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Research Coins: Feature Auction



Triton XV, Lot: 797. Estimate $150.
Sold for $500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Peparethos (IACP 511)

Modern Skopelos, Peparethos was an island in the northern Sporades that has a long history. Ancient legend has it that it was settled by the Minoans: this may well be true since there are ancient remains from that period. It was resettled no later than the 8th century BC. The city of Peparethos was walled by 426 BC, and there were a number of sanctuaries. Its wealth came from wine, to which there are references on its famous archaic coinage. It also produced wood for ship building and was assessed an annual tribute to the Delian League of three talents. The island was laid waste by the Macedonians in 340 BC and again in the 2nd century BC. In 42 BC it was turned over to Athens.

As mentioned above, an impressive silver coinage of the earlier 5th century has been attributed to Peparethos, but none of those coins is present in the BCD collection because BCD thinks they belong more to the Macedonian coinage tradition than they do to the Thessalian. By contrast, the island’s later coinage is firmly Thessalian. There are some bronze coins produced in the mid 4th century, some scarce pieces in the 2nd century, and some very rare coins under Augustus.

ISLANDS off THESSALY, Peparethos. First half of the 4th century BC. Æ Chalkous (14mm, 1.85 g, 12h). Head of Dionysos (?) r., crowned with ivy (?) / Π-E to l. and r., kantharos. This type not found in consulted references. VF, nice green patina; some marks and minor surface roughness.

The head on this obverse looks more like Apollo and the wreath like a laurel wreath. Dionysos is however the chief deity of Peparethos and it would be unusual to consciously depict another god on the island’s coins. Perhaps this is the earliest bronze of the mint and the artist that was commissioned to prepare the dies came from Macedon or Thessaly and specialized in engraving Apollo dies rather than Dionysos portraits.