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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
710609
Sale: Triton IX, Lot: 609. Estimate $1000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 January 2006. 
Sold For $1000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BOIOTIA, Thespiai. Early-mid 4th century BC. AR Tetartemorion (0.19 g). Boiotian shield decorated with a vertical crescent / Head of Aphrodite Melainis right; SE-Q (retrograde) flanking neck. Cf. V. Demetriadi, "Some new fractions from central and southern Greece," pour Denyse pp. 53-54, pl. 6, 6 and 6A. EF, attractively toned. A masterpiece of miniaturization. Unique. ($1000)

To quote from the above reference, p. 54: "The technical difficulties of engraving such a small head... should not be underestimated, and striking these minute coins must have been very difficult as well. It is therefore not surprising that no further examples of this miniature of miniatures have come down to us. The die could not have lasted for long and after it broke it was probably considered uneconomical to repeat the experiment."