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

Dolphins on Ancient Coins

Octavian and Divus Julius Caesar, Second Triumvirate, 36 B.C., Lugdunum, Gaul

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Lyon was originally founded as the Roman city Colonia Copia Felix Munatia, a name invoking prosperity and the blessing of the gods. The city became increasingly referred to as Lugdunum by the end of the 1st century A.D. The etymology of Lugdunum is a latinization of the Gaulish place name Lugodunon. While dunon means hill fort, the source of Lug is uncertain. The most commonly offered meaning is the Celtic god named Lug. During the Middle Ages, Lugdunum was transformed to Lyon by natural sound change.
RR70870. Bronze dupondius, RPC I 515, Giard Lyon 7, SNG Cop 689, F, weight 16.797 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 36 B.C.; obverse IMP CAESAR DIVI F DIVI IVLI, two heads back to back: laureate head of Divus Julius Caesar to left and bare head of Octavian to right; between them palm branch with its tip bent to right over Octavian's head; reverse Prow of galley to right, ornamented with an eye and dolphin; star superimposed on globe and meta above deck, COPIA below; rare; $540.00 (480.60)


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.

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Although the primary references do not specify the arrangement of the reverse inscription, most specimens of this issue have the have the royal title on the right and Lysimachos' name in the exergue. This variant with the title in the exergue and his name right is very rare and was first described in the referenced article by Nicholas A. Sicurella, published in The Celator in June 1996.
GS84487. Silver drachm, Sicurella, N. "An unpublished drachm of Lysimachus" in The Celator 10.6 (June 1996), figs. 1-2; Price L12; Thompson 36; Mller 25; SNG BnF -, gVF, lightly toned, minor marks, small flaw on edge, some minor edge flaking, weight 4.141 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 135o, Mysia, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, 299 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse ΛYΣIMAXOY, Zeus Atophoros seated left on throne, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, dolphin left above lion forepart left (control symbols) on left, torch (control symbol) below throne; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex CNG e-auction 296 (13 Feb 2013), lot 25; $380.00 (338.20)


Istros, Thrace, 400 - 350 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.
GS85136. Silver stater, SNG BM 245; SNG Stancomb 141; AMNG I/I 431; BMC Thrace p. 25, 9, gVF, nice toning, centered on at tight flan, weight 5.309 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Istros (near Istria, Romania) mint, 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse two facing male heads, left head inverted; reverse IΣTPIH, sea-eagle grasping a dolphin with talons, H below eagle's tail, ∆ below dolphin; $250.00 (222.50)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Deultum, Thrace

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Colonia Flavia Pacensis (or Pacifica) Deultum was founded by Vespasian. The colony assumed his family name, Flavia, and on account of Vespasian's devotion to the goddess of Peace (to whom he built a temple at Rome); it was called Pacensis (or Pacifica).
RP77123. Bronze AE 22, SNG Deultum 1746-1749 (same dies); Jurukova Deultum 454, Varbanov II 3023(?); BMC Thrace -, gVF, nice patina, nice style, reverse die wear and crack, weight 6.695 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, Feb 244 - End Sep 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, centration dimple; reverse CO-L FL PAC DEV,LT (LT in exergue), prow of galley left on waves, ram's head on point of ram, octopus and dolphin swimming left beside hull above waves; Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann auction 31 (3 May 2015), lot 313; rare; $240.00 (213.60)


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.
GI84181. Bronze tetras, SNG Cop 844; SNG Munchen 1446; SNG Morcom 830; BMC Sicily p. 218, 606; HGC 2 1550 (S); cf. Calciati II p. 395, 197 (controls); SNG ANS 964 ff. (same), VF, dark green patina, weight 6.914 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 268 - 218 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Poseidon left; reverse ornamented trident head, dolphin downward flanking on each side, IEPΩ−NOΣ horizontal across field divided by shaft, AΠ (control letters) lower right; $220.00 (195.80)


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.
GI77003. Bronze tetras, BMC Sicily p. 218, 608; Calciati II p. 395, 197 (ΛY right not listed); SNG Cop 852; SNG Munchen 1403; SNG ANS 964 ff.; HGC 2 1550 (S), gVF, nice Poseidon, reverse about 1/5 off-center, very light corrosion and encrustation, light bumps and marks, weight 5.556 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 268 - 218 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Poseidon left; reverse ornamented trident head, dolphin downward flanking on each side, IEPΩ−NOΣ horizontal across field divided by shaft, ΛY lower right; $180.00 (160.20)


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.
GB77040. Bronze tetras, cf. Calciati II p. 395, 197; BMC Sicily p. 218, 588 ff.; SNG Cop 844 ff.; SNG ANS 964 ff.; SNG Munchen 1394 ff.; HGC 2 1550 (S); SGCV I 1223, gVF/F, superb Poseidon, reverse weak, areas of light corrosion, tiny edge cracks, weight 5.564 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 268 - 218 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Poseidon left; reverse ornamented trident head, dolphin downward flanking on each side, IEPΩ−NOΣ in lower field divided by shank, uncertain control symbols below; $130.00 (115.70)


Mygissos, Caria, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Many Greek cities had names beginning MY, and this type has been attributed to many of them. Most references attribute the type to Myus. Mygissos is most likely correct because nearby Nisyros issued coins with a very similar reverse with NI above the dolphin.
GB69183. Bronze chalkous, SNG Munchen 335 (MY...), SNG Cop 1022 (Myus), SNGvA 2114 (Myus), SNG Tub 3115 (Myus), SNG Keckman 235 (Myndos?), SNG Kayhan 847 (Myndos), VF, pitting, weight 1.910 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 270o, Mygissos mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Poseidon right; reverse dolphin right, MY above, trident right below; rare; $125.00 (111.25)


Syracuse, Sicily, c. 415 B.C., By the Master Phrygillos

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Superb style by the master Phrygillos. Calciati referring to this type notes, "Coins exist signed by signed by Kimon (KIM), Phrygillos (ΦPI), Eukleidas (EY) and by an unknown engraver with the letter E (Eumenes?)." While the signature on this coin is not clear, it is without any doubt the work of Phrygillos.
GI77310. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 47, 19 fr 4; SNG ANS 412; BMC Sicily p. 182, 243; SNG Cop 696 (obv. symbol off flan); SGCV I 1186; HGC 2 1479 (S), VF, rough, encrustations, areas of corrosion, weight 3.568 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 135o, Syracuse mint, c. 415 B.C.; obverse Head of Arethusa left, hair in sphendone (inscribed ΦPI?), dolphin behind; reverse ΣY−PA, wheel of four spokes, dolphin in each of the lower quarters; $125.00 (111.25)


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.
GB71006. Bronze litra, Calciati p. 399, 198 R1; BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Munchen; HGC 2 -; SRCV I -, aVF, nice green patina, weight 7.329 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 315o, Syracuse mint, c. 217 - 215 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Poseidon right; reverse ornamented trident-head, dolphins at sides, IEP−ΩNOΣ in lower field divided by shank, ΛY lower right; very rare head right; $120.00 (106.80)




  



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