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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     680285
Type:     Greek
Region:     THESSALY
City:     Methylion
Metal:     Bronze
Denomination:     AE12
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC Circa 5th century
Diameter:     12 mm
Weight:     1.33 g
Obverse Legend:     Μ−Σ−Θ-V
Obverse Description:     Grain ear within partially opened husk; stem remaining; M-E across upper field, read left to right from the bottom, and Θ-V across lower field, read right to left from the top
Reverse Legend:     [Μ]ΣΝΣΚΡΑ[ΤΟΥΣ] (retrograde)
Reverse Description:     Ram standing right [on double groundline]; legend around; all within circular incuse
Mint:     Methylion
Primary Reference:     Unpublished (see notes)
Photograph Credit:     CNG
Price Sold For:     5250 USD
Grade:     gVF
Notes:     Exceptionally rare. Until 2005 there was only this single specimen known. In Schweizer Münzblätter 37 (May 1960), P.R. Franke first published a coin of this type, which recently appeared at auction (Triton VIII, lot 285). On that example, the letters on the left side of the obverse were only partially visible. Franke interpreted them as an A, at the top, and an O, at the midline, leading him to attribute the coin to the city of Olea. Three other examples have appeared at auction recently, but none have been helpful in clarifying the reading. A survey of the early coinage at Methylion, all extremely rare, reveals the same ethnic and iconography on drachms (Traité I 1424), hemidrachms (CNG 73, lot 189), and obols (CNG 73, lot 190). While this bronze issue clearly postdates the silver coins, it certainly belongs to the earliest period of bronze coinage in Thessaly. An additional note on this type: Franke assumed the name on the reverse to be that of a magistrate, and also assumed the ending was -TOYΣ. However, none of the known coins show the full name, and the legend on the CNG 78 example ends with an A. Accordingly, we have left the legend incomplete.