AR Drachm. 5.91g, 19mm
MINTED: THESSALY, Larissa, circa 450/40-420 BC
REF: Lorber, Thessalian 54; BCD Thessaly II 173-4 var. (longer ethnic); HGC 4, 420
OBVERSE: Thessalos, nude but for petasos and cloak tied at neck, holding band across horns of bull leaping left.

REVERSE: API/ΣA-IA, horse prancing right, trailing rein, within incuse square.



Ex BCD Collection (with his round handwritten tag and polaroid cut-outs); Ex Sotheby’s (9 December 1993), lot 325 (part of)

The BCD Collection was possibly the largest and most important private collection of Greek coinage ever assembled.  Over the course of five decades, the collector, known publicly by the initials BCD, acquired over 50,000 coins representing the major cities and regions of ancient Greece.  An accomplished numismatist, BCD studied not just the historical context but also the art and chronology of the coins, with some of the results of these studies eventually finding their way into the notes he provided for the catalogues of the sale of his coins.  Many of these published catalogues are now used as the standard references for the regions they cover.  A provenance to the BCD Collection is one of the most desirable that a Greek coin can possess.


Very Fine. Light toning. Bold obverse of the hero Thessalos wrestling a bull. Nice example of this early Larissa drachm.


Historical Notes:

Thessaly in central Greece was a region of fertile, grassy plains ringed by mountains, with Mount Olympus serving as a backdrop.  Unlike other Greek regions which tended to cultivate primarily olives and grapes, Thessaly was best known for its magnificent horses, cattle, agriculture, and sports such as bull-wrestling.  Larissa was the largest and most powerful city in Thessaly for much of its history, and also one of its most prolific mints, producing a large quantity of coinage between the 5th and 4th centuries BC, of particular note their silver drachms featuring the facing head of the eponymous nymph Larissa on the obverse and a horse on the reverse. 

THESSALY, Larissa . 5th century BC . AR Drachm . Hero Thessalos . Ex BCD Coll.

SKU: 2384
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