Nomos FPL 2022
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Lot: 41092
Price: 35000 CHF
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ISLANDS OFF THESSALY, Skyros. c. 485-480 BC. Didrachm (Silver, 23 mm, 8.75 g, 12 h). Two long horned and bearded goats, opposed vertically, back to back, with their heads turned inwards and their legs extended; between them, five-lobed fig leaf. Rev. Stellate design composed of a large central globule surrounded by four smaller ones and by two rays (towards the upper left and lower right) and two three-lobed fig leaves (towards the upper right and lower left); all within incuse square; die breaks at top, mid left edge and lower left edge. ANS GCNAC Norman Davis 126 = Balcer 13, dies A.7/P.4. BCD Thessaly 1, 1367 (this coin). BMFA 936. SNG Copenhagen 732. Very rare. Deeply toned. Good very fine.

From the BCD Collection, Nomos 4, 10 May 2011, 1367, ex Myers 13, 9 December 1976, 157.

The coinage of Skyros has been particularly problematic since its first discovery. This is because it was almost immediately copied, and copied very well, by Constantine Christodoulos, Svoronos’ great enemy. As a result, until Balcer’s study of 1978, some people believed that all Skyrian coins were inventions, while others were convinced that some were and some, obviously, were not. Having the BCD examples to study helps to clarify things. The key factor is the behaviour of the didrachm reverse die, Balcer’s P4 (this was carefully copied by Christodoulos, Balcer P3, but the shape of the incuse square is uneven and the individual parts of the design are differently sized). What we see is that there are a number of progressive faults in the die, which grow and change over time.
1) On the lower left there are a pair of faults that appear as holes, which soon take over part of the fig leaf (the fact that these faults are advanced on Balcer 5-6 surely means that they were, in fact, struck marginally later than Balcer 7-18).
2) At the top of the reverse there is a curly fault, looking like a tendril, that comes out of the ray on the upper left: this clearly visible on Balcer 12, 14, 16-18. This fault is coupled with another fault that comes out of the left side of the incuse square. However, both of these defects were removed since they do not appear on Balcer 5, 9, 13, etc. where the fault on the lower left is actually larger!
3). On the obverse, a diagonal fault begins at the bottom and can be easily seen on Balcer 9-10, 13-17. At some point, however, the entire obverse die is recut (!) to produce Balcer A.6 (!!), which has goats that are almost hornless, a differently shaped fig leaf, slightly different legs, etc. Yet it is clear that Balcer A6 and A7 are the same, as can be seen when Balcer 7 and 11 are compared. The apparent differences (as between Balcer 10 and 11, for example) are surely solely due to die wear.

This leads me to suggest that the original coinage must have been a very extensive one, struck from crudely made dies that were highly subject to wear and deterioration. The coinage itself must have served as a way for the Skyrian pirates to utilize their ill gotten gains, but its non-Skyrian users must have melted them down, hence their extreme rarity today.
Lot: 41092
Price: 35000 CHF
ISLANDS OFF THESSALY, Skyros. c. 485-480 BC. Didrachm (Silver, 23 mm, 8.75 g, 12 h). Two long horned and bearded goats, opposed vertically, back to back, with their heads turned inwards and their legs extended; between them, five-lobed fig leaf. Rev. Stellate design composed of a large central globule surrounded by four smaller ones and by two rays (towards the upper left and lower right) and two three-lobed fig leaves (towards the upper right and lower left); all within incuse square; die breaks at top, mid left edge and lower left edge. ANS GCNAC Norman Davis 126 = Balcer 13, dies A.7/P.4. BCD Thessaly 1, 1367 (this coin). BMFA 936. SNG Copenhagen 732. Very rare. Deeply toned. Good very fine.
Lot: 41094
Price: 15000 CHF
Eugenius, 392-394. Tremissis (Gold, 14 mm, 1.48 g, 6 h), Mediolanum, spring 393 - 6 September 394. D N EVGENI-VS P F AVG Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Eugenius to right. Rev. VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM /M-D/ COM Victory advancing to left, holding wreath with her extended right hand and palm branch with her left. Cohen 10. Depeyrot 11/2. RIC IX 29.1. Ulrich-Bansa pl. V, 44. Extremely rare. With a fine style portrait, one of the last truly realistic ones to appear on Roman coinage; nicely toned. About extremely fine.
Lot: 41602
Price: 100000 CHF
MACEDON. Mende. Circa 460-423 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 25.00 mm, 17.21 g, 6 h), c. 430-425. Dionysos, bearded and wearing a himation, holding a kantharos in his extended right hand and resting his left hand on the cloth covering the donkey's back, reclining left on the back of a donkey walking to right; in exergue, grasshopper. Rev. MEN - ΔA - I - ON Linear square containing a vine with leaves, tendrils and four bunches of grapes. Gulbenkian 415 (same dies). Noe, Mende 90 (this coin among the ones mentioned by Noe). SNG ANS 348. Of the highest Classical art, struck from dies prepared by an extremely capable engraver, this coin represents the artistic peak of Mende's 5th century coinage. Extremely fine.
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