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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Nude or Erotic||View Options:  |  |  |   

Nude Figures and Erotic Images on Ancient Coins

The ancients had a grand appreciation for the beauty of the human body and a rather bawdy view of sexuality.


Thasos, Thrace, c. 500 - 480 B.C.

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Nymphs are nature spirits who appear as beautiful, young nubile maidens. They dwell in mountains, valleys and groves, by springs and rivers, and also in trees and cool grottoes. Nymphs love to dance and sing and are the frequent target of satyrs. Satyrs are male companions of Pan and Dionysus with goat-like features, including a goat-tail, goat-like ears, and sometimes a goat-like phallus. As Dionysiac creatures, Satyrs are lovers of wine and women and ready for every physical pleasure. They are obsessed with nymphs.
SH91802. Silver stater, Le Rider Thasiennes 2; SNG Cop 1008; BMC Thrace p. 216, 2; McClean 4195; Svoronos HPM pl. X, 7; Dewing 1312; HGC 6 331, Choice F, very well centered, toned, typical flat strike, scratches, weight 9.155 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, Thasos mint, c. 500 - 480 B.C.; obverse nude ithyphallic satyr kneeling-running right, carrying in his arms a struggling nymph, raising her right hand in protest, both with long strait hair indicated with dots, she wears a long chiton, her arm fingers and thumb forming a Y shape; reverse quadripartite incuse square; $480.00 (422.40)


Selge, Pisidia, c. 325 - 250 B.C.

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A scarce type inspired by the well known "athletic" issue of Aspendos.
SH91800. Silver stater, BMC Lycia 18, SNG BnF 1941, SNG Cop 247, SNG Delepierre 2827, SNGvA -, VF, well centered and struck, attractive toning, nice style, light marks, mild porosity, beveled obverse edge, weight 9.054 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 0o, Selge (southern slope of Mount Taurus, Turkey) mint, c. 325 - 250 B.C.; obverse two wrestlers, the left one holds the left wrist of his opponent with his right hand, and right forearm with his left hand, K between their legs; reverse slinger discharging sling to right, wearing short chiton, ΣEΛΓEΩN upward on left, triskeles with feet counterclockwise over club on right, round border of dots; $380.00 (334.40)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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Hercules is depicted in the same pose as the Farnese Hercules, a massive marble sculpture, which depicts a muscular yet weary Hercules leaning on his club, which has his lion-skin draped over it. He has just performed the last of The Twelve Labors, which is suggested by the apples of the Hesperides he holds behind his back. The Farnese Hercules is probably an enlarged copy made in the early third century A.D., signed by Glykon, from an original by Lysippos that would have been made in the fourth century B.C. The copy was made for the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (dedicated in 216 A.D.), where it was recovered in 1546. Today it is in Naples National Archaeological Museum. The statue was well-liked by the Romans, and copies have been found in many Roman palaces and gymnasiums. It is one of the most famous sculptures of antiquity, and has fixed the image of the mythic hero in the human imagination.Farnese Hercules
RL91319. Billon follis, cf. Cohen VII 59 (obv. legend), RIC VI 68 (Maximinus II), SRCV IV 15200 (Antioch); references list this rev. for Licinius only at Antioch, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, superb style, highlighting patina, light marks, scattered minor porosity, weight 5.020 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Nicomedia mint, 313 - 317 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse HERCVLI VICTORI, Hercules leaning right on club, on top of which are lion skins, ∆ left, SMN in exergue; although unpublished in references examined by Forum we know of eight other specimens; rare; $320.00 (281.60)


Greek, Terracotta Eros Figure, 4th Century B.C.

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From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AT31187. beige terracotta; full figure of nude Eros, winged, legs spread, holding fruit; 6.5 cm (2 1/2") high; unmounted; $300.00 (264.00)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82777. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XVI, cf. 1387 (V DA1 / R 1124); Lukanc 321 (same dies); SNG Cop 1040 ff. (Thasos), VF, light toning, light bumps and marks, obverse off center low but full head on flan, weight 16.630 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $270.00 (237.60)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82789. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XII, monogram 18, 639 (V AC1 / R 524); SNG Cop 1042 (Thasos); Lukanc 770, VF, toned, tight flan, bumps and marks, wavy flan, die break on cheek and hair, weight 16.838 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $225.00 (198.00)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored emperors and kings, those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RA91193. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 4105 (17 spec.), RIC V-1 210, BnF XII 1827, Hunter IV 71, Venra -, Choice EF, full silvering, full border centering, nice portrait, weight 4.455 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 3, Jan - Jun 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Emperor (on left) standing right, holding eagle tipped scepter, receiving globe from Jupiter, Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, long scepter vertical in left hand, H in center, XXI in exergue; $220.00 (193.60)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

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This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82779. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XIX, monogram 2, 1831 (V GB4 / R 1437); Lukanc 735 (same dies); SNG Cop 1045 (Thasos), weight 16.694 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $215.00 (189.20)


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS82792. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, monogram 28/1, group XVI, 1525 (O DE1/ R 1207); SNG Cop 1044 ff., VF, attractive style, light toning, , tight flan, obverse slightly off center, light bumps and marks, die wear, reverse slight double strike, weight 16.358 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, monogram inner left; $215.00 (189.20)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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In 215, Caracalla introduced the double denarius, or antoninianus. This coin was one of the earliest of the, then new, denomination. The weight of the new denomination was less than that of two denarii. The orichalcum and copper coinage disappeared gradually, and by the middle of the third century, with Rome's economy in crisis, the antoninianus was the only official currency.
RS91597. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 258(a) (S), RSC III 279, BMCRE V p. 453, 110, cf. Hunter III 33 (Jupiter head left), SRCV II 6775 (same), Choice gVF, nice portrait, full borders strike, toned, flow lines, light marks, slight porosity, reverse die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.653 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 215 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bearded bust right, seen from the front; reverse P M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 18 years, consul for the 4th time, father of the country), Jupiter standing half right, head right, left foot forward, nude but for chlamys over left shoulder and arm, thunderbolt at side in right hand, long vertical scepter in left hand; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $200.00 (176.00)




  



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