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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Animals ▸ DolphinView Options:  |  |  |   

Dolphins on Ancient Coins

Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

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SH86312. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer Series XIVb, 489 (V258/R351); SNG ANS 156 (same dies); Weber 1583 (same obv. die); BMC Sicily, p. 156, 80; Jameson 762; HGC 2 1312, EF, mint luster in recesses, light tone, obverse die wear, uneven strike, reverse off center, weight 17.391 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 466 - 460 B.C.; obverse charioteer driving slow quadriga right, holding reigns in both hands, goad in right hand, Nike above flying left crowning driver with wreath, Ketos (sea serpent) right in exergue; reverse ΣYPAKOΣON, head of Arethusa right, wearing pearl or bead necklace and earring with loop and finial pendant, thin band wound once around her head and tying back hair in queue, four dolphins around swimming clockwise; ex CNG auction 102 (18 May 2016), lot 135; ex Colin E. Pitchfork Collection; ex Dr. Neil Geddes (20 Nov 2002); ex Noble auction 54 (22 July 1997), lot 1640; ex Stacks sale, 6 Dec 1995, lot 65; $2520.00 (2142.00)


Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron, c. 478 - 466 B.C.

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From the height of Syracuse preeminence amongst the Sicilian Greeks, shortly after the great victory over the Carthaginian invaders at Himera in 480 B.C.
SH86308. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer Series X, 229 (V102/R155); HGC 2, 1306; Bement 451; Jameson 744; McClean 2611 (all from the same dies)., gVF, well centered, toned, obverse struck with a worn die, some marks and scratches, weight 17.105 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 478 - 475 B.C.; obverse slow quadriga driven right by male charioteer holding goad, Nike above flying right crowning horses; reverse ΣYP-AKO-ΣI-ON (beginning 3:30, 1st Σ reversed), head of Arethusa right, hair turned up behind under diadem of beads, wearing bead necklace, surrounded by four dolphins swimming clockwise; ex Numismatica Ars Classica auction 59 (4 Apr 2011), lot 1571; $1440.00 (1224.00)


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.

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Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
SH86580. Silver didrachm, Sambon 523, HN Italy 586, SNG ANS 395 ff. var., SNG BnF 836 ff. var.; SNG Munchen 250 ff. var., SNG Cop 451 ff. var. (all var., no dolphin control), VF, attractive classical style, well centered and struck, toned, bumps and marks, edge crack, weight 7.118 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph left, wearing triple-pendant earring, dolphin head down (control symbol) behind; reverse man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, being crowned by Nike flying right above, IΣ (control or magistrate initials) below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; $400.00 (340.00)


Istros, Thrace, c. 280 - 255 B.C.

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The obverse type has been variously interpreted as representing the Dioscuri, the rising and setting sun, and the two branches of the river Danube. - Greek Coins and Their Values by David Sear.
GS86906. Silver drachm, Dima subgroup VI, 1, pl. XIX, 2 (same obv. die); AMNG I/I 425; SNG Stancomb 148; SNG BM 256 var. (right head inverted); SNG Cop -; BMC Thrace -, VF, toned, flan flaws, flan cracks, weight 4.652 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 90o, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, c. 280 - 256/255 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, left head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle grasping a dolphin with talons, ΦY (control) below dolphin; $270.00 (229.50)


Messana, Sicily, c. 324 - 318 B.C.

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Founded in the 8th century B.C., until the 5th century Messina was called Zancle, meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its harbor. Carthage sacked the city in 397 B.C. and then Dionysius I of Syracuse conquered it. In 288 B.C. the Mamertine mercenaries seized the city by treachery, killing all the men and taking the women as their wives. The city became a base from which they ravaged the countryside, leading to conflict with Syracuse. Initially Carthage assisted the Mamertines. When Syracuse attacked a second time, the Mamertines asked Rome for help. Rome was initially reluctant, but allied with the Mamertines to limit Carthaginian power.In 264 B.C., Roman troops were deployed to Sicily, the first time a Roman army acted outside the Italian Peninsula. At the end of the First Punic War, Messana was a free city allied with Rome.
GB85698. Bronze litra, Caltabiano 761 group III (D28/R51); cf. Calciati I p. 52, 15; SNG ANS 393; HGC 2 833 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG Mun -; BMC Sicily -, gVF+, superb style, attractive patina, areas of corrosion and encrustation, weight 6.303 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Messana (Messina, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 324 - 318 B.C.; obverse ΠOΣEI∆AN, laureate head of Poseidon left, torch behind, K below; reverse MEΣΣANIΩN, ornate trident head, flanked on each side by a dolphin with head down; rare; $250.00 (212.50)


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Byzantion Countermark

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This BY over prow countermark, along with a nearly identical countermark using an archaic form of B resembling Π, was used at Byzantium. David Sear notes, "at this time [when the counter mark was applied after c. 280 B.C.], the Byzantines were subject to continual threats by Gaulish invaders, who were bought off by the payment of huge annual tributes. The impoverished city had to resort to countermarking foreign coins in place of a proper currency."
CM85916. Silver drachm, c/m: Propontis Hoard 144, SGCV 1585 (Byzantion, 280 - 225 B.C.), coin: aF, flattened opposite countermark, marks, scratches, porosity; countermark VF, weight 3.808 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Western Ionian(?) mint, c. 323 - 297 B.C.; obverse Herakles head right wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; countermark: BY over prow left with dolphin finial within circular punch; reverse Zeus Atophoros seated left, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, control symbols left and below throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; rare countermark; $230.00 (195.50)


Agrippa, Military Commander, Friend of Augustus, Grandfather of Caligula, Great-grandfather of Nero

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First commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus, the Pantheon was a temple dedicated to all the gods of ancient Rome. Hadrian rebuilt it in 126 A.D. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 meters (142 ft. It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.Pantheon on Wikipedia
RB86764. Copper as, RIC I Gaius 58; BMCRE II Tiberius 161 - 168; Cohen I 3, BnF II Caligula 77 - 97, SRCV I 1812, VF, well centered, nice portrait, corrosion/porosity, weight 11.224 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under his grandson Caligula, 38 A.D.; obverse M AGRIPPA L F COS III, head left wearing a rostral crown; reverse Neptune standing facing, head left, nude but for cloak draped over arms, dolphin in right hand, trident vertical in left hand, large S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $230.00 (195.50)


Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

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Following Heron's death, democracy was restored in 466 B.C. Similar to at Athens, the polis was governed by a council and popular assembly with an executive consisting of elected generals or strategoi. Syracuse fought against Athens 427 - 424 B.C. and again 415 - 413 B.C.; ultimately Syracuse was victorious. With further reforms by Diocles, the democratic nature of Syracuse's political structure was further strengthened.
GB86536. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 55, 24 (after 410 B.C.); SNG ANS 415 ff. (c. 405 B.C.); SNG Cop 697 ff.; HGC 2 1480 (S, 415 - 405 B.C.), VF, fine classical style, ragged irregular flan typical of the type, smoothing(?), weight 3.061 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, c. 415 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of nymph left, no earrings, wearing ampyx, with hair bound in sphendone; laurel branch with two leaves behind; reverse dolphin swimming right above, ΣYPA arched over inverted scallop shell below; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; $180.00 (153.00)


Lot of 3 Bronze Coins - Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C.

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Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 to 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity, and Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitals of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosopher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
LT87368. Bronze Lot, 3 bronze coins, 18.7 - 20.2 mm, obverse diademed head of Poseidon left; reverse ornamented trident between two dolphins, dolphins head down; no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; $180.00 (153.00)


Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C., Possibly the Work of Phrygillos

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Calciati notes that coins of this issue included dies signed by the masters Kimon, Phrygillos, Eukleidas, and possibly Eumenes. Other examples, many of which were struck with fine style dies, are unsigned. Some examples with a dolphin behind Arethusa are signed by Phrygillos. Other coins of this type that are not signed, but with his style and the same dolphin are also believed to be his work. There is no signature visible on this coin but it is in fine style and is likely the work of Phrygillos.
GI87418. Bronze hemilitron, SNG ANS 405 (same rev. die); Calciati II p. 48, 20 var. (ethnic normal); BMC Sicily p. 182, 243 var. (same); SNG Cop 696 var. (same); HGC 2 1479 (S), gVF, beautiful late 5th century style, fine green patina, light marks, some light corrosion, weight 3.745 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, c. 415 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa left, hair in ampyx and sphendone, dolphin downward with head turned up left (control symbol) behind; reverse four-spoked wheel, ΣY-PA upside down, in arc across upper two quarters, divided by spoke, dolphin head down and inward in each of the lower quarters; very rare with upside down ethnic, ex Nomos obolos 10, lot 18; $180.00 (153.00)




  



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