93, esp. note 43 and pl. 12, b; also, H. Biesantz, Die thessalischen Grabreliefs (Mainz 1965) pl. 72, 13, both referring to the same coin, in Berlin. Near VF, lightly toned; rough surfaces; two curved surface striking flaws on obverse; of the highest rarity and importance, the 2nd known (?).

Ex CNG 84 (5 May 2010) 354, hammer $525.

The subject of this coin has a parallel in two other unique obols: see lots 785.1 and 785.2 below. All three must refer to the same music festival that was important enough for the city to issue trihemiobols and obols commemorating the event. Such coins were obviously struck in limited quantities and probably also given to selected participants as awards for their musical prowess.