Thessaly, Pharsalos, AR Drachm, Late 5th-mid 4th century BC, Lavva Plate Coin
City/Region:
Thessaly, Pharsalos
Denomination:
AR Drachm
Composition:
Silver
Date:
Late 5th-mid 4th century BC
Obverse:
Helmeted head of Athena right, adorned with sphinx; T/Θ behind neck guard
Reverse:
Φ-A/P-Σ (partially retrograde), Horseman advancing right, wearing petasus, chiton and chlamys, striking his whip, horse prancing
Size:
20.11mm, 6.00g, 1h
Grade:
VF, cabinet-toned, high relief, some roughness, banker’s mark on reverse
Rarity:
rare, few variants with the griffin on the helmet were found in published references and online auction archives
Provenance:
Pedigreed, from the BCD Collection, with his round tag and accompanied by life sized photos of each side of the coin, ex CNG eAuction 412 (17 January 2018), Lot 145; ex Robert L. Grover Collection (Superior, 12 June 1986), Lot 1639 (part of); ex Myers 5 (15 March 1973), Lot 116
References:
Lavva 144i (V68/R84 – this coin, illustrated); BCD Thessaly II 645 (same dies); BMC Thessaly [Pharsalus] p. 44, 13-14; cf. SNG Alpha Bank 243; cf. SGN Copenhagen 221; cf. Thessaly I 1288; HGC 4, 626; cf. SGCV I 2191; BCD Thessaly I -

List of references used by Ancient Coin Traders


Plate Coin - illustrated Lavva, S. Die Münzprägung von Pharsalos. Saarbrücker Studien zur Archäologie und Alten Geschichte, Bd. 14. (Saarbrücker, 2001). Pedigreed coin, from the BCD Collection, and collections which preceded it.

Pharsalos was one of the most important cities of Ancient Thessaly. It is most famous for the battle of Pharsalos in 38 BC in which Julius Caesar was victorious over Pompey, ending the wars of the First Triumvirate, leading to the end of the Roman Republic. In ancient times, the thessalian plains were famous for horse-rearing in ancient times. Alexander the Great's own horse was from Pharsalos. It is therefore very fitting that the coins minted in Pharsalos display a horse's head on the reverse.