World Coins

Classical Numismatic Group offers coins of Thessaly

A rare silver stater of Alexander of Pherai, the tyrant, issued circa 369 to 358 B.C. in Pherai, highlights the BCD Collection of Coins of Thessaly being auctioned in two sessions Jan. 3 by Classical Numismatic Group.

The coin, “one of only five Alexander staters to have been auctioned since” World War II, is among the finest known of examples of the rare issue. A likely explanation for the coin’s rarity, according to the firm, is that Alexander the tyrant “was so feared and despised for his cruelty that, as soon as he was assassinated, the coins bearing his full name were recalled and recycled.”

The coin, in Very Fine condition, has an estimate starting at $5,000.

The Thessalian coins compose the final auction of the BCD Collection, what the firm calls “one of the most comprehensive and impressive collections of the ancient coins of Greece ever assembled,” which has been sold by seven different firms in a series of 14 auctions beginning in 2001.

The BCD auction is scheduled in conjunction with the 40th annual New York International Numismatic Convention and is one of three catalogs published by the firm for auctions related to the show. Previews of the other sales are posted at

All successful bids are subject to an 18 percent buyer’s fee, with a discount to 15 percent for certain payment and bidding methods.

Virtual catalogs may be viewed at the firm’s website,, and are accessible through; printed catalogs may be ordered from the firm for a fee.

For more information, telephone the firm at 717-390-9194, email it at or visit its website.

Some additional highlights:

Greece, Thessaly Thessalian League, circa 470s to 460s B.C. silver hemidrachm, 2.81 grams, Lot 19, “obverse slightly off center,” Very Fine.

Greece, Thessaly, Gryton, circa 340s to 330s B.C. silver hemidrachm, 3.08 grams, Lot 77, “small scratch on the reverse, has been cleaned and now beginning to tone,” Extremely Fine.

Greece, Thessaly, Larissa, 479/475 to circa 460 B.C. silver drachm, 5.06 grams, Lot 129, “has been cleaned, the obverse shows striking slippage on the ground line and the reverse is struck off centre,” Near EF.

Greece, Thessaly, Larissa, early to mid-fourth century silver drachm, 6.17 grams, Lot 191, “toned, part of the horse’s head off flan but an unusually sharp strike for this type,” Near EF.

Greece, Thessaly, Larissa, mid- to late fourth century silver stater, 12.22 grams, Lot 306, “attractive toning on a very pretty nymph’s head; the reverse struck on a tight flan, missing most of the horse’s tail and the top part of its head,” Near EF.

Greece, Thessaly, Larissa, mid- to late fourth century B.C. silver stater, 12.21 grams, Lot 311, “nicely toned and very sharply struck on the reverse but with a small metal flaw at the top of the horse’s hind legs,” EF.

Greece, Thessaly, Pelinna, mid-fourth century B.C. bronze dichalkon, 4.57 grams, “probably the best known of the few in existence and the only one in private hands,” Lot 523, “dark green patina,” Near VF.

Greece, Thessaly, Pherai, early third century B.C. silver stater, 12.03 grams, Lot 712, “toned; nice surfaces with a hint of deposit leftovers on the obv[erse],” VF.

Greece, Thessaly, Skyros, circa 485 to 480 B.C. silver didrachm, 8.67 grams, Lot 809, “edge metal flaw ... neither side perfectly centred,” VF. ¦

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