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Lot # 55 - Auction is closed.Estimate: US$1000 / Price Realized: US$1200
Arcadia, Psophis. Obol
Arcadia, Psophis. Third quarter of 4th century BC. Obol, 0.77g. (2h). Obv: Head of Artemis Erykine right. Rx: Antlers of the Keryneian Hind; vertically between them. Unpublished and unique. VF/EF.

"The archaic silver of this city was known until recently in four denominations: the unique British Museum tetrobol (BMC Peloponnesos pl. XXXVI, 18), the very rare trihemiobols (BCD Peloponnesos 1669), the more plentiful obols (BCD 1661 ff.) and the rare hemiobols (BCD 1673, 1674 and 1678). Some years ago another denomination made its appearance, the tetartemorion or quarter obol (BCD Peloponnesos 1682). This tiny fraction, contemporary with the later, mid fourth century silver fractions (BCD 1680 and 1681), retained the hind and fish iconography of the archaic coins. Up to now, the only known iconographical departure from the above subjects was the unique Berlin hemiobol (Traite, pl. CCXXVI, 7) featuring the helmeted head of Athena Polias on its obverse and the club of Herakles on the reverse. The full circular legend of the city's ethnic on this coin's reverse was the reason for which Alan Walker, in his introduction to this city's coinage in BCD Peloponnesos, assumed, quite rightly at the time, that this coin was 'the last silver issue of Psophis'. To the above coins we can now add this unique obol of an equally late date, probably about the third quarter of the fourth century. The obverse features a profile of the patron divinity of Psophis, Artemis Erykine, whereas the charming design of the reverse confirms the identity of the goddess by depicting in faithful and delicate detail the antlers of her forest companion, the deer. The Greeks loved ambivalence in their coin iconography so an alternate, mythological interpretation of the coins reverse would be alluding to Herakles' third Labor, capturing the Keryneian Hind 'whose antlers were of gold, hooves were of brass and was so fast that it could outrun an arrow'".--BCD.
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