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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton IX, Lot: 169. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 January 2006. 
Sold For $1000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BOIOTIA, Koroneia (or Kopai?). Early 4th century BC. AR Obol (1.00 g). Boiotian shield / Gorgoneion with barely protruding tongue; K-W (the W sideways) across field; all in concave circle. Unpublished. VF, dark grey tone, old scratch on shield. Unique? ($750).

It would be highly unusual for Koroneia to spell its ethnic with the archaic omega (W) after having used the koppa on its coins. Yet such strange things did happen in early times, before the Greeks adopted a more logical approach to their coining systems. [See, for instance, Winterthur 1684, for the case of a Pharsalos type hemidrachm clearly labelled with the first three letters of the mint of Kierion]. On the other hand, this coin could well be an attempt of the Kopai mint to appropriate the Gorgon type for itself, before Koroneia laid claim to it. We shall probably never know how it all started or what really happened but we certainly know the outcome: Kopai got the bull and Koroneia got the gorgon.