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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton IX, Lot: 177. Estimate $150. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 January 2006. 
Sold For $240. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BOIOTIA, Mykalessos. Circa 400-375 BC. AR Obol (0.89 g). Boiotian shield / Vertical thunderbolt between Y-M; all in concave circle. Head, Boeotia p. 47; BMC 3. EF, underlying lustre, off centre reverse. ($150)

The retrograde ethnic on the reverse of these obols make them slightly scarcer than the coins struck with the letters reading from left to right. Greeks were quite used to reading backwards (much more so than people are today) and this is one of the reasons that so many coin inscriptions are retrograde. Apparently it was just not worth it taking special care not to produce coins with legends written in a way which in our days would be considered a mistake.