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Mopsion, Thessaly, c. 350 - 300 B.C.
Mopsion issued only bronze coins, and only c. 350 - 300 B.C. In Nomos 4, BCD notes, "The bronzes of Mopsion are practically impossible to find in nice condition and without flaws or corrosion. They are also very rare and desirable because of the their spectacularly eloquent reverse. The nicest one to come up for auction realized $18,000..."
Mopsion, in the Peneus valley half way between Larissa and Tempe, took its name from the Lapith Mopsos, a son of Ampyx. Mopsos learned augury from Apollo, understood the language of birds, and became an Argonaut seer. As depicted on this coin, he was one of the Lapiths who defeated the Centaurs. This battle was a favorite subject of Greek art. While fleeing across the Libyan desert from angry sisters of the slain Gorgon Medusa, Mopsos died from the bite of a viper that had grown from a drop of Medusa's blood. Medea was unable to save him, even by magical means. The Argonauts buried him with a monument by the sea, and a temple was later erected on the site.
GB87120. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly II
484, BCD Thessaly
I 1210, Rogers
4648, HGC 4
537 (R2), SNG Cop
-, BMC Thessaly
-, gF, dark garnet and black patina
, well centered
, a little rough, Mopsion (Bakraina(?), Greece
) mint, weight
8.082g, maximum diameter
20.5mm, die axis
, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse head
of Zeus facing slightly right, vertical thunderbolt to right; reverse
MOΨ-EI-ΩN, Lapith Mopsos standing facing, nude, his head
turned right, raising club in right hand and extending his left hand, fighting centaur
that is rearing left and raising a bolder over its head
with both hands
preparing to throw it; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "HK ex Thess., April 02, $275.-"; very rare
$450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00
Catalog current as of Monday, May 27, 2019.
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