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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Ex Rosen Collection

CNG 112, Lot: 3. Estimate $300.
Sold for $850. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

GAUL, Massalia(?). Circa 525-460 BC. AR Triobol(?) (10.5mm, 1.89 g). Facing gorgoneion with protruding tongue / Incuse square. Rosen 380 (Asia Minor; this coin); cf. M.C. Martelli, “Il ripostiglio di Volterra” in AIIN Supp. 22 (1976), 38–52 (obols[?]); M&M AG FPL 296, no. 9 (same dies); NY Sale IV, lot 17 = Auctiones AG 10, 42 (same dies). Toned. Good VF. Extremely rare, only one in CoinArchives (the NY Sale IV coin).

From the Matthew Curtis Collection. Ex Kirk Davis FPL 30 (March 2000), no. 51; Jonathan P. Rosen Collection (Münzen und Medaillen AG 72, 6 October 1987), lot 134; A. Hess AG 247 (29 June 1978), lot 166.

The attribution of this rare issue is quite complex. The style precludes attributing it to one of the many major mints that produced a similar type (e.g. Athens, Macedonian Neapolis, Parion, etc.). Although the Volterra hoard (IGCH 1875) did not contain any of this denomination, it contained obols of this type that are of identical style. The majority of the coins in the hoard were of Auriol types, so an attribution to Massalia, which did strike other issues featuring a gorgoneion, seems most likely for this issue.