G414 An Excessively Rare Greek Silver Drachm of Gomphi-Philippopolis (Thessaly), a Rare and Noble Facing Head of Hera
Circa 350 BC. Drachm (Silver, 5.51 g 12). Head of Hera facing, wearing stephane, pendant earrings and a solid, torc-like necklace. Rev. FILIPPO-POLITWN Zeus Palamnaios, draped to the waist and with his torso bare, seated on rock to left, holding long scepter in his right hand and resting his left on the rock; to left, thunderbolt. BMC 1 = Traité IV, 532, pl. CCXCI, 2 (same obverse die). Of great rarity and with a remarkably noble and attractive head of Hera. Crystalized surfaces, otherwise, about extremely fine. This is a coin that is virtually never seen and is missing from all of the world’s great collections. The head of Hera is particularly fine, an equal to the finest issues from Magna Graecia and having a subtlety of form that exceeds all the heads from contemporary Larissa. The figure of Zeus on the reverse is also particularly elegant. The only fault this coin has is, as with so many coins from Thessaly, the rough surfaces so characteristic of silver coins found in its fertile soil. Interestingly enough, this coin bears an uncanny resemblance to the somewhat earlier, though equally rare, coinage of Pandosia in Bruttium (as the famous coin in Boston, BMFA 196 and HN³, 2450 - there dated to the second quarter of the 4th century in parallel with issues from Kroton, HN³, 2159 ff., which are themselves somewhat less confidently dated to the 390s). It seems likely that the artistic influences behind this coin, and the hemidrachm in the following lot, must have come from the West.