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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton IX, Lot: 41. Estimate $200. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 January 2006. 
Sold For $175. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BOIOTIA, Federal Coinage. Circa 395-340 BC. AR Hemidrachm (2.72 g). Boiotian shield of distinctive style / Kantharos; above, club right; BO-I across lower field; to lower left, vertical crescent facing left (defaced in antiquity with sharp object); all within incuse circle. Unpublished variety with defacement, but for type: Head, Boeotia p. 78; Traité III p. 311, 370, pl. CCIV, 34; SNG Fitzwilliam 2966. VF, even grey tone, gold hues around the devices, minor die shift on reverse. Unusually large flan for issue. ($200)

There are also examples known with the crescent symbol erased on the actual die (see lot 43 below). This particular case of ancient tampering with a coin's surface for a particular purpose could be thought of as the Greek predecessor to the Roman Damnatio Memoriae but here the erased entity is the symbol of a city rather than the portrait of an Emperor. Apparently inter-city politics and hatreds go back a long way!