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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XXI, Lot: 387. Estimate $1000.
Sold for $750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MACEDON, Kampsa (Kapsa). Late 5th-early 4th centuries BC. AR Diobol (10mm, 1.20 g, 5h). Head of Hermes right, wearing winged petasos / One-handled lekythos; K-A flanking. HGC 3, 528 (this coin referenced and illustrated); otherwise unpublished. VF, toned. Unique as a diobol.

From the Belgica Collection. Ex Triton XIV (4 January 2011), lot 63.

Although this type is unpublished in specialized references, see McClean 7312 for a hemiobol with the same obverse type, and a reverse with K-A flanking a grape bunch that E.S.G. Robinson attributed to Kapsa. The Hermes and wine related types are, individually, quite common in the Thraco-Macedonian region, but, except for this coin and the McClean hemiobol, are not found together. Epigraphically, it is attractive to suggest an attribution to Kallatis or Kabyle, where Hermes is often used on bronze coins, but wine related types are not found on the coins of either city. On the other hand, the city of Kapsa is thought to have been located north of Mende on the Thermaic gulf (Hdt. 7.123), an area well known for its wine production – wine motifs figure prominently on the coinage of Mende, as well as other cities in the Chalkidike. The combination of Hermes with wine also has a Dionysiac reference –while an infant, Dionysos was given into the charge of Hermes by Zeus. Motifs associated with Dionysos are also prominently displayed on coins in the Chalkidike. The association of the Hermes and the wine-related types with Dionysos also serves as a link between these coins and the mule/incuse coinage attributed to Kapsa, which have a KA inscribed on their reverses (cf. SNG ANS 228; Traité I 1628). In sum, the combination of these types and the legend KA strongly suggest that Robinson’s attribution of these later issues to Kapsa is correct.