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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000908

Thessalian League. Lot of 2 coins.

Triton XV, Lot: 908. Estimate $100.
Sold for $600. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Lot of 2 coins.

(908.1) THESSALY, Thessalian League. Mid – late 1st century BC. Æ Dichalkon or Obol (18mm, 7.82 g, 4h). Philokrates, Italos, and Petraios, magistrates. Helmeted bust of Athena right, wearing aegis; ΦIΛOKP[A-TOV] to right and left; countermark to upper right: ΣEB in oval incuse / ΘEΣΣA-[ΛΩN], Athena Itonia standing left, holding in her right hand Nike--who stands left, presenting wreath, resting her left hand on shield set on ground to right; spear to left; ITA-ΛOV across upper field, [ΠETPAIOΣ in exergue]. For coin: Burrer p. 62; Rogers 59, fig. 12; see also Nomos 4, 1393; countermark not found in the consulted references. Fine, countermark is VF, green patina, a few earthen deposits.


(908.2) THESSALY, Thessalian League. Mid – late 1st century BC. Æ Dichalkon or Obol (19mm, 5.82 g, 11h). Philokrates, Italos, and Petraios, magistrates. Helmeted bust of Athena right, wearing aegis; ΦIΛO[KPA-TOV] to right and left; countermark to upper left: ligate ME in square incuse / ΘEΣΣA-[ΛΩN], Athena Itonia standing left, holding in her right hand Nike--who stands left, presenting wreath, resting her left hand on shield set on ground to right; spear to left; ITA-Λ[OV] across upper field, [Π]ETPA[IOΣ] in exergue. For coin: Burrer p. 62; Rogers 59, fig. 12; see also Nomos 4, 1393; countermark not found in the consulted references. Near Fine, countermark is Fine, light green patina.

The countermark on this coin is similar to one found on a supposedly earlier issue (see lot 902.2, above); there is no doubt, however, that the two circulated at the same time, and–because of their wear–for a considerable period after they were struck. The countermark may have served to revalidate the coins during a period when bronze coins had become scarce for some unknown reason. On the other hand, the ΣEB countermark (found on lots 902.1-2 and 908.1, above, and 909.4, below) could only mean ΣEBAΣTOΣ or ΣEBAΣTOY, and it could have served older, worn coins so that they circulate legitimately in later, Roman times. If the ME countermark was read as a ligate NE, it could mean that the coins were marked as acceptable during the reign of Nero, or even Nerva (cf. Howgego 623).

BCD would like to add here that this ME countermark did not necessarily have to refer to an emperor; it could denote a magistrate, such as Megalokles (see lots 1396 to 1400 in BCD Thessaly and 915.3 to 919.1 below). But then we would have to find a reason for it being also applied on a coin that already had Megalokles engraved on it when it was struck, such as lot 915.5 below. Perhaps this coin was submitted by error, together with a number of earlier coins and it was countermarked together with them.