Nomos AG

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Obolos 21: A Good Start Into the New Year for Nomos

Yes, indeed, the New Year began with a bang! Numerous collectors and dealers, all fully recovered from the New Year’s Eve festivities (or, at least, once again compos mentis) rushed to bid on the Obolos 21 coins, culminating in huge last second battles for lot after lot.

The total of the Starting Prices for the auction’s 1157 lots was 142,035 CHF, but the total Hammer Price (without the buyers’ premium) was a very healthy 321,108 CHF! The usual realized prices ranged from around the starting price itself to the double, but many, many went much, much higher! Let’s look at a few:

Lot 24: Lucania. Herakleia. Nomos, c. 350-340 BC. A fascinating coin with a remarkable reverse of splendid Classical style. Edge bang, otherwise, good very fine. Starting Price: 350 CHF. Result: 1,900 CHF.
  • Lot 24: As always rarity and style (by which I mean good style!) combine to send coins skywards. This nomos/stater of Herakleia has everything going for it but condition: of superb style, perfectly centered and with an exceptional reverse, it is lovely but worn. With an Starting Price of 350 CHF it was fought up to 1,900 CHF!
  • Lot 92: A coin from Apollonia Pontika (Starting Price: 100 CHF) was highlighted in a previous newsletter: we thought it was fascinating, and so did all those who pushed it to 600 CHF!
  • Lot 209: A drachm (Starting Price: 100 CHF) with its most unusual crab claw symbol: it went for a suitable 380 CHF to a mysterious bidder who closely resembles the character of Natascha so well-known from Rocky and Bullwinkle.
  • Lot 235: We highlighted the Alexander tetradrachm with the extraordinary symbol of Herakles and the Hydra (Starting Price: 150 CHF): it went to the same buyer as the last for 900 CHF.
Lot 320: Boeotia, Plataiai. Hemidrachm, c. 387-372 BC. Extremely rare with only a handful of specimens known! Well centered and quite attractive. Very fine. Starting Price: 75 CHF. Result: 2,800 CHF.
  • Lot 320: This, a hemidrachm from Plataiai, is a great rarity (Starting Price: 75 CHF) and everyone wanted it. Yes, sorry, sorry, the starting price was much too low (when we made it the weather was nasty and dark, and Mitsos was drinking coffee non-stop), but it took off to a more appropriate hammer price of 2,800 CHF!
  • Lot 527: The unpublished obol from Ura – later known as Kelenderis – (Starting Price: 200 CHF) sold to an advanced collector for 1,100 CHF.
  • Lot 547: The apparently unpublished sixth-stater of Marion (Starting Price: 150 CHF): its low starting price was justified (?) by its pitted surfaces). This did not stop it from going up to 2,000 CHF!
Lot 615. Baktria, Pre-Seleukid Era. Local issues. Diobol, circa 295/3-285/3 BC, uncertain mint in the Oxus region. Extremely rare. Dark find patina with light earthen deposits. Very fine. Starting Price: 100 CHF. Result: 1,200 CHF.
  • Lot 615: We already highlighted the fascinating Baktrian diobol (Starting Price: 100 CHF): its new owner began bidding on it on 12 December soon after Obolos 21 went online. Various other bidders dived in until, 2 seconds before it closed, the original bidder finally got it for 1,200 CHF! A triumph well-deserved!
  • Lot 682: The Centaur Chiron is very rarely shown on coins, so when he does turn up, as he does here (Starting Price: 300 CHF), people want him; this sold for 650 CHF.
Lot 846: Roman Imperial. Pertinax (193). Denarius, 193, Rome. An excellent example with a lovely portrait of Pertinax. About extremely fine. Starting Price: 200 CHF. Result: 1,800 CHF.
  • Lot 846: With a starting price of 200 CHF the denarius of Pertinax got a lot of attention: 22 bids to be exact. The ultimate winner paid 1,800 CHF.
  • Lot 964: The very nice Syracusan 40 nummia piece of Theodosius III that was in the last newsletter (Starting Price: 100 CHF). Its outstanding quality led to it having 22 bids with the winner being 850 CHF!


All results of Obolos 21 can be viewed in the online catalog.

For further information about the auction house, visit the Nomos website.