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Research Coins: Feature Auction



Triton XV, Lot: 804. Estimate $150.
Sold for $1300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Skiathos (IACP 520)

The westernmost island of the Sporades, Skiathos lies east of the Mt. Pelion peninsula in Magnesia, and the town of Skiathos appears to have been the only settlement on the island. Originally colonized by people from the Chalkidike to the north, Skiathos played a minor role during the second Persian invasion of Greece (480-479 BC). In 480 BC, the Persian fleet was driven upon the island's coastal rocks in a storm, an event that prevented a Persian naval invasion and allowed the Greeks to provision the 300 at Thermopylai. The island was, as a member of the Delian League, an Athenian ally. Following the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) and the dissolution of the Delian League, Skiathos came under Spartan control, where it remained until sometime after 377/6 BC when the island became part of the Second Athenian Naval League (IG II2 43.A.86). In 351 BC, the Athenian orator Demosthenes praised Skiathos for the logistical support it provided to the Athenian fleet. As a result, Skiathos agian allied itself with Athens. Subsequently taken over by Macedon in the later 4th century BC, the island was devastated by the Romans at the end of the 3rd century BC, and became a Pontic stronghold in 88 BC, finally becoming Athenian again in 42 BC.

The city’s only coinage was bronzes issued of the mid 4th century BC to the second century BC.

ISLANDS off THESSALY, Skiathos. 4th century BC. Æ Chalkous (15mm, 3.16 g, 7h). Youthful male head r., hair bound with tainia / ΣKI r. down, AʘI l. down, kerykeion (caduceus) with spiked end for standing on the ground, all in incuse circle. Rogers 370, fig. 322. Near VF, green patina, partly stripped off on the obv. that also has a few marks and a hairline striking crack at 5 o’clock; an attractive early coin, rare thus.

Acquired from Italo Vecchi at NAC in Zurich, January 1991, for CHF 75.

See CNG 81/2, 2708 where, in a very interesting note, the “spiked kerykeion” is, for the first time, noticed and explained with examples from Greek pottery.